Training Academy Graduate Profile: David Gawthorpe
MSc International Business Strategy
BSc (Hons) Business Management 1st Class
Joined Sagar Wright August 2003
“Tell us a little about yourself?”
I’m from Barnsley originally – somebody’s got to be! Having lived and worked in London and Birmingham, I decided to settle in Leeds, after studying there for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. It’s a great city with all the benefits you get with London – top class restaurants, great bars and clubs, and plenty to do culturally, but without the ridiculous overheads of living in London! Outside of the office I’m pretty diverse when it comes to interests. You’re just as likely to find me crawling out of a tent in the Yorkshire Dales on a weekend of walking and climbing as you are to find me strutting out of a 5 star hotel after a luxurious weekend of pampering. What the earnings at Sagar Wright allows you is the freedom of choice to do whatever you want to, without the restriction of asking yourself “can I afford this?”
“Why did you join Sagar Wright?”
After completing my Masters, my student debt had escalated to a point where money was a pretty important motivator - aside from paying this debt off, I also wanted a car and my own ‘swanky apartment’ as soon as possible! I didn't want a boring, plod-a-long job where I slogged it out for 45 years before retiring with a nice watch! I wanted challenge, excitement, development, progression, complex problem solving, and the opportunity to work with people of a like mind. When I saw the advert, I knew this job was exactly what I was looking for! 2.5 years after joining as a graduate trainee, I was promoted to Managing Consultant, developing and growing my own team.
“How has your role changed?”
I’m now the Director of Recruitment, Learning & Development . Starting at Sagar Wright as a Trainee Consultant, I progressed ‘through the ranks’, establishing myself as an expert trainer of new trainees within the firm. Indeed the top performing Trainee Consultant we’ve had to date was personally trained by me, so it wasn’t long before Sagar Wright decided to invest heavily in having me as a permanent resource for all of our Trainee Consultants. Basically I run our 12 month Graduate Training Academy, making sure our Trainee Consultants get all of the support, learning and development they need during their first foray into the world of Professional Headhunting. It’s an extremely rewarding role to see our Trainee Consultants develop throughout the 12 month scheme – from possessing very raw skills and very little knowledge at the start to being very good Headhunters upon their promotion to Consultant. I personally get an immense amount of satisfaction from this, and that’s why I’m always more than happy to put is as much effort required to getting our Trainees ‘up and running’. To be honest I should be good at training – my parents were both exceptional teachers and ‘the old man’ now runs his own Educational Consultancy – so you could that developing people to a very high standard is ‘in my blood’. I’m regularly congratulated by the MD on my quality of training which consistently produces extremely successful and high earning headhunters.
“What’s the favourite part of your job?”
The training – I absolutely love it, for so many reasons. The content of the training is fantastic, so even though I’m training the same topics to different groups of Trainees it always fascinating for me. What I particularly enjoy is seeing the Trainees immerse themselves in the training, especially seeing their ‘jaws drop’ and the ‘glint in their eyes’ when they realise how clever some of the work is that they will be doing! The training involves developing cutting-edge consulting skills, how to research clients’ competitor companies, ‘mapping’ the staff within these firms, different approaches to headhunting potential candidates, comprehensive interviewing techniques, how to present a complex job offer to a candidate, how to mitigate against counter-offers – to name but a few! Aside from this, our Trainees learn the art of making money, one of the most difficult skills to develop – how to use their commercial acumen to result in successful completion of their clients’ assignments which will contribute significantly to their high earnings. Ultimately, the biggest ‘buzz’ for me is seeing someone that I have personally trained go on to earn significant sums of money and further their career within the firm – indeed 5 of our Trainees have gone on to earn over £50,000 in only their first year after training.
“What’s next for you at Sagar Wright?”
The management team here, myself included, all have high ambitions for the firm. We are expanding significantly over the next 3 years and beyond, more than doubling in size in terms of consultant numbers. I will continue to work very closely with my fellow Directors to assist the growth and continued success of Sagar Wright, and have a load of fun along the way!