Five years ago, our first apprentice walked through our office doors at the age of 18, fresh out of education and his part time job. Today, Tom has become one of our most successful recruiters. At Understanding, we offer an apprenticeship scheme which provides a real opportunity to break into the recruitment industry as well as the chance to gain an NVQ in Business Administration from Oaklands College. Since joining us back in 2012, Tom completed his training and got stuck into the world of recruitment and technology. He had a desire to work in a fast paced, sales focussed business environment following his studies and part time work. After only two years with us, Tom received a national recruitment award as the ‘Best Newcomer’ at REC’s IRP Awards 2014. Tom made it to a shortlist of 7 individuals, surpassing thousands in the process to win the award which was measured on both clients and candidates experience, customer service and overall value added to the organisation. Following on from his first taste of recognition, Tom was Highly Commended for ‘Most Inspiring Newcomer’ at ITA Awards 2015. Since then, he’s carved out his own business area which he started from scratch, focusing on the Charity and not-for-profit sector. As head of the department, he now manages two team members who are also set for a successful career in recruitment with one of them receiving our internal award for ‘Trainee of the Year’. Tom has embraced his role here with us, and regularly exceeds his targets, qualifying for director’s lunches and winner’s trips away to locations such as Monaco, Nice, Portugal, Barbados, Las Vegas, Miami, St. Lucia, Mexico and more. Tom has billed just over £1 million for the company since joining five years ago, and is current holder of our biggest billing month and biggest billing year! We asked Tom for a little insight, for those interested in following in his path: What do you enjoy the most about your role? "I enjoy lots of elements within my role. I like the challenges and problems as they’re made even better when they result in successes. Not only is it great for a sense of achievement, but it feels good to help my clients and candidates meet their needs or even sometimes going above and beyond. I’d be lying if I said the financial rewards and international winner’s trips weren’t also a big part of my job satisfaction. In recruitment, the more you put in, the more you will get out of it". What difficulties have you faced? "Initially, it takes time to learn all the technical jargon but that comes over time with experience. The training modules are really great here though and really helped set me up for a successful career. There can be some long hours sometimes, but it goes hand in hand with big financial rewards".