In March 2021, Anthony Mills made the move to Marks Sattin Birmingham, after spending nine years at another recruitment company. Our Internal recruitment manager, Karen Chilton, chatted to Anthony about his career so far, what it’s like joining a new company during a pandemic, and some of his most memorable moments in recruitment.
Principal Consultant, Birmingham
Anthony, welcome to Marks Sattin! How are you settling in?What a start it has been! Although we are currently working remotely, everyone has taken the time to welcome me into the business. Luckily, with recruitment being a well-connected industry, I have either previously worked with, or met some of my colleagues in the past, so it has been pretty easy to settle in!How did you get into recruitment?Like most recruiters, by accident! However, my situation is a little different. My father had hopes of me becoming an accountant, and would often get me to help him with his business accounts. I studied accountancy as one of my subjects at A-level, and I studied accountancy & finance at degree level.However, I chose a career in business development and account management. In 2012, I decided to try mixing my business development and account management experience with my accountancy and finance studies to become a finance recruitment consultant, and I haven’t looked back since. So, I guess I did somewhat get into accountancy as per my father’s hopes, but in a weird sort of way!Tell us about your career so farI specialise in permanent and temporary positions across the West and East Midlands, primarily recruiting roles at the qualified level. My experience has allowed me to work with a range of companies, from FTSE 100/250 listed, multinational organisations, SME’s, private equity and venture capitalist backed.However, over the past seven years most of my work has been in the interim and contracting space, partnering with clients to recommend effective and efficient interim solutions to meet their needs. As a result, I have been able to acquire a sizeable interim finance network that continues to grow to this day!What do you enjoy most about your role?I have to say that the feeling of placing somebody in their “dream job”, and knowing that I have delivered a top class experience for my client is the best part of my work. I don’t believe that feeling could ever go away. In recruitment, you get the opportunity to learn a lot about the people and businesses you support, and I have built some genuine long-lasting relationships and even some good friendships off the back of it.Do you have any work-related embarrassing tales for us?It was just after Christmas and I had gained a few extra pounds. We were attending an important client meeting to take the brief of several senior finance vacancies. The weather was awful, and there had been torrential rain all morning, so we decided to take a little jog to get there as quickly as possible. As I took a few paces, I heard a tear. I looked down to discover my suit trouser was ripped!Like a true professional, I had to soldier on and attend the meeting. Luckily, my trusted colleague was on hand to give me his jacket which I strategically dangled over my arm to hide my unfortunate accident. We won the pitch and recruited the vacancies within the team, without the client suspecting a thing, and I learned a valuable lesson, always have a suit one size up ready for the winter months, or just eat fewer donuts! What swayed you to join Marks Sattin?The idea of being just a number has never interested me. I want to work for a business that invests in their people. Luckily, because I knew people who work at Marks Sattin, I had a good idea of what it would be like to work in the team. Ultimately, for me, the attraction was knowing that I could bring my skills and regional knowledge to a new business, and help the directors develop Marks Sattin's offering in the Midlands. I knew I could add value and go on a journey with the business. Marks Sattin is already a leading recruitment consultancy with offices in Birmingham, London, Reading, Surrey, Manchester, Leeds and Dublin. The business has been established for almost 35 years, plus Marks Sattin is owned by Gi Group, a leading global recruitment conglomerate which operates in over 40 countries. Whilst some businesses in their position may be complacent, there is a lot of drive and ambition within the business, and I knew I needed to be a part of it. In your opinion, why is Marks Sattin different from other consultancies?Well, I’ve never known another recruitment consultancy that has a golf simulator for us to use at our leisure, a spacious gym with all the equipment, and an awesome rooftop bar in their offices.I would also say that Marks Sattin genuinely live by what they say about “being a mature business”. Whilst commercial viability is central to any business, there isn’t any micromanagement, and the consultants are trusted to work in a way that works best for us to bring the best results. It has also been extremely refreshing for me to see first-hand Marks Sattin’s stance on diversity & inclusion across the Group. No matter your race/ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or disability – being fairly represented with equal opportunity and having your voice heard is critical to any successful organisation with a diverse workforce. I learned that Marks Sattin really take this seriously and their diversity & inclusion committee has representation from a variety of groups within the business to increase our awareness and education. Not only is this practice followed internally, Marks Sattin partner with a number of external clients to ensure D&I is at the centre of the recruitment process, allowing for fair representation and minimising unconscious biases. I am really proud to be a part of a business that champions diversity & inclusion! What advice would you give to any consultants who are considering a move after working with another consultancy for a long time, as you were?To move roles after nine years as a consistently high performing consultant was daunting. It was a big decision to move, given my length of service and having a “safe” job during an uncertain time, it was a complex decision to make. Unfortunately, my partner was made redundant as a result of the pandemic, meaning I became the sole earner, and we were also expecting our second child (who we welcomed on May 2nd 2021). For anybody considering a move after being with an employer for a considerable period of time. I think the first piece of advice that I would give is to have self-belief.
The thought of change can be such a daunting thing, but it can also be the best thing that you ever did!
Anthony mills | Principle consultant
There are businesses out there, like Marks Sattin, that can work in a fluid way, meaning they can shift and adapt to meet the needs of their employees, whether it be flexible work from home/office working, part-time/full-time. At Marks Sattin, entrepreneurial flair is celebrated and ideas aren’t dismissed before you’ve even finished your sentence. I would also advise that opening up an informal discussion with an agency doesn’t mean that you are tied in to anything, but instead it can be used to gauge whether they could meet your long term goals; if not, then they are not the business for you.Finally, tell us something not many people know about you.As a sports enthusiast, I represented my Regional Athletics team, where I had the chance to meet the GB Athletics and the Jamaican Athletics Teams. I also had the opportunity to play a “Cup Final” game as a teen for my football team at the Birmingham City Football Ground. I shouldn’t admit to that, being an Aston Villa fan!If you enjoyed reading Anthony's career story so far, and would like to learn more, check out our internal vacancies or contact me for a confidential chat about your career options with Marks Sattin.
In March 2021, Anthony Mills made the move to Marks Sattin Birmingham after spending nine years at another recruitment company.