FJ's Friday Featured: Alex Coates

8 days ago by Mia Stubbs

1.       When and how did you get into recruitment?

A funny story really, I went to university with a close friend of mine, who when we both graduated, I went down the car rental route and he went straight into recruitment. Both doing long hours, working hard, and I remember one Christmas we caught up and my friend went into more detail about what he actually did for a job and discussed the career opportunities which gave me a brand new perspective on the recruitment industry. It got me thinking because a lot of friends said I should give it a go, I’m a people person, I love communicating, I seem to have the persuasive attributes that are good for the recruitment industry.

I made the decision that I was going to work in the recruitment industry and my second most important decision I was going to make was which industry? I googled ‘best recruitment industry to work in?’ and at the time, because this was a 3 years ago, it was a tie between IT and Engineering. Engineering seemed a bit technical and complicated for me so pushed me towards IT. Long story short, moved to Manchester, and joined Finlay James!

2.       Tell us about your journey to become a manager and leading a team.

After about 18 months into my career at Finlay James, for my own sins, I started craving managing people again, which after my previous job I always vowed to never ever manage people again because it was far too stressful, and I wanted to look after myself. But I think a lot of Managers will be able to relate that there is something that draws you back to wanting to help and push other people as well as yourself. I had a very good first year as an individual contributor and onto my second year, conversations started asking if I would like to build a team or inherit a couple of people and grow the team. I had a really good chat with MD and fast forward another 2 years, I’ve now got a pretty well-established team called Team Global who are currently on the back of their biggest month ever; which was the first time we’ve billed over £100,000 in one month, which I’m very proud of! The aim will be to keep growing that team until it gets to about seven or eight at the end of this year and who knows what will happen next year – maybe John will
even set up an office for us!

3.       What have your highlights been at FJ so far?

Achieving Presidents Club in year one, which also lead to me getting ‘Rookie of the Year’. To go on a trip to Miami which was obviously a trip of a life-time and being there on merit of having the highest percentage against target was really special for me because I had no recruitment experience, very little sales experience but I came in, worked hard and that was the ultimate reward!

Another personal highlight for me, was when I was fortunate enough to go over to San Francisco, with the co-owner John; we spent a week together, from about 5 in the morning until 6 in the evening, because of the jet lag. There was a couple of us in the San Francisco office and it was good to get that quality time with John, learning how he does things, and I could go over every final detail of the day-to-day job. It was certainly an experience both personally and professionally I will never forget.


4.       Describe a typical weekend for you.

Pretty ordinary to be honest! I wouldn’t say that I’m an ‘avid’ walker, but I do have a bit of an obsession with getting my steps in, so at the moment I average 100,000 per week and the majority, come in on the weekend. Apart from that, I just like to relax, switch off, I try reading as much as I can, I’m quite into my fitness as well so if I can get to the gym then that’s a bonus!

5.       What are your goals for 2020?

I am determined for every single member of my team to hit quota and I’ve got such a variety of experience from some senior recruiters down to fresh graduates with no sales experience, so it would be great if they all hit quota. That ties in very nicely with a personal goal for me in Finlay James would be to reach President’s Club again. I guess it’s just as important to have goals outside of work, something I am determined to do is to go to two new countries this year, which may sound straight forward but I’m not sure where it will be yet. I’m leaning towards South-East Asia or even as far as Australia!