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Working at Smile - 12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
Rep-to-Rec - Emma's Story

Emma, our Director, previously worked abroad as a holiday rep before joining Smile. This is her story and why she thinks that those who have repped make great recruitment consultants. 

I don’t think anyone ever decides when they leave school that they want to work towards a career in recruitment. From my experience speaking to other consultants, it always seems to be something that people kind of fall into.

This was exactly the case for me. I worked in sales overseas for 6 years and the prospect of finding a job in the UK was depressing, to say the least. No sun, no sea, no sand and the monotony of a 9-5 job, sat at a desk, was not something I was interested in, in the slightest. But it was time to come home and I knew the skills I had learned during my time as a rep must be transferrable to something, after all, repping is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. 

I had absolutely no idea what was involved in a recruitment role when I was called to come in for my interview at Smile. But I must have done or said something right as I got the job and started the following week.

It was hard

The first 6 months in recruitment are a huge test of character, but then so is trying to wake a group of 12 Scottish lads up for a welcome meeting at 8:00 am.

Anyone that’s ever tried to sell a reunion knows how hard it is to get no after no….but the yes’s are such highs! It’s exactly the same bringing on new clients and getting bookings. Everything you achieve in recruitment is down to your own hard work. The hours are long, but no longer than a 48-hour stint when you have had an airport night going straight into welcome meetings.

There are a lot of positives to working in recruitment, but the one thing that stands out for me is the team spirit and how much fun we have whilst we’re doing it. There’s always something or someone to laugh at (Eamon, your Easter egg hunt photo will go down in Smile history - that’s right we had an office Easter egg hunt) and plenty of great characters that make Smile what it is. 

At Smile we believe in rewarding hard work and take the team away on holiday each year to various sunny destinations, so far we have been to Barcelona, Ibiza and Marbella. This year we are heading to Majorca! We also run regular incentives for both teams and individuals with prizes including trips to London’s West End, spa days and shopping vouchers. 

Our commission structure is great, consultants get 12.5% on everything billed, with no caps and bonuses for over performance. Each month we also host a Champagne club for those that smash their own personal targets (and who doesn’t love bubbles and food?!).

And you don’t have to give up your jet-set lifestyle as you get up to 41 days of annual leave each year which means you can take a long break over the summer or even enjoy some high season repping while developing your career. 

I’m not the only one that’s found the move from Rep to Rec successful, Hannah, one of our Associate Directors and Black Country Primary Consultant, talks about how she found the move from repping to recruitment:

“When I first got my job in recruitment I hadn’t actually left my repping job, I was facing my 5th season and I couldn’t imagine ever settling down in one place. After my first week at Smile, my mind was changed and my resignation was written. I couldn’t believe how similar the job roles were and for the first time in forever, I finally felt at peace with the idea of permanently residing in the UK.

Essentially my job is to get to know people well. Really well. So, I know exactly what type of work would make them happy which would mean that they would stay working for me. I spend all day talking – exactly like I did in Zante and Magaluf – but this time about year groups and subject knowledge rather than bar crawls and party boats! What made my transition even better was the fact that in my first summer, I was able to go back to Zante for 5 weeks to really get it out of my system. 

And do you know what? It was a great few weeks but it made me realise I had made the right choice. I have years of great memories from repping but I am happy that I am able to use the same skills that made me happy there here now. Yes, it’s not as warm and I have to pay for my drinks in bars but I have brought my own lovely little home – there are much worse jobs to have in the UK!”

If you have recently left or are looking to leave your role overseas and think you would like to work for a company like us, then get in touch. I can’t promise if you sit opposite me I won’t take Snapchats of you with filters on, or that your screen saver won’t change every day you’re not in the office. But I can promise that you will be supported and rewarded for every ounce of hard work you put in.

We also offer fantastic referral schemes; if you aren’t in the midlands yourself, but know someone that is and know someone who would be interested then ask them to get in touch. 

You can contact us on 0121 210 5000 or send an email to 

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