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Adapting to life in recruitment

Marcus Holness, consultant at Oscar


Before joining Oscar, I was a footballer, and have played for Oldham, Rochdale, Burton Albion and Tranmere Rovers, as well as loan spells at Barrow and Altrincham. A serious injury, however, meant I needed to change careers.


I like having a challenge and friends working in recruitment always said ‘you don’t know what hard work is,’ so I wanted to try it. I hadn’t touched a computer really since I’d left school and knew the hours are long in recruitment, so I knew it would be a big change.


Despite it being a big change, I’ve been able to use my sporting experience to help me succeed. I’ve also had intense and specific training relevant to the industry I work in.


I now recruit for software and web developers in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Norfolk. I believe that my sporting background has played a key factor in my development, and think that other retired sportspeople should consider a career in recruitment. There are a lot of transferable skills:


You need a solid work ethic in football and recruitment to get anywhere and you must be willing to put the hours in. The principal of ‘practice makes perfect’ is really important in order to reap the rewards because there are no shortcuts.


As a captain, I was also able to bring leadership and communication skills to the table, which have helped me to quickly build relationships with clients and find out what their requirements are.


I suppose being a defender as well you’re trained to be disciplined, organised and keep your concentration levels up, and to step back and look at the bigger picture. Again, these are important skills to take into recruitment if you want to become successful.


Recruitment is not the only industry, however, where sportspeople’s mentalities and skills are highly regarded. I went on a client meeting the other day and mentioned that I used to play and she was really interested.


She said that their company highly regards candidates with sporting backgrounds as they tend to be extremely self-motivated and have different ways of solving problems, which is a big positive in the Tech industry.”

I’m not the only sportsperson in Oscar’s Manchester office. Consultant Louis Singleton has played international rugby for Wales, while fellow consultant Jessica Maitland was Ken Yu Kai national karate champion for four years and has competed in the Commonwealth Games, British Championships and International Championships.



Pictured (above, left): Marcus Holness


Picture (top right) courtesy of Pixabay

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