An interview with Ignacio Soto Nicolas

What did you do before joining Pure?

I studied international business management at the University of Lincoln. I graduated with a first.

How did you find out about the graduate programme?

A friend of mine and former employee of Pure told me about it. She said it would be a perfect way to start my career.

When did you join the programme?

On 25 October 2021.

Why did you choose a recruitment company for your graduate training?

I always knew I wanted to work with people. Before going to university I thought I wanted to do that in an HR department or as a teacher. But because I wasn’t passionate about either at this point – and I didn’t want to narrow down my options – I chose a business degree. Once I was at university, I went to lots of career fairs to figure out what industry I wanted to work in. I found lots of options I liked. But it wasn’t until I talked to a recruitment consultant that my interest in recruitment started. She and I had a five-minute conversation, and it only took me that long to realise recruitment was an industry in which I’d be able to combine my strengths and likes, and build a great career. That’s because it gives you the chance to work with and support people, and shape their lives. And as it happened, a good friend of mine already worked at Pure. They recommended I check out the graduate programme, as it would help me understand the industry and teach me the best way to be successful.

What was the interview and selection process like?

I started by emailing Gill, one of the founders of Pure. I sent her my CV and a covering letter saying I was interested in the graduate programme. After a couple of days, I got a message asking if I was free for a video call. At this point, due to my lack of experience, I thought this was just going to be a chat about the company and the programme. It wasn’t until 10 minutes into the call when we started going through my CV that I realised it was an interview. Luckily this actually helped with my nerves – because of the relaxed way the call started, it made the whole interview feel very comfortable.

A couple of days later I was invited to a face-to-face interview at the Chelmsford office. Here I met Jaime, a former member of the graduate programme. He explained the programme from his perspective and answered my questions about it, which was very helpful. I then met Ben, the director of the Chelmsford office, for a second interview. I also got to meet almost the whole team that day.

When you joined, what type of training did you do?

My first training session was all about Pure and the programme itself. We also officially met Gill and Jessica, the learning and development coordinator. She helped us get set up with technology (laptop, emails, passwords, and so on), then Gill gave us a short presentation. From this point on we had lots of different training days to develop our skills. All the training was delivered through workshops – Jessica and Katherine (learning and development advisor) did a fantastic job with these. As part of this we also travelled to other Pure offices and got to know the teams.

After the training was done, we were assigned a specialism – in my case, HR – where we could start putting it all into practice.

What role are you now doing at Pure and what does it involve?

I’m now an HR recruitment consultant in Chelmsford. I’m responsible for HR roles with salaries of up to 30k. As well as this I look for ways to generate new business, both for me and the wider team, and also for ways to build and maintain great client relationships. I’ve also been part of the compliance team for a few weeks, and recently carried out my first compliance audit.

What do you like most about working at Pure?

Pure is a fantastic employer. Everyone here is happy to be part of the company, which makes for a very good working environment. Every question always gets answered, and help is always given.

It’s also very flexible – we can shift our working hours to fit our schedules, which is great.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining the Pure graduate training programme?

First, do your research. Why do you want to go into recruitment? What are your career expectations? If you’re looking to build your knowledge about the industry to become the best possible recruitment consultant you can be, Pure’s graduate programme is a great first step. It has, without doubt, made my transition from university to ‘real life’ smooth and much less nerve-racking.

It’s important to point out that this programme teaches you to become a recruitment consultant, not just a recruiter. That means you’re expected to understand the industry and market so you can advise clients and candidates. This programme, together with experience, will give you the tools you need to build that knowledge.

If you would like to find out more about our Graduate Scheme, click here to read more.

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