Next Round: The Interview Stage




With just two more episodes of The Apprentice to go, this year has proved to be yet another exciting series. It’s been an entertaining 10 weeks for everyone sitting watching at home, but let’s not forget this is actually a recruitment process. Next week will be the “interview” stage where the remaining five candidates will face the toughest round of the process. And speaking from experience, I know exactly how that feels. The interviews are real. The focus will be on CVs, application forms and business plans so in actual fact, it is no different to how candidates are hired in the real world. For the candidates this will be an important and crucial stage of the selection process.


I am especially looking forward to the interview stage this year. Why? I hear you asking. Well I am pleased to announce that I have been invited back by Lord Sugar to be part of the interview panel. Yes, that’s right I, alongside Claude Littner, Claudine Collins and Mike Soutar will be interviewing the five remaining candidates.

Why me? Apart from being a qualified recruitment professional who interviews people on a day to day basis, I’ve been involved in the hiring process across many of Lord Sugar’s companies, as well as for my own company, HRS. Moreover, having been a candidate on The Apprentice myself, I know exactly what it feels like to be grilled by the interviewers! And believe me, it’s tough. With this blend of experience I bring valuable expertise and a new dimension to this stage of the selection process and it is for these reasons I was asked to be on the panel as an interviewer by Lord Sugar.

 


The process began with a shortlist of 20 candidates however, only one will be announced at the winner of The Apprentice. That winner will received that all important £250,000 investment for a 50:50 business partnership with Lord Alan Sugar. For me it feels like it was yesterday. It’s still hard to believe that it’s been two years since I won The Apprentice. I have since set up my own specialist Science and Technology Recruitment Consultancy, Hyper Recruitment Solutions, which is continuing to go from strength to strength.  As part of our services at HRS, we personally support jobseekers with preparing for an interview and making the right impression. We also offer services to our clients in running assessment days and interviewing on their behalf to make the right selections for the behavioural and skills fit to their business. Something which I am proud to bring to The Apprentice this year.

The real life lesson here is that you never really know what the future will hold. You never know who you will end up working for or alongside. If someone had told me two years ago, that I’d be sitting on the opposite side of the table as one of the interviewers on The Apprentice I wouldn’t have believed them in a million years! How ironic, the people who once grilled me during the interviews are now my peers and next week I will share the panel with them!

So, reflecting on my experience my advice is, whoever you are meeting, speaking with or even being interviewed by, make sure you leave a long lasting and positive impression on them. Who knows one day the shoe may be on the other foot. Perhaps they will become your peers. I see it happening time and time again in the recruitment world. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make sure you get it right, as who knows what will happen in the future?

After the interviews in next week’s episode, there will only be two candidates left in the process. I wonder who we will see battling it out in the final! I wish all the finalists the best of luck for the final stages of the process as things become more real than ever at this stage. I look forward to seeing the winner join Lord Sugar in another new business venture and helping them on their way.

The interview stage of The Apprentice airs on Wednesday 17th December at 9pm on BBC One. 



 
Two years on, HRS has supported over 1000 jobs in science!
So who says there's no jobs in science?
 
 
A world without science
 
Every time you turn a light on, start a car, open a refrigerator – it’s there. Now imagine a world without cars, TVs, transport, major medical advances or anything that involves science. We are so heavily reliant on being scientifically advanced, we wouldn't be able to survive without it. 
 
Science is all around us, it's everywhere, we simply can’t live without it. Let's not forget, if we want to improve the quality of our lives we need to ensure we continue to make advancements.
 
 
How Hyper Recruitment Solutions was founded
 
2006 was the year I graduated as a Biochemist from Cardiff University. This fuelled my passion for a career in the Life Science Sector. After I left university I spent several years working in science recruitment passionately supporting scientists with their careers. My long term ambition was to help the industry really make a difference and to do so I wanted to focus my efforts on supporting careers in science by offering as many professional science jobs as possible.
 
With financial investment from Lord Sugar in 2012, I was able to fulfil my dream and set up my own specialist consultancy, Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS).To create a truly specialist scientific recruitment agency I made the decision to employ scientists and train them in recruitment. Everyone who works at HRS is passionate about science. This is our driving force. We thrive on working alongside companies who are focused on making the world a better place for all.
 
 
 
 
 
 "Our vision is to provide recruitment solutions which will assist in the improvement and quality of life for all. 
We aim to provide a service to areas of actual need which have an impact on us all."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our consultants are scientists!
 
