Rumina is our Operations manager, she has been with us at Citrus Connect Recruitment now for over 6 years. We are happy to announce that Rumina will be off on her maternity leave for a year. We are super excited about this new chapter in her life and look forward to welcoming her new addition to the world and her back in 2023.
We caught up with Rumina for a bit of Q&A to pick her brain about her journey and experiences here with us and to introduce the machine behind Citrus Connect Recruitment. She handles absolutely everything, the planner, the strategist, the wingman to our vision caster, and founder Leena Parmar. Over the years they have built such a strong connection, not only between themselves but with the new recruiters, clients, and candidates.
Citrus Connect is the second company Rumina has ever worked for. The first job she had was working for a global marketing research agency starting out in telesales at the age of 17. She was with them for over 12 years. Rumina is a very loyal and committed person. She has been fortunate that the growth was there in the companies she has worked for. The values have always aligned and she has never felt conflicted. If they did not align she wouldn’t stick around. She feels very fortunate to have had leaders that pushed her and who saw something in her that she didn’t see in herself.
So Rumina, tell us how you came to work with Citrus Connect.
Well, I was born and raised in East London, I moved to Bradford with my husband to pursue his career as I had progressed really as far as I could in the company I was with at the time. We decided it would be better to shake up my career with a move. He knew someone that was working with Leena recruiting for Google at the time and thought it would be a great opportunity for me. An interview had taken place but unfortunately due to the move I just was not in the right place to take on a new role. Leena and I agreed to keep in touch for when I would be ready. A few months later Leena called out of the blue “ I know this might sound crazy but I’m in need of a recruitment and your name popped in my head, I know you have zero experience in this field but would love for you to come in and have a conversation with me”. We had a chat about the role, our individual needs, and expectations and decided to give it a go for 3 months. We both found that it ticked all boxes.
What has been your career progression at Citrus Connect?
I started as a Senior Recruitment Consultant as my strengths lay in business management. I wanted to be more than a Recruitment Resourcer and have my own accounts to manage and clients to work with one on one. I then developed into a Key Account Manager dealing with team management, consultancy, resources, and since 2020 I am now the Operations Manager. I look at citrus as my company, I’m completely invested in it. Leena is the vision caster, a great vision and she wants to do it now. I’m a bit more of a planner, I break it down and figure out the right steps to take and how long it will take us to get there. My role this year has been focused on dealing with the finances of the business, to make sure the business remains in profit. Projection and planning. Understanding the vision and aspirations Leena has and me working on the process to get there. We are very value-aligned, open, and direct, if something is not working then we talk about it and figure out another way to make it work.
How do you feel the pandemic affected you on a personal note?
I used to be the sort of person that would need to be in the office at 8 and leave at 6 to make sure everything gets done, and then do extra hours out of work at home. I used to believe that If I am not putting the hours in I won’t be able to do the job properly. What I have learnt through 2020 and 2021 working from home (two-thirds of which was part-time) is that I am actually far