Ruby Edwards is in conversation with Ben Mannion

Conversation Worcestershire with Ben Mannion

by | Apr 26, 2022

Ben Mannion, Director at Hewett Recruitment Ltd and President & Board Member at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, answers the questions posed by Ruby Edwards from You Do Better PR in the latest Conversation Worcestershire. Ben says:

Your alarm goes off…

…at 6am, although our new born daughter often beats the alarm to it!

How did you start doing what you’re doing?

I can’t say I ever planned for a career in recruitment! After University I originally trained as a Secondary School Maths teacher…but after realising that wasn’t for me long term I had to find a job elsewhere. Recruitment gives you the opportunity to be successful quite quickly whilst also providing great long term opportunities…and I love speaking with people, which I get to do all day in this job! After a few years working for a big agency in Birmingham, I had had enough of the train every day and looked for something closer to home…I have known the Hewett family for many years and my specialism with IT was a nice fit for the business. I joined in 2009, became a Director in 2013 and I’m still going strong in 2021!

Your typical day…

A typical day will be a combination of working with Consultants to support them, either with training or specific queries; speaking with clients about new opportunities as well as meetings with long standing clients who we are key partners with; working on operational matter such as finance and IT; and finally, trying to find some time to look at the strategy of the business and identify new prospects with my fellow Director. I am also involved with a number of other organisations – President / Board Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Future Skills Board and member of the Employment & Skills Board for the Worcestershire LEP – so meetings for these will tend to be dotted across my week too.

You’re responsible for…

A bit of everything! We try not to silo things too much as a small business so as to avoid single points of failure…but in general terms I oversee the Finance and IT operations of the business whilst also looking after the team of Permanent Recruitment Consultants we have. My co-Director, Laura, then take care of Marketing and HR operations, whilst heading up our Temp operations. It’s a good split that plays to our strengths…but we talk every day so we both know everything that is going on!

What are your notable highlights to date?

Becoming a Director and more recently a shareholder at Hewett have both been big moments…but I would have to say that the thing that sticks out was winning Strictly Worcestershire with my wife in 2016! It was an amazing experience and to be able to do something like that with my wife made it extra special.

What’s the key to your success?

Hmmm…perhaps not thinking I am successful? We always think we can be better as a business and so as a leadership team we are always looking to improve…recruitment in particular is an industry in which you cannot stand still.

Who or what has been your biggest influence?

I would have to say my parents. From supporting me as a youngster and then being inspirational in the way they have dealt with certain challenges that came their way later in life. I would also mention Louise Hewett, founder of Hewett Recruitment, who really inspired all the “extra-curricular” work I do with the likes of the Chamber, WLEP etc. and the importance of giving back to the wider community.

What’s on your to do list?

At the moment, pretty much everything! We are going through a really exciting period of growth as a business after the shock of Covid…there are big plans in the offing so watch this space!

Biggest bugbear?

My biggest bugbear is when people don’t do what they say they are going to do!

What you wanted to be when you grew/grow up?

Interesting question…if you asked my Mum and Dad then they would tell you a bricklayer or a pathologist!

Where can you mostly be found after work?

As a youngster working in Birmingham City Centre it was usually a pub of some sort! However, this has very much changed to things like the school run, rugby training / the gym, or chilling at home with my wife, kids…usually whilst cooking and a with a new vinyl on the turntable.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

Not necessarily advice but given directly to me, but I have always loved the quote, usually attributed to Einstein, that states “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Your party piece?

I am not sure I have really ever had a party piece, although I have never been particularly shy when the karaoke machine comes out at the Hewett Christmas party!

What’s next? How do people find out about you?

As mentioned above, we are going through an exciting period of growth and change at Hewett, with some big plans in the offing. I will also be doing another charity challenge next year – a couple of years ago I canoed the length of the River Severn with another local businessman, Jim McBride – although we haven’t decided what that will be yet! People can find out about me on the Hewett website or the usual social media platforms…and if they are really interested in what I am up to they can just get in touch on 01562 69090 or ben@hewett-recruitment.co.uk.

As seen in Business Works West Midlands Magazine.

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