An interview with Alfie Spencer, NHS Consultant


What is your role at Graham Matthews?

I’ve been at Graham Matthews since the beginning of 2019, working within the NHS team. As a 360 recruitment consultant, my role is to supply Healthcare IT Professionals to NHS Trusts nationwide. 


What are the biggest challenges of working within this space?

A big challenge of ours is that the NHS has a very strict budget that they can use for external agencies. Although the NHS spends millions per year, unfortunately not all of that can be used on staffing requirements, meaning we have to work around quite tight financial restrictions.


What is your favourite thing about recruiting in your sector?

It’s given me a massive insight into how much goes on within NHS Trusts in terms of improving the NHS. When you think of hospitals you think A&E and such, but now I’ve learnt how big they really are and about the projects which help make the service better. Also, as these Trusts are so large, the positions and projects I recruit for are really varied.


What is the culture like at Graham Matthews?

The managing director, Nick Bamford has instilled an almost family-like culture, where we’re a very close knit team that’s supportive and collaborative. It’s relaxed and fun but underpinned by expectations of hard work and results. Regular incentives keep everyone motivated – from lunch clubs at the The Shard and Hakkasan to holidays in Barcelona and Marbella.


How have you been supported in terms of training & development at Graham Matthews since starting?

It's a very supportive environment. I've had on the job support from the director, Nick, as well as senior consultants. The training has covered both recruitment practice in general and the specific market I'm working in. 

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What opportunities are there for you to further develop as a consultant at Graham Matthews?

From day one at Graham Matthews,  they set out a clear path of what you can achieve and how you can achieve it. If you are focused on developing within a business and working your way up to a managerial post or a future director position, then Graham Matthews gives you the opportunity to do so.

In terms of formal training, the Recruitment Entrepreneur training was a great opportunity to learn about other recruiters’ difficulties and strengths. It was really versatile, as everyone worked in different markets and were a mix of perm and contract recruiters. It was really refreshing and helpful; I can’t promote it enough.


How do you plan on further developing the NHS team?

At the moment there are a number of geographical areas in the NHS that we have not given as much attention as we would like, simply due to our team size. Ideally we’d be a team of six by the end of the year.


What advice would you give to someone at the beginning of their recruitment career?

Whatever you do, just stick at it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about walking away in the early stages of my career. The saying “the highs are the highs and the lows are the lows” is clichéd but very true. You do need to be determined and driven but if you want it enough, then you will succeed.  


What have you learnt working under Managing Director, Nick Bamford?

With 20 years’ experience in recruitment, Nick is used to working in much larger teams and building them up. I think he’s taught me to be more steady-thinking and mature in my view of how to work. I always thought that in recruitment, and especially in contract, everything has to be fast-paced but actually taking a step back can add real value.


What is your goal for 2019?

The big push is growing the teams whilst maintaining our foothold in both markets. Personally, my goal is to bring on new business for the company and generate revenue.

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By Graham Matthews
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