Get to Know…Michael Hewlett

What do you do at MRG?

I am a Board Director and have been with the company since the early days in 2008. In addition to general board responsibilities, I also head up the facilities management team and am the board rep for our marketing strategy.

My day job is running recruitment campaigns for Director level roles across all aspects of facilities management. I predominantly specialise in higher education but also partner with NHS trusts, museums and other research focused organisations.

What are you most proud about what you have achieved in your career to date?

We set the business up in 2007 and in just 14 years, we are firmly established as the market leaders for estates and facilities management recruitment in the public sector. We have really innovated with our selection practices especially around equality and diversity. Our candidate packs using the flippingbook technology have received very strong feedback, and I am incredibly proud of the brand we have created.

How did you get into Facilities Management recruitment and why?

I went to a graduate career fair at the Islington Design Centre in 1998 and met an internal recruiter from a large recruitment PLC. Her energy and drive was incredibly infectious and I went for a group interview, got the job and have progressed from there.

What energises you at about working in Facilities Management and the public sector?

It is often a hidden profession that people take for granted but when you walk around a university campus or with our clients like the Royal Botanic Gardens or Parliament you realise that effective FM is the life blood of any organisation and is fundamental to the staff and visitor experience.

How has the University Estates sector changed since you started your career?

The speed and scale of change has risen dramatically and higher education are now seeking a very different type of professional. The ability to innovate and lead transformation is now one of the key skills for senior roles in the sector.

What do you think the biggest misconception people have about you is?

Not necessarily about me but there is a misconception that people in recruitment are transactional in approach. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are solely focused on partnerships and developing long-term relationships. As an SME, referrals and recommendations are vital for us, so doing a good job each and every time is so important.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I had a period of very ill health in 2014 with cancer. 7 years now in remission and my health has never been better. I’ve become a running fanatic and I am currently training for my first half marathon.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

‘Never stop shortlisting’.

As changing roles/careers is such an important decision, people do change their minds and circumstances change.

What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?

Professional, passionate and energetic.

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