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Matt & Janet photo outside the Marmion office

Career Q&A with Matt Pallister, Executive Director at Marmion

Becoming an Executive Director for a company you are passionate about must be one of the key career ambitions for any professional. That has certainly been the case for Marmion’s newest member of the board, Matt Pallister, who has been with the company since 2017 while the business was still operating out of founder Janet McGlaughlin’s garden shed.

From grassroots beginnings to his recent promotion, Matt has been an important part of Marmion thanks to his determination, resilience, adaptability, and instinct. Sharing our ethical values and supporting the company through numerous challenges, including Brexit and Covid-19, Matt has been instrumental in steering Marmion towards greater success.

In this special edition Q&A blog, we hear from Matt himself about his career development journey, the lessons he has learned, and the plans he has in store for Marmion’s future.

How has your career developed and what led you to work with Marmion?

I worked within a couple of estate agency firms in Harrogate between 2013 to 2017 – I loved property and took to it quickly, [building] excellent relationships with landlords, tenants, and suppliers. I knew I had the drive and ability to have a successful career and got to the point where I felt my skills weren’t being utilised. So that’s when I reached out to Janet – two interviews, a presentation, and a secret mystery shop task later, I got the job as a Resourcing Advisor.

What is the most valuable lesson that you have learnt in your five years with Marmion?

There are far too many but here are a few. Never assume anything – working in a people-business means that what we do is subject to external factors that are out of our control. Knowing how hectic life can be and how unpredictable the business landscape is, you have to stay level-headed.

Always get the facts and figures first before you make any important business decisions. Running a business is quite straight-forward – it’s hard work, too, but when you focus on what’s in your control and work hard, the rest will follow.

Keep your head down and don’t let the scaremongering of negative news and social media influence you. It’s important to know what is going on in the wider economic landscape (Brexit and pandemic to name a couple) and within your competition, but if you focus on your business and people, you are more likely to succeed.

People are one of the key elements of success, so always try to recruit for the skills and experience that you’re maybe lacking and have a succession plan for your own development. Take stock of what you have achieved. It’s so easy to look at other people and think that you’re not doing well, but there will always be someone doing more or better, so focus on what you have control over.

How have your skills developed while working with Marmion?

What’s great about working for Janet is that she allows me freedom and autonomy. I don’t deal well with micromanagement, but me and Janet work well together. I’ve learnt so much from shadowing Janet over the last five years and realised that it is possible to become a business owner in different ways. Although I’m not Marmion’s founder, I treated Marmion as my own business from day one.

I read a lot of business and development books and I’m always researching new business trends. I’m more confident – one thing I asked Janet to do was to push me outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to keep growing, and I have. Growing a successful business takes time, especially if you’re doing it organically without external investment, so I’ve learnt to be more patient and enjoy the journey.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in recruitment?

Do your research and make sure you start your career with a reputable and ethical business.

How did you know that Marmion would be the right move and fit for you?

Honestly? The fact that when I joined in 2017, it was in a shed in Janet’s back garden. I knew I wanted my next move to challenge me, and I wanted to be part of a business that was growing. I’ve always been fascinated about start-up successes and knew I could add value to the business.

What do you love most about working in recruitment and working with Marmion?

I love the fulfilment you get when you walk into a growing business and see teams that you have helped build (sometimes from scratch) succeeding and making a difference in organisations that are on the same journey as you. Nothing beats that. Specifically [with] Marmion, [I enjoy] the team I have around me and the future potential for our business. We have seen year on year growth since I joined, even through the pandemic, and I still feel that we’re only just getting started.

And finally, tell us about your future with Marmion – what’s to come?

This month, I move onto the board as an Executive Director joining Janet and Alan McGlaughlin. This will see my role change significantly as I start to focus more on our business strategy, specifically future growth. I already treat Marmion like my own and feel that I act as a director, but this gives me the legal ability to start making decisions quicker. Next year, we hope to double the size of our team, and moving into 2024, we hope to double again [and] start to think about our first overseas office.

Leading the Way in Ethical Recruitment

For Marmion founder Janet, Matt’s promotion comes as recognition of his ongoing commitment to the company and its values, saying she has ‘never been interested in giving people titles for the sake of it – they need to be earned’. And thanks to colleagues such as Matt, Janet’s team are stronger than ever, with even greater ambitions for the future. Find out more about Marmion’s history here.

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Matt & Janet photo outside the Marmion office

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