by Charl Ashley
Road to Olympia , Careers , Advice , Culture , LifeAtUR , Graduate Programme , Tech Recruitment , Recruitment Agency , Recruiter , University , Graduate , Recruitment careers , Workplace , Personal development , Holiday , UK , Graduates , Hiring , 2022 , Acceler8 Talent , Boston , Trainee Programme , Trainees , URLife

One perk of joining the Understanding Recruitment team as a trainee or graduate recruiter, is that if you meet a certain target you qualify to go on a trip to our office in Boston! This is what three of our high performers got to do this month, as they jetted off to Massachusetts to meet our Acceler8 Talent recruitment team and have a taste of life in the U.S. as a reward for their efforts and surpassing their targets in the early stages of their Understanding Recruitment career.

One of the most significant recent expansions within the Understanding Recruitment Group has been the addition of our Boston recruitment team. Acceler8 Talent (formerly Understanding Recruitment US), is going from strength to strength when it comes to recruiting in specialist areas including AI & machine learning, hardware acceleration, quantum computing, photonics, and biotech. Its team has grown to over 10 team members since COO Mat Ferdenzi took his success growing our UK Machine Learning team stateside in 2019.


@understandingrecruitment Our 'Road to Olympia' Winners recently enjoyed a trip to Boston! #LifeAtUR #Recruitment #Travel #WorkTrip #TechRecruitment ♬ Forever - Labrinth


After being postponed due to the pandemic, in February three of our qualifying team based in our St. Albans office headed to Boston to meet the expanding Acceler8 team and have the U.S. office experience.

The temperature may have been minus degree centigrade when the manager of our Python recruitment team, Josh Smith, Java specialist Ollie Brown, and Front End (JavaScript) team member Brad Howell arrived in Boston, but that didn’t stop them having a trip to remember with their American counterparts.






Here’s what the team said about their trip to Boston and advice for anyone hoping to hit their target in style, and reap the reward of all their hard work with an incentive!



Q. How did it feel to find out you made ‘Road to Olympia’?

Ollie: It was awesome, and felt like a genuine reward for months of hard work. The satisfaction of securing talent for roles is great, but nothing really beats the feeling of hitting incentives; especially this one because of the nature of it.

RTO is designed to be a challenge for new starters to hit, so to have done it and secured my seat on the plane was fantastic. It was made even better in knowing I’d hit it with Josh and Brad too – knowing we had all hit it at roughly the same time, achieved something special together, and were going to have a great experience together was priceless.


It was the best feeling to know I was part of a select few who had hit the incentive was brilliant. It was also the point where I really started to believe I could do the job and do it well!

Brad: It was the best feeling to know I was part of a select few who had hit the incentive was brilliant. It was also the point where I really started to believe I could do the job and do it well!


Q. What do you feel you learned from working in the Boston office alongside the US team?

Josh: The US is very different in terms of the way they work to the UK. It was good to see that the culture over there is exactly the same as in Understanding Recruitment’s UK office and we all got on so well. I learnt a lot from the way they write their LinkedIn InMails to candidates which is something I've already started to incorporate into my messages since I’ve been back.

Ollie: The Boston team do quite a lot differently from us, which I found interesting. There’s a lot of crossover, but they are really unique and have put their mark on a lot of processes.

We had a load of knowledge-sharing sessions around things like database usage for sourcing candidates, how they write job adverts and messages, and how they communicate with candidates and clients; and I’d say they learned a similar amount from us as we did from them, which was pretty cool.



Q. What was the professional highlight of your trip?

Brad: Meeting the whole team and celebrating when one of the US team did a placement – to be a part of that happening with a different team was great!

Josh: I really enjoyed sitting next to Mat from Acceler8 for the second half of the week, listening to him on the phone to clients and seeing him help his team out was something that I'm aspiring to be like in a few years’ time.


Q. What was your non-work-related favourite part of the trip?

Brad: Seeing and getting involved with all that Boston has to offer – Acceler8’s office is right opposite the basketball and hockey stadium, so we went to both games. The hockey was great to watch, and it was actually the first time we had all seen ice hockey live.


Q. What would be your advice for those trying to hit a special meal/trip or milestone with their performance early on in their recruitment career?

Ollie: Set your plan out early, as with all incentives. It is so vital to focus on that if you want to do X, you need to do Y every month in order to get there. This is something that I didn’t do well enough early on in my journey at UR, but I think planning is the difference between success and ‘lack-of’ in this career. This works on both a micro and a macro scale – So if you want to bill X in a month, you need to get Y CVs out in that month, so Z CVs out each week. The more structured you make it, the easier it’ll be to see if you’re on track or not to hit the bigger incentives!


...my learning curve was significantly shortened just because I went the extra mile. Now I'm managing a team of four, having only joined the company 2.5 years ago.

Josh: Work your absolute socks off and you'll see the successes, nothing comes easy in recruitment but if you have the drive and intensity you'll reap the rewards that come with it. I stayed late almost every day for the first two to three months of being with UR and my learning curve was significantly shortened just because I went the extra mile. Now I'm managing a team of four, as the Python market continues to rapidly grow, having only joined the company 2.5 years ago.

Brad: It really was a once in a lifetime experience, so I would put 100% effort into everything you do to hit the trip and it will also put you in good stead to smash the rest of your first year!


#URLife sound pretty good? We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic trainees and graduates, who are interested in a career in recruitment!