James Cooney is part of the furniture here at Sugarman Education. Now in his 13th year at the company, James is one of the long-standing members of the team.
As part of our Shaping a Future campaign, we sat down with him to find out how Sugarman Education has helped him shape his future and why he is still as passionate about recruitment as he was on his very first day with the company in 2008.
A teacher in a recruitment world
James ‘fell’ into the recruitment sector. He qualified as a Primary Teacher and wanted to take a gap year before he started his career in teaching. In his gap year, James worked 6 months for another agency before joining Sugarman Education.
It was here that James decided he would stay in recruitment and so he swapped the classroom for an office.
James, who is now Senior Recruitment Consultant, explained: “My gap year has turned into 13 years! I started as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant and to be honest, I didn’t know what a Recruitment Consultant did. I learnt on the job and when the opportunity came to work at Sugarman Education I took it.”
Where it all began
James was one of three people at Sugarman Education when he started, since then they have grown tremendously – something he is particularly proud of.
“I’m proud of working at Sugarman Education and where we have come as a company. From when I first started to where it has grown to now is a massive achievement!
“I’ve built some strong relationships in the team which I think is important. When people join here, they stay 6,7,8 years plus. That’s testament to itself that we have a really good group of people here, who can develop new team members.”
Shaping a Future
James naturally nurtures new members of the team, not only because of his teaching background but due to his experience within the business. This helps new starters shape their future and forge a successful career within recruitment.
“I think a lot of people are pointed towards me because I am the biggest biller in the team. I explain to them my journey and how they can work towards achieving this in their career. I always try to support team members and hopefully, this helps them succeed.”
James’ background in teaching has not only led him to nurture and develop new staff within the team, but it also helps him to understand the roles he is recruiting.
“I think you have to have four things when working in recruitment – loyalty, flexibility, understanding but, most importantly, empathy. Our candidates work incredibly hard in sometimes challenging roles, you have to empathise and support them as best as you can.
“I help them find meaningful placements, so continue to enjoy their role, develop their skills and have new experiences which will help their career progression.”
James has shaped his future with Sugarman Education developing from Trainee Recruitment Consultant to now Senior Recruitment Consultant. Commitment and a strong work ethic have been instilled in James from a young age.
“I always remember my mum and dad working long hours and sometimes at the weekends. This inspired me to contribute, so I started my first job at 14 and I think that has always helped me on a good path towards a successful career.”
It’s not only his parent’s work ethic that inspired James. Looking back at his childhood, we asked James what he wanted to be when he grew up and he replied, “a magician”.
He explained: “I always wanted to be a magician. My dad was a big magic man and would always be doing tricks and I think that’s what got me so fascinated with magic and its history. I still do some magic occasionally.”
Looking for supply work in North & East London? James has worked his magic and conjured up some amazing opportunities for SEN Teaching Assistant across Tower Hamlets, Islington, Haringey, Camden. You can also speak to James directly by submitting an enquiry form on our contact page.