What do you do at MRG?
First and foremost, it’s working with our Real Estate clients, both advisors and investors/developers, to find solutions to their recruitment problems and execute the subsequent search and recruitment campaigns with the help of the wider Team. We strive help our clients find the very best talent possible, in order to transform their organisations or the Assets and Estates which they manage.
From a wider MRG perspective I wear a couple of other hats which allow variety within my role. One of which is leading our global business, both from the UK and MRG People Asia.
What are you most proud about that you have achieved in your career to date?
I find this question a really tough one to answer. I am probably guilty of being quite hard on myself when it comes to this sort of thing. Since joining MRG we have achieved a great deal; transformed the business, worked with some of the most high-profile clients and assets, developed our proposition to truly set us apart from the highly competitive recruitment market and growing to becoming the obvious recruitment partner for several public and private organisations. We have also managed to establish a highly profitable division internationally with our MRG People Asia brand and withstood the pandemic by doing the right things for our people and clients.
How did you get into Real Estate recruitment and why?
Like many others, I didn’t expect to work in recruitment (or even knew much about it!) before joining the industry. Real Estate was always quite an obvious choice for me once I moved from a generalist research role to being in a more delivery/origination role. I was surrounded by friends and family members in the sector for one reason or another and had some experience with one of the larger Advisory firms.
What energises you about working in this sector?
The people, the campaigns we are lucky enough to work on and the challenge of being part of changing it. The property sector is full of some fascinating individuals, the majority of which are engaging and friendly. We have played a part (albeit very small) in the management of some of the most famous buildings and estates in the world. It energises me to be able to work on assets like Shard Quarter, Regent Street, 22 Bishopsgate, 8 Bishopsgate and many more. And utilising all the good in this sector, which is desperate for change, by refining the way our recruitment processes are undertaken, driving forward inclusion, by ensuring diversity and representation within our shortlists. There’s plenty more we could do to improve, but it’s in everyone consciousness more so than ever before.
What’s the biggest thing that’s changed in recruitment since you started?
A huge amount has changed. The obvious things like technology, social media and so on. But I would probably cite the desire of our clients to be more forensic in candidate analysis. Candidate capture and identification has become a lot more straight forward but the candidate analysis has evolved greatly. We use our own Competency Matching Matrix, Behaviour Assessment (psychometrics) and intelligence testing in our processes now, which certainly wasn’t the case when I started.
What do you think the biggest misconception people have about you is?
I think there are quite a few. More recently, I’ve been told that I come across exceptionally serious and have been accused of being so by clients and colleagues. Whilst I take a lot of what I do very seriously, I do try to make every day pretty jolly and remember that recruitment isn’t life or death for the most part. I tend to defuse a lot of pressurised situations with humour.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
Given I am a self-proclaimed country bumpkin who loves the great outdoors with 2 dogs in a small village miles away from London, some might be surprised to learn that I have a strong distrust of all farmyard animals and small woodland creatures. Keep those hooves away from me.
What’s the best advice anyone has every given you?
The actual words won’t make much sense, so I won’t give a direct quote, but essentially the underlying message was not to take oneself too seriously. It is far too easy to get caught up in the things that don’t matter and loose perspective of what is really important. I’m not overly materialistic and this advice links very strongly to that. Being self-aware and being able to laugh at how ridiculous we can be as people is critical to me and I try and live by that theory.
What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
I imagine different colleagues would describe me in different ways depending on how much or little they interact with me on a daily basis. The team who I work most closely with would probably say that I’m; competitive, jovial, and demanding.
And finally, who would play you in the movie about your life?
I’d love to have someone exceptionally debonair but unfortunately its more likely to be someone far less suave like David Mitchell.
Get in touch with Matthew for an informal chat about how he can help you and your recruitment needs.