Posted on October 2019 By Elle Elkins
Steve Brauner has worked with Syntech for over five years. Starting as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant and working his way up to becoming the Sales Manager, he is a prime example of how hard work is recognised here at Syntech Recruitment. We had a cup of tea (he has builders tea with honey in it- but who are we to judge?!) and a chat to find out more about him and to see what advice he can offer to recruiters and job seekers alike.
Steve, you’ve had quite the career at Syntech over the last five years. What has been the highlight of your time here so far?
How far the company has come. What I mean by that, is the structure of the business and where it is. We have an established perm division, an established contract division and all the support to move into the next phase of our development. From a small, almost lifestyle business, to where we are now - with grand plans and ideas and a great team around us to build.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your role as a Sales Manager?
Keeping all the plates spinning and giving everyone the time they deserve on a day to day basis. Anything from personal growth to training to product growth, knowledge training, techniques… Dividing all of that and dividing my time.
How would you describe your management style?
Tough love. There’s nothing more important to me at work than my team – but they don’t always see it that way! I’ve been there, I’ve done it and I have made the mistakes. I’m trying to prep them and teach them that it is okay to make your own mistakes but don’t make the ones that I have! To send them out doing it any other way would be doing them an injustice. Recruitment is an unrelenting industry so each person requires layers. Think of it like this- you fall down and graze your arm, you get up, dust yourself off, but don’t let it bleed too much and don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself. They won’t get to where they need to be by me cuddling them. And I think for me, I live my life by the way I teach. Whether at home with my wife and kids or in the office. It’s all about standards & tough love. The skills you acquire here can be used in your personal life too. If you get knocked down, you need to have the ability to bounce back.
What made you successful as a recruitment consultant?
Unwavering belief and a relentless attitude to not allow anyone – internal or external – to beat me. And just a continual need to succeed in a promise I made to somebody five years ago when I first started. I have loyalty to that but also to my clients. I’m a man
of my word. An understanding that success is earned everyday by the standards you set yourself.
What does your typical day look like?
I get to 100 miles per hour as quick as possible every day. When I wake up at 5am, everyone wakes up with me. It’s managing in chaos and it focuses my mind. I make sure everyone is set for their day, make sure the kids know what they’re doing in school and then from 6am it’s straight into work mode. I check my emails, plan my day and get the train into work. I have a meeting with the team every morning to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing and has direction for the day, let them drive off and then I follow and get my own day started from that point. Coffee plays an essential part in this!
When I get home, I ask the kids what they learnt that day and if they struggled with anything. If they did then I’ll ask why and we’ll talk about it.
My wife Linda and I take it in turns to cook. We discuss our days and talk about any issues at work. I like to get an opinion from her because she stays within the speed limit, as such. I miss things sometimes because I’m going too fast but she lives her life in a different gear and she’s the first to point out the obvious things to me that I may miss.
When things get particularly tough, we’ll crack open a bottle of wine and put some music on – have a child free zone for a couple of hours… There’s not a problem in the world that music, food and laughter can’t fix. Linda really is that person who I trust completely and her opinion is extremely important to me.
What advice would you give to someone on their very first day in recruitment?
Be humble. I’ve never met a single person who leaves school and says they want to be a recruitment consultant. Everyone falls into it. But then no one is really a ‘newbie’ as there will always be some life experience that they can draw on. What I mean about
being humble is with regards to a perceived mind-set on how a recruitment company should be run or how recruitment should be done. There’s no ‘one way’ to do recruitment. You may think it’s going to be easy - you get a job, you fill a job – but there’s not a lot of prior roles or experience that can get you ready for this industry. The only way you can condition yourself for it is by being in it. Nothing else prepares you for it. And put your big boy/ girl pants on and buckle in because if you master it, it will be one hell of a ride!
What would be your top job seeking advice for candidates?
Think of it as a partnership. The more you give us, the better equipped you are to get what you’re looking for. Be honest - with your recruiter and at interview stage. And always remember that first impressions are lasting.
And just for fun…..
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What would be your ‘Death Row’ meal?
Chicken breast stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in parma ham and served with homemade skin on chips and homemade coleslaw.
Describe your perfect weekend.
Wake up on Saturday morning and take the kids either to football or for a walk or whatever they’d like to do. Drop them off at their grandparents for the evening and go out for a nice meal and a glass of wine with Linda. Pick the kids up early on Sunday
morning, everyone gets their wellies on and we have a long walk around the Devil’s Punch Bowl (in the Surrey Hills countryside). Then a movie and hot chocolates all together on Sunday evening.
Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?
How would you like to be remembered?
Someone with integrity who did their best for everyone around them. That I left my kids with the knowledge that there is no substitute for hard work and that they knew they were loved. And if I could leave a bit of a legacy behind, that would be nice.
A note from the MD:Steve is an integral part of not only the sales team, but also the business as a whole. He has been instrumental in the development of the permanent and contract teams and I am excited to see how his career at Syntech will develop over the next five years!