The Supply Chain Social - Interview with Ross Cooper - Head of Financial Services Procurement at Investigo
Name: Ross Cooper
Position: Head of Financial Services Procurement
What did you want to be when you were at school?
I’m one of 7, so my childhood was very busy. One of my early passions was sport. I played rugby from an early age and spent many hours trying to emulate the great players at that time.
When did you first start out in the Recruitment industry?
I left university with no clear idea of what I wanted to do. Many people had said why not look at recruitment. I applied to a few local agencies in Kent and managed to land in a small IT recruitment agency. Since then I have built a successful career and learnt a huge amount whilst at Hudson and Investigo.
When and how did Investigo come about?
I had worked with Angharad at Hudson for 3 years, when she informed me that she was joining an exciting new brand that wanted to set up Procurement It was a no brainer. It was time for me to do something different and the timing was perfect
What kind of jobs do Investigo specialise in, and which regions do you cover?
Investigo is a well-established business and has been active across many specialism for 15 years. We don’t consider ourselves a generalist but we do span a wide range of areas and often each business is bespoke to their sector. Examples include Property, Data Analytics, ERP, Change Management, Finance, Strategy, Finance and Banking.
My team of 5 specialises in Procurement within Banking and Professional Services
What sets Investigo apart from your competitors?
Relationships – we pride ourselves on ensuring we build long term relationships to fully understand our candidates and clients. We are genuinely passionate about what we do, with a knowledge about our specialism that is often unrivalled.
What has been the biggest challenge you and the company have faced since launch?
Whilst it’s very current I would say the current Covid 19 pandemic is the biggest challenge we are likely to face. There are so many elements to it that create challenges for recruiters, especially when our business is people. I’m always in front of my clients and candidates, and technology cannot replace that
There can be no doubt that the rise of social media has had a significant impact on the recruitment industry. What impact does social media have on the way you work at Investigo?
It has had a huge impact on my career and I believe will only become bigger in the years going forward. As everyone now has so much accessibility to websites, apps, podcasts, blogs – you can’t underestimate how much content is available to candidate or clients. I utilize the above for my knowledge but also on how I can build on my already established network.
How important are job boards within your marketing strategy?
We have never really advertised, so I’m looking forward to partnering with Supply Chain Online and also very keen to get feedback from readers on their experiences with job boards.
How has the lockdown affected the day to day operations at Investigo?
I’m very happy and proud to work with Investigo at present, I feel they have supported their employees superbly. There are challenges that every agency will have but overall the move to working from home has been very smooth.
How are you finding working from home?
One of the things I love about this job is to be out talking to new candidates/clients so WFH feels very strange. As everyone in the world is doing the same it has given me the opportunity to pick up with a number of contacts who might not have been able to connect previously.
Do you think the Coronavirus pandemic will change employers perception of remote working going forward?
Absolutely – I think it will be very interesting to watch how companies conduct themselves after this pandemic. I would suggest most companies are going to have to change their policy around WFH otherwise talent will be not joining them.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
I have had many over the years but one which will always stand out is “believe in yourself”. Self-confidence was not one of my strengths when I was younger, so I had to work hard to believe in myself and gain the strengths.
What one piece of advice would you give to other young recruiters starting out?
Talk to everyone, I remember early in my career wondering if I should talk to that person or not. It’s the best way to learn but the most unexpected conversations tend to come from the places you least expect.
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Interview by Richard Marshall, Director at Supply Chain Online.