My Brilliant Recruitment Career – Natasha Woodford - September 2018
What was your earliest dream job?
I kept flipping between wanting to be a vet and an air hostess.
What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it?
I had just come back from working in hospitality in Dubai and was looking for a job where I could still interact with people. To be honest I didn’t really know what a headhunter was back then. It was 1999, but there was a local executive search firm that was hiring and I pitched up for a role hiring people in e-commerce and got the job.
Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment?
My dad. He is a self-made man. He didn’t go to uni; he left school at 15. He’s been a corporate banker for the same bank for 35 years. He worked with one company and was posted all over the world. He’s an awesome survivor of prostate cancer. He’s got an MBE for his fundraising efforts. He’s an amazing husband of nearly 50 years and he’s a kind and loving dad.
What do you love most about your current role?
I love digital marketing because it’s so fast paced. Career progression is unlike any I’ve seen in any other industry. It’s breaking all the conventional rules. It has business owners in their 20s. I love being able to use my recruitment knowledge to help a relatively naïve jobseeker, or a challenged business owner who desperately wants to make the right hires.
What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career?
Repeat business – there’s one chap I hired three times over his career. I saw him from mid level all the way to board level. There are also some companies I’ve hired for six or seven times now.
What’s your top job to fill at the moment?
A head of SEO and content taking the reins from a founder.
What is your signature dish?
Chicken satay, my mum’s recipe – we don’t tell it to anyone. If you’re going for a sweet dish, then it’s a 12-egg pavolova.
Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why?
Cry – in my first formal interview I did on my own. Imagine a warm, stuffy London office, down in the basement; you’re interviewing, a technical interview; it’s all going a bit long and technical, and I might have dozed a little bit… something I have never repeated.
What’s the best or worst interview question you’ve ever heard?
hate: ‘If you die and come back as an animal, what would you be?’ My favourite question is: ‘If you were giving an industry conference talk – what would it be on?’
What would you regard as your theme tune?
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield.
Natasha Woodford, director of recruitment, clockworkTalent