Meet The Team: Jonathan Grupman
• Position: Consultant
• Summed up in three words: Motivated, driven and personable
Jonny moved to Maxwell Bond 18 months ago. Feeling like he was stagnating at his previous role, he recognised that a company governed by Steven’s approach to learning and development was bound to help his career thrive.
Since joining, he’s been promoted twice (soon to be three times), and now heads up .NET recruitment across Greater Manchester. He has achieved three times as much in the past year working for Maxwell Bond, compared to the 18 months spent in his previous role. From why he enjoys his job to what he looks for when placing candidates, we spoke to Jonny about his time at Maxwell Bond.
Fun fact: Working as a referee at Old Trafford and the Etihad, Jonny has been on the receiving end of tantrums from football’s finest – proudly earning himself a ‘F*** off’ from Paul Scholes.
Tell me about your role at Maxwell Bond
As a result of both Maxwell Bond and the industry growing, I have decided to focus on the ever-emerging Manchester scene. Companies are moving to Manchester all the time to exploit the growing market and whether you’re a small start-up or industry leader, everybody’s after a good developer.
The issue is that there’s a big gap between junior and senior developers. Either not many identify themselves as a mid-level developer or the market is short of people with experience to that extent. Consequently, expectations of what a middle-ground developer is, has changed.
Usually, the translation of experience to requirements falls to me; I am responsible for matching up the expectation of both parties. Although, the truth is, if you were to post your experience as a .NET candidate on a job board, I’d guess 25 businesses would be in touch.
Providing you’ve got experience working on .NET core or cloud technology, clients would consider you. Something that we have to contend with is the fact that often developers prioritise tech over size or brand. I’ve seen candidates choose a five-person start-up over a multi-million-pound enterprise, which shows the prosperity of the burgeoning tech scene in the city.
What do you like about working for Maxwell Bond?
Where I was working before had an environment where you could get away with making mistakes and developing bad habits. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick in recruitment, but as soon as I joined here, I was given the ‘tools for success’. Honestly, my mentality switched. Within three months I was looking at buying a flat and within a year I had.
Things become achievable here. There’s room to trial things and fail fast and learn quickly. In the first six months, I was allowed to get my head down and try my own methods. When you’re in an environment where you’re encouraged to own up to anything that doesn’t work, failing then improving is vital to your success.
Even when you’re doing great, Steven will take you aside to look at things that aren’t working to help you get even better. He doesn’t hire people based solely on ability; he works to make a culture of success. Everyone here contributes to a team dynamic, which hasn’t been common in my experience of recruitment.
Those who’ve been here for at least six months have had a promotion or pay rise. Everybody is encouraged to succeed and for the sake of transparency, we have regular meetings about the direction of Maxwell Bond and our contribution to its success.
How do you spot a company ‘Where People Matter’?
A company where people are moving up, progressing quickly and developing their own skills. It isn’t ‘you need to be here for 12 months before you get promoted’. If you demonstrate talent, you’ll be rewarded for it regardless of how long you’ve been here.
While it’s cliché, a high turnover of staff is another obvious distinction. There hasn’t been a situation where someone who has worked with us for a while, has then left. Everyone sees it as a place for their long-term future.
Similarly, everyone should be learning something new and feel like they are being invested in. In businesses where there is no initiative to learn you’re only going to flounder and gradually become less skilled in relation to a job market.
What matters to you in recruitment?
Doing the right thing. I know that sounds vague, but you should always make sure you’re doing the honest thing by everyone involved in any placement. If you don’t put a candidate in a role you genuinely believe will benefit both parties, chances are they won’t stay, which will only damage your reputation.
Match them effectively and no one should be leaving after a month unless you’ve massively misread their desires.
What’s your top tip?
Contribute to the company culture. Don’t just take it easy. You might be top biller this month, but you’ll always start back at zero the next, so remain motivated and push for long-term success.