We want to succeed based on reputation, relationships and a passion for science and this is how the science community works. 
 
By ensuring our consultants come from the field and are interested in it, we create both a service of excellence and one which ensures we can build real relationships. We can be honest and professional about how careers can develop. All of which fall in line with our key company values.
 
 
Where are we now?
 
We support science jobs at all levels and from any discipline. This could be from working for a Pharmaceutical company who is developing new and existing therapeutics or an FMCG business who is making the latest consumer products in a sustainable and efficient way.
 
Two years later, we have proudly supported over 1000 science jobs and technology jobs. HRS has gone from a company with no infrastructure, customers, no reputation, to a successful business with clients across ten countries and a candidate base throughout the world.
 
So if you're looking for a science job, get in touch today. Our consultants would be more than happy to help you with your career in science!
 
 
 
 
 

 

Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS) is pleased to renew their membership with the leader in the Life Science and Healthcare communities, One Nucleus.

As a recruitment company who specialise in scientific roles, this valued membership will continue to provide HRS with an excellent business platform to help retain scientific experts within the industry. Moreover, through key networking events and conferences, we believe our membership will allow us to be a part of the One Nucleus Life Science Community thus providing HRS with the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas with many likeminded companies and organisations.

One Nucleus', mission is to maximise the global competitiveness of their members and to be the top European life science and healthcare network. For their science and technology-based members, that means being global leaders in the research, development and commercialisation of healthcare innovations that radically improve the quality of people’s lives around the world. Similarly, HRS’ vision is to provide recruitment solutions which will assist in the improvement and quality of life for all. In doing so HRS has a clear focus of further promoting and supporting the Science & Life Science sector whilst helping to retain key talent across the industry.

Ricky Martin, Managing Director of HRS comments “as a recruitment consultancy that specialises in scientific recruitment, our ongoing membership with One Nucleus, will provide HRS with an opportunity to share knowledge with the business and academic world, whilst supporting and promoting the research, development and commercialisation in the Life Science industry.”

 

 

Dr Leah Totton wins the 9th series of The Apprentice and receives a cash injection of £250,000 for a 50:50 business alongside Lord Alan Sugar.

We’ve all been glued to the TV for 12 weeks now and last night the winner of The Apprentice 2013 was announced as Dr Leah Totton. I know a lot of people will say this (as they did with me) but I had my eye on her since the very first week! I am sure you will ask why - well read on.

I had my eye on Dr Totton as when the candidate profiles went to press the week prior to TV I was intrigued to see a fellow scientist enter the grueling business process. I knew how tough it was for me so I wanted to see how well Leah would perform and being a Medical Doctor I was even more fascinated to find out. Curiosity to one side, like most offices up and down the country we ran an office sweepstake here at HRS and I had picked Leah as my candidate to back.

So you can imagine how delighted I was when I was sat in the studios of You're Hired to find out Leah had been crowned as the winner. Leah was an exceptional candidate throughout the process and a well deserved winner in my opinion. Somebody I am happy to step down as the winner of the 2012 show and pass the prestigious baton over to.

You could not make this up - an Apprentice Winner picks at random the next Apprentice Winner!

I am really looking forward to seeing another Scientist embarking on a career in the commercial sector. Dr Leah plans to offer a variety of skin treatments at a chain of her own clinics and hopes to raise the standards of the beauty industry with her medical credentials. I appreciate her aspirations, as similarly I hope that through my own ambitions I can make a change to the landscape of science recruitment and make a positive difference to the industry.

 

So what advice can I give to Leah? And what advice can I give to anybody else thinking about setting up their own company?

 

1. Business Planning

Do you have an idea for a business and think there is a market for it? Have you invented a product you think people will want to buy? When starting a business, this is only the start of things you will need to consider. So what advice can I offer?

It’s really important to research your market and identify potential customers. Why not talk to them and find out if there is a need for your idea? Developing and planning your product or service with real people is very important. These people may well be your future customer base, so keep doing this until you are sure there is a demand for it. It’s also very important to find partners and suppliers you think you could work with to develop and sell your idea. Setting up your business doesn’t happen over night, it can be a lengthy process. So make sure you consider and understand which legal structure is right for you. Finally, the big one – get funding! There are many different sources of business finance, from bank loans to government-backed schemes. Going on The Apprentice is not an option for everyone, so make sure you explore your options and do your research! 

And write a business plan! If you are somebody who comes up with ideas every day - then put it in to a detailed business plan focusing on key areas including the important who, what, where, why and how (think about risks, costs, financial projections, who will help you to get there etc). You will be surprised when you start writing it all down how much you realise you don't know, need to know and also how realistic what you want to do actually is. Don't think about asking for investment without a well thought about business plan or you may have a character like Claude Littner coming down on you like a ton of bricks (deservedly).

 

2. Building the business

I speak from experience when I say building and establishing a new business is not an easy task; it takes great deal of commitment, drive and dedication, to not only survive but to stand out in a very competitive market place. Are you prepared to spend most hours of every day, and pretty much every day of the week to make your business plan become a reality? In the past 12 months I have had to make sacrifices all of which I would do again in a heart beat if I went back in time. This includes ending my wrestling career which I did part time as a hobby but it was a logical and reasonable sacrifice to make. My advice is be prepared to make sacrifices as if you are not committed to putting every ounce of your heart and soul in to the company then it may fail to launch. If my first year of HRS went exactly as my business plan said I would be laughing right now. The truth is hiccups will happen on the way, but it is how you deal with them that counts. I don't look at things as problems, I see them as challenges. Something which excites as I want to overcome it.

3. Advice to Leah

Do not change the person that you are. From watching Leah on The Apprentice she came across as a very methodical, dedicated and ultra passionate professional - all the things which I know will make her new business a success. Some people may have commented to say she came across as cold at times (I never said this for the record) - but trust me if I need to see a Doctor I would rather them come across as being some what clinical in their manner then like Louie Spence!

When working with your new business partner continue to be articulate, focused and passionate about raising the standards in your industry. Lord Sugar invests in people who care, commit and people who want to make it happen. Lord Sugar has an excellent eye for detail, can identify risks quicker then I have ever seen and will speak open and honestly about current topics and the journey ahead. This for me is refreshing and makes our company Hyper Recruitment Solutions fast paced and is a key reason why we are expanding quicker then we first excepted.

You may be knowledgeable about your sector as I am with mine (science recruitment) but trust me there is no such thing as trying to pull the wool over your business partner's eyes. Lord Sugar is the real deal and deserves the respect he has spent his entire career building up. I am happy to justify saying this as working with him over the last year I cannot believe how much he knows about my sector after never working directly in the services industry. An open and honest relationship will build a successful business.

In Summary:

I am living proof that if you set out to achieve your ambitions, with hard work, commitment and long hours, they really can become a reality. So my advice to anyone who is thinking about setting up a new business, is to follow your passions, my advice above, and you will no doubt reach your goal. With this said there are still many more long days of hard work ahead for us before we make Hyper Recruitment Solutions the successful business that all of us in the company aim for it to become one day. I have loved every minute of the first year of my company.

I can honestly say, after hearing the words “You’re hired” your life changes! I wish Leah the very best of luck with her new company and its development. And I am here for you when you need to recruit for your future workforce ;)

 

 
 
Ricky Martin and Lord Alan Sugar are expanding their Science and Technology Recruitment Consultancy, Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS).
 
"Our vision is to provide recruitment solutions which will assist in the improvement and quality of life for all. We aim to provide a service to areas of actual need which have an impact on us all."
 
Here at HRS we recognise that each of the specialists skill sets that we support can be very intricate and can differ from one to another. This is why our highly professional and knowledgeable team of consultants have either come from industry or academia making us a collaboration of scientists supporting science. Therefore, naturally we welcome applications from recruiters who want to be a part of a company who are looking to raise the standard in professional recruitment within the Life Sciences industry.
 
With a vision to expand our team, we are currently looking for people with the drive and flair to create a new technical recruitment desk across the scientific arena at our Loughton office in Essex. This will be a desk which has the ability to grow and provide an opportunity for the successful candidate to potentially become the leader of that team. The successful candidates will have a strong focus on delivering high standards of recruitment excellence whilst working towards the core HRS visions and values
 
Recruitment professionals with the aspiration of developing something that they really are a part of is encouraged throughout HRS. So, if you are driven by generating new business, enthusiastic about developing long term relationships with a passion to succeed, then this is the role for you! In our opinion there is no better way to support science jobs / science careers than by having a recruitment consultant who is a scientist themselves. For that reason we encourage commercially driven scientists, ideally with experience in recruitment, to get in touch to see what opportunities we have for you.
 
To find out more about the role and how to apply, click here. We look forward to hearing from you!
 
 
 

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