Sara McKinty is Managing Director of McKinty Associates, a Recruitment agency specialising in Finance recruitment across Northern Ireland.
028 91 473 795
Tell us about how you ended up where you are today?
My first full-time job was in Chelsea Girl (now River Island) in Manchester – I managed the handbags section and this was the only job I could get after I dropped out of my Business and Finance degree. At 18 I wasn’t bothered about my education; I just wanted to earn money. My first real office job was as a Temporary Clerk in the Salford Magistrates Court being paid £3 per hour. I got my first break in recruitment when I went into an agency to register for a sales job; they offered me a trainee recruitment consultant post on the spot – the rest is history.
Is there a typical day and if so what might that look like?
This is what makes recruitment the best job in the world – nothing is predictable. As a people business you are handling moving parts on a daily basis and I never forget that what we do can change peoples lives. A good recruiter needs to be organised, empathetic and commercial knowing the local market. They have to be strong communicators as sometimes we have handle very delicate situations. Most of all we have to be good listeners. There are over 30 steps to most recruitment campaigns and there isn’t a standard formula to follow; sometimes it’s just gut and instinct that we run with and of course our experience.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
The independence – we are a small business that has a strong reputation in the market. With almost 20 years recruitment experience personally the business aim is not to be the biggest but the best in Northern Ireland. We can make decisions quickly with no bureaucracy which can allow us to react quickly to the circumstances at hand.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the Recruitment industry?
Make sure you initially work for a reputable firm that will give you strong training on Best Practice in the market. I initially trained with a UK firm and had to sit exams to make sure I knew the legislation and regulatory requirements so this was a great foundation for me to learn. Recruitment is very customer focused but also very sales and target driven. It is such a competitive sector so if you don’t like selling and negotiating then perhaps a different career might be a better choice.
You’re Chancellor of the Exchequer for the day. What would you change to help business in NI?
Corporation Tax – I know everyone has been talking about this for a number of years now, but I personally feel that in order to get more investment into NI we have to be able to compete with RoI. I think I would also be encouraging more university places for our very talented school leavers who want a career in Finance. If we could try and keep them in NI with good career prospects this would be great for the whole local economy.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Pay off my mortgage and buy a new car. A personal trainer would be a good investment also.
Favourite Restaurant? Boathouse in Bangor
Drink? Sauvignon Blanc (French!)
Holiday Destination? Portugal
3 famous dinner party guests? Graham Norton, Daniel Craig and Oprah
Describe yourself in 3 words. Optimistic, Fun-loving, Helpful