Making the transition.

I joined Peridot Partners in 2021, having spent the previous 7 years running a swimming school for babies and toddlers. Initially nervous about how my skills would translate, it turns out I didn’t have too much to worry about.

Why such a change?

I relished the opportunity to re-enter the ‘grown up’ world. As much as I loved teaching babies, toddlers and their parents, it was good to remain dry and not have to sing nursery rhymes anymore – Humpty Dumpty is in a tricky key!)

I had also worked in the sports performance industry for most of my career, and the contrast to working in recruitment was stark. However, I was immediately drawn to the different charities and their amazing work in the not for profit sector — and I felt this was a new way to make a difference.

I originally joined Peridot as an Executive Assistant, working alongside our not for profit team to refine processes and keep everyone organised. After a time engaging with our partners, a wide array of candidates and the whole team, I knew I wanted to get more involved in the processes, foster more meaningful relationships and become a Recruitment Consultant.

An opportunity came up for our team to grow, and alongside some other wonderful candidates, I put my application in for the role. I became a Recruitment Consultant in May of 2022 and a year later, I was promoted to Senior Consultant.

It takes a little bit of bravery to take the leap to a different career – which you’ll know if you’ve read Dan’s recent blog on moving from the FE sector to recruitment. I’ve found it a worthwhile and challenging move, with creating relationships at the heart.

Transferable skills.

There are several transferable skills I have honed over the course of my career that have made the transition to recruitment smoother.

  1. Relationship and rapport building.

Building relationships is the cornerstone of executive search.

I spent part of my career as a Performance Lifestyle Adviser to elite athletes, gaining the trust and space to allow meaningful coaching conversations about their future, and what was causing them difficulties with their current circumstances.

Building these relationships has been key in my move to a career in recruitment. I now find myself coaching candidates about their future, where they see themselves, and what differences they want to see in their current position – whether that be ensuring they really are ready for that next step up to an executive position or determining if this is the right pivot for this stage in their careers.

Similarly, I coach our partners through the expectations of their job descriptions and role specifications. By exploring the type of candidate they really want, they are opening their minds to considering new ideas — often the conversations start one way, and end with our partners realising that a completely different skill set or personality type is needed.

  1. Seeing the bigger picture.

Running a business is all about customer service and being able to see the bigger picture.

Learning to manage expectations, communicate clearly and celebrate success have laid strong foundations for my path to becoming a Senior Consultant.

As Performance Lifestyle Adviser, I found athletes were concerned about their current training plan, but I was thinking about getting them ahead to the next Olympics. When injuries took them out for the season, I was there to help them figure out the next stage in their life plan.

Similarly, when I work with our partners, not only am I considering how a candidate might fit into the organisation, but I am also thinking about how this hire could positively impact the next few years of strategy. Whilst I might be chatting to a candidate about a director-level role, I can also help them on how this particular role fits into their path of becoming a CEO.

In any business, staying one step ahead is key to seeing the bigger picture – one of our core values here at Peridot.

  1. A desire to help others.

My overriding ‘value’ is one of helping others, whether this be with dealing with athletes’ struggles, teaching people to swim, helping students navigate University choices, or helping candidates to ‘sell’ their skills and talents in a covering letter — I get a buzz from helping others and seeing people succeed.

Even when we have to reject great candidates, I’m driven by providing actionable feedback and keeping them in mind for other roles that we recruit for.

  1. An interest in careers and people development.

I am genuinely interested in different careers and people development. I probably should have studied psychology as I find this area fascinating. It is so easy to go off down a rabbit hole into someone’s CV and discover their journey from school or university to CEO!

The rewards of recruiting.

The first thing to say is that recruitment is non-stop action with never a dull moment – but there are so many rewards that balance this out. I would say my top 3 are:

  • Helping charities find their new leaders.
  • Helping candidates find their dream roles.
  • Working with a great bunch of dynamic, unique individuals as part of the NFP and wider Peridot team.

We are often asked by our partners to recruit talent for both their board and executive team concurrently. This gives our internal teams the opportunity to work cross-functionally. This allows us to really get to the heart of understanding an organisation’s current needs and longer-term strategic goals.

It is extremely satisfying to see how renewed leadership can allow organisations to thrive and find creative ways to meet the needs of their service users.

I had never really considered recruitment as a career choice, but I’m so glad to have taken the chance. The fast-paced nature, personal relationships, and placing great leaders in meaningful organisations has been incredible.


If you’re inspired to take your own leap of faith into a new career, why not check out our latest roles or get in touch with me for an informal chat.

Rachel Davies is a Senior Consultant, specialising in recruiting for the health and social care sectors. Combining her wealth of experience with her passion for recruiting good people for good causes, Rachel can help you find the best talent for your organisation. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn or send her an email.