An Interview with Derek Gair

What was your dream job growing up?

“Like anyone else, when you are a kid in Newcastle, the dream is to be a footballer. I was desperate to become a footballer, I played a good standard, had a few trials at different places but just didn’t happen for me. I was a Centre Half and preferred it because I could get stuck in and I was powerful in the air.”

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you get into it?

“I fell into my first job in recruitment. I was the Regional Director of the Co-operative Insurance Society and unfortunately were having to make everybody redundant, so we were putting on recruitment seminars and I organised them. I invited different financial services networks in (Openwork, Intrinsic etc) who came to try and pitch their proposition to our Financial Advisers. Off the back of the seminars, I was approached by the boss of Openwork to join as a Recruitment Director. I never wanted to do recruitment and when he first asked me I said NOOO! But then we had a couple of meetings and I thought you know what, I’ll give it a go. So, it was purely by accident.”

What do you enjoy most about recruitment?

“I love working with my candidates. Helping people get the right position for themselves brings great satisfaction. Plus, I enjoy the banter with them because you become their friends. You build up a rapport and the best thing is when you get someone placed; knowing for a fact they are going to go on and do well in that position within the client company.”

What would you consider to be the highlight of your career?

“Definitely being promoted to Regional Director for the Co-op and managing 700 Financial Advisers, who reported directly to me. The South East was the bottom region and I took it to become the top region in the first year. I started off as a Financial Adviser and went from Area Manager to District Manager and then moved up to a Regional Director.”

How do you feel candidates benefit from working with Premier Jobs UK?

“We have a really strong selection of roles within Financial Services to offer candidates from Administration roles up to Financial Adviser and have access to high level Managerial roles.  Plus, a wide cross selection as well for instance if you’re a Mortgage Adviser, you’ve got lots of options such as self-employed, employed, different networks meaning we should have something for everybody. There’s not many Financial Services Professionals we can’t help.

The whole team are very professional. We are a very close knit team and we all have the same ethics to make the right choices.”

How do you feel clients benefit from working with Premier Jobs UK?

“We get to know our financial services firms really well. We work with them closely and have refined that over the years, so we know what individual clients are looking for and can focus on matching the needs of both the client and candidate.

If your colleagues were to describe you in 3 words, what would they say?

“Big mad Geordie”

Currently, what is your biggest challenge?

“Increasing my presence on LinkedIn to improve my self-generation, so that I am seen as the go-to recruiter as a result of the quality that I am posting.”

What is your signature dish?

“I eat really healthy, so seabass and vegetables for me. I like good healthy food”.

What is your go to song on the karaoke machine?

“I’m a great fan of karaoke. I’ve got a couple but I would say Angels – Robbie Williams. I also like a bit of Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley.”

Do you have any tips to stay focused?

“First of all, preparation. Have your day all planned out. No distractions. Regular breaks. Just keep disciplined. Set yourself a target at the start of the day with the actions you want to accomplish and make sure you complete them. I try to have a good powerful morning and work hard up until about 1/ 1:30 and then I have a little break for an hour or so maybe do something or go for a walk. I always have a walk first thing early in the morning so you can clear your head so you’re ready at your desk to start work at 8:30am. Then a little break mid-afternoon and then a good session in the evening as well”.