Our Group Operations Director Paul Merton has been with Advance TRS since its humble beginnings, joining just 6 months after it was founded. He is now celebrating 10 years with the company, and what a decade it has been.
Group MD and Founder Andy Ridout explains:
“Paul was such a welcome addition to the team. Aside from being a good friend, he brought a wealth of experience and industry knowledge. In his time with the company, he has worked tirelessly to ensure we have solid systems, policies and procedures that provide the foundations to support the success and growth of Advance TRS.”
As our resident expert of legislation, Paul oversees the continual development of Advance TRS’s compliance and operational systems.
Our compliance procedures, regulations, accreditations, and client processes are essential. This gives clients and candidates the confidence that our systems are robust enough to support any service they require.
Today, our Marketing Consultant sits down with Paul to understand more about his time with Advance TRS and the last 10 years of working with a growing company.
How did you secure your role with Advance TRS?
I’ve actually known Andy for over 30 years and worked closely with him in rail recruitment for 12 years prior to Advance TRS. During my career I built up extensive knowledge within the Rail Telecommunications and Mechanical & Electrical sectors. I developed strong relationships and grew an excellent network of respected clients and candidates.
Once Andy started the business, he approached me and asked if I’d come on board. We share the same beliefs and values and had the same visions for what makes a successful business. We used our experiences to learn from what we had done previously, and implement this in what we would do going forward.
What made you pursue this career?
Well, I decided to join the business to support its growth. With my experience in rail, I knew what we needed to do to offer the best service, especially when it came to being compliant and legal. The role offered a great balance of my skills. Andy and I also had complementary skills that worked well together.
How has the business changed in the past decade?
It’s been fantastic. The business has seen incredible growth and continues to provide honest, reliable, and top-quality recruitment solutions. I think that’s part of the success of the business, that the values we implemented at the start, have been bought into by staff and maintained. They really believe in the service that we’ve always wanted to provide. Genuinely, the key part of the business is the people.
To be honest the job has also become more of a passion. I want to make sure that whatever we’re doing, we are doing to the best of our ability. I’m always looking for ways in which I can improve what we do.
Have you seen changes in the sector in the past 10 years?
Whilst there have been a lot of changes in legislation, compliance, policies etc, the service we provide and the sector we work in have all stayed fairly constant. Legislation, equality & diversity, environment & sustainability, modern slavery etc – none of that was as prolific 10-15 years ago when I was a recruiter as it is now. It is fantastic that we are now so focused on these factors in both our own employment activities as well as our service provision, however change takes time and have to be administered carefully to ensure everyone understands the need and buys into it.
The business continues to evolve, as do our sectors. We’re providing services to more and more sectors, headed up by fantastic sector experts like Rob Kelly and Matt Bray. However, at the heart of it all are the same beliefs and values Andy and I have from 10 years ago.
What would you say is your greatest professional achievement so far?
I’d have to say it doesn’t necessarily come down to one project or one moment, but where the business is today is such an achievement. The fact we have a team of people that are so dedicated and committed to the business and their role within their team as a whole, is very rewarding. I feel so fortunate to be part of it. All that dedication plays a huge part in our qualifications, certifications etc, I can’t take responsibility for that on a personal level. The whole team contributes to our successes. 10 years ago, I could never have imagined we’d be where we are today!
What challenges have you faced in the last 10 years?
The challenges have changed over the years. A decade ago, it was the challenge of being a new company, trying to go out into the market and present yourself as a new brand. We had to get clients to buy into the company, not just myself or Andy and our experience. Luckily, we made sure a lot of our systems, IT infrastructure etc was scalable so that helped us a lot as we grew. COVID-19 was one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced, but our IT systems all being online meant we could switch from office to home working within 24 hours.
As the years go by everything becomes easier, but the challenges of growth then develop in other ways.
The other challenge is always staying one step ahead. As Group Operations Director, it’s my job to make sure the company runs smoothly and try to anticipate anything that might throw that.
What has been the key to a successful career with Advance?
I think it comes down to my belief in the business and the service we provide. I’ve always worked in a customer-facing role, so I know that if the business is stable from a legal/compliance/systems aspect, it can support our teams to deliver the best service to clients and candidates.
It always comes down to offering the best services, so I know I need to do whatever I can to make sure that happens.
Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for new starters or people entering the recruitment industry?
There is no part of this business that can operate as a sole entity, we’re all part of the chain and each person, department etc plays a vital role in that. We want each person to come on board and be part of the journey. I would advise new starters to take responsibility for their job role. As the company continues to grow, everybody has an opportunity to grow in their role, to flourish and be the best version of themselves. If you take pride in your own role, it helps you to develop. We reward success so we’re really looking for people who are determined, driven, and wanting to succeed.
Any final words?
It’s a never-ending job! It doesn’t matter what I do, there will always be something new, something different or something we can do better. Even now I’m constantly learning new things, it’s a very varied role. I feel so privileged to be where I am today, bring on the next 10 years!
Why Advance TRS?
As a rapidly growing recruitment business, 2022 is an exciting time to kick-start your career with Advance TRS. We have fantastic opportunities available across all levels, from entry-level resourcers to senior recruitment consultants. As recruiters we understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to a successful business.
For a confidential chat, contact our Talent Acquisition Manager Jessica Wells on 07432 356 750, email or connect on LinkedIn. Alternatively, head to our job search page to view all our latest vacancies.