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This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

20 things I’ve learnt: Chloe Kay, Talent Manager

6th January 2022

You’ll notice a theme of ‘20’ to our articles and content throughout 2022, as we celebrate twenty of years of Seven. Over this year we’re celebrating the clients, candidates and consultants that are part of our journey and contribute to the success of our business. This month we’ve asked Chloe Kay, Talent Manager of our Hovis RPO team to share with us the lessons she’s learnt in the last few years about RPOs, recruitment, growing up, buying houses, navigating a pandemic and everything in between!


  • Organisation is a must. – A successful RPO is all about a high service delivery. We spin multiple plates at any point whether taking briefs, recruiting multiple roles at different stages, managing feedback, objections, market challenges right through to the candidate starting. Being organised is crucial to make sure all the plates are spinning simultaneously so everyone involved (from hiring manager to candidate) has a seamless experience.
  • Questions are good. – It’s OK to not know all the answers. In fact, embracing this ensures you are always learning and improving.  Assumptions can be dangerous in recruitment; asking questions brings clarity which is more likely to lead to a successful outcome.
  • There is no magical rule book for management. – Management is all about people and you cannot control them (nor should you want to!). It’s important that they feel valued and heard with an input in decisions and a collaborative approach. I really enjoy managing a team of very different characters; I haven’t got it right every time but I hope they’ll agree I’m always learning and improving.
  • Play to your strengths and know your development areas. – If you’ve ever completed the colour insights course you’ll understand when I say I’m a mix of blue/green. For those who haven’t, it means I’m strongly analytical but caring and diplomatic. Am I hugely creative? No. Did this used to bother me. Yes! Does it bother me now? NO! I play to my strengths and I work with my amazing team to form the full picture together.
  • You should never judge yourself against anyone other than you. Earlier in my career I had a serious lack of confidence. I was always comparing myself to others, questioning my judgement and letting my worst enemy (my over thinking brain) tell me I was wrong. I’ve come to realise more recently that I’m authentically me, there is only one Chloe so I should let that shine! Just because I might approach things slightly differently to someone else doesn’t mean it’s wrong. The more comfortable I’ve become with myself, the less I see this happening. That’s not to say I’m always right but it simply means I’m more comfortable and confident in my decisions and my style inside and outside work! As long as I’m trying to be the best version of me then nothing else matters, that’s the only comparison I make.
  • If you are going to be anything, be consistent – Whether it’s personal or career goals, it all starts with consistency. Everyone falls down occasionally and has bad days, but I try to be consistent in my approach as I know that consistency in the long term leads to achieving the end goal!
  • Communication is key – Let’s be honest, we are all guilty of poor communication sometimes! I’m sure we’ve all not verbalised a thought but thought we had, or we’ve emailed instead of calling and the tone has been misinterpreted. Dialogue allows for less chance of misinterpretation and opens up a conversation and chance to develop the relationship. If in doubt pick up the phone or grab a coffee together! It’s very rarely a bad thing to over-communicate!
  • Control the ‘controllables’ – I am fortunate enough to have bought my first house this year by myself. The process in total took 4 months from offer to completion. Although I initially found this very stressful (I’m not great with uncertainty), I decided to take the view that it takes as long as it takes, and most factors were out of my control. I decided to use the time to create mood boards to create a vision of how I wanted my home to look and feel and to save, save, save! Channelling that energy into visualising this helped me to stay sane.
  • Don’t worry if things take longer than you planned! Again, I’m applying this principle to my house, but this can be applied to anything in life. It is taking me a while to get it exactly how I want it (I still have boxes in the spare room and I’m yet to convert my attic into an office), but that’s OK. If anything it meant I appreciated it more and I’ve enjoyed the journey more from the learnings and the end result!
  • Change is good and sometimes the uncomfortable situations are exactly what we need. 2021 was all about personal growth for me. At the end of 2020, I split from my long term partner. I’ve learnt more about myself this year than in the previous three put together. Going through this during the lockdown was particularly difficult but I’ve used it as a time to reflect, develop and re-direct my energy into my little sanctuary, my new home. I’ve discovered a lot about myself both professionally and personally and I’m enjoying the journey and excited for what is to come!
  • This too shall pass – This was a little friendly piece of advice from my best friend in 2020 that made me realise nothing lasts forever. We have to enjoy the good times when they come and we have to remember that even in the bad times, things will change! Fast forward a year from receiving that advice and I’m content, I have an amazing network of wonderful people around me and I’m nicely settled in my new home which a year ago I never would have thought possible!
  • It’s OK to make mistakes! Both in my career and in my personal life I’ll be the first to admit that many mistakes have been made. I used to beat myself up about them and let them eat me up. Now, I have a very different outlook. I don’t see a mistake as a negative anymore, there is always a lesson to be learnt. It’s never a failure, always a lesson!
  • It’s OK to say no – I think I’ve become more in tune with this principle over recent months. It might be a result of lockdown. I’ve learnt that it’s fine to say no to that party or social gathering, sometimes you need to recharge and take some time for you and you don’t have to apologise for this.
  • Extrovert or introvert – who cares, be you! I’ve discovered I’m an extroverted introvert and I’m fully ok with this! For a period of time I remember wanting to be more extroverted and I almost saw it as a bad thing that I’m not. Realistically who cares, be unequivocally you and don’t apologise to anyone! Sometimes I’m a social butterfly and sometimes I need to recharge .. and that’s perfectly fine!
  • Trust your gut – I definitely feel like I’m becoming more in tune with my gut instinct. It’s a bit of a cliché but I think there is something to be said for your inner voice. You won’t be right every time but on the whole I find it is usually right!
  • Lean on your community – I’ve learnt more so in this year than ever that I’m very lucky to have the support network I have in my family, friends and colleagues. It doesn’t matter whether you have 50 people in your network or 5. As long as you know you have people there to support you in the bad times as well as celebrate the good, that’s what matters!
  • Everything always works out in the end – A little cliché Chloe quote here for you (I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t share this one!) Every wrong turn I’ve encountered or every time my path has altered and hasn’t been as I envisioned, it has always lead to something even better. Sometimes it is hard to see at the time how it will work out but in the end, it always does!
  • As we grow we change and that’s not a bad thing! I listened to a podcast recently whereby a man suggested that in the time he has been with his wife, he’s actually dated 7 different people – bear with me on this one, I know what you are thinking but it’s not like that I promise! What he meant is that his wife has changed as she has grown in herself over the years. Through various traumas, through having children, through life stages…and that’s not a bad thing! We are not destined to be the same person forever, it’s good to recognise this growth as it comes, enjoy it and look forward to the next phase!
  • You don’t have to have everything mapped out. Have you ever thought that it would be ace to know exactly how your life is going to work out? Who will be in it, what will your career look like? Where will you be in 10 years’ time? The truth is that would completely take the fun out of it. It’s fine to not know how it is all going to work out. Let’s enjoy the ride, be grateful for the small things and the wins, and accept the tough times where we learn and grow!
  • Enjoy the present and don’t focus too much on the past or the future. Life goes on! In the words of Noah and the Whale, Life Goes On! At the end of 2021 I became an auntie for the first time to my beautiful little nephew Zachariah. This is the first new addition to the next generation of Kays and it’s all very exciting. Holding him I feel it’s so important to be in the present and enjoy every moment and not live in the past or the future. Life moves on fast so enjoy every moment and be grateful for what you have because everything will look different in a year’s time!

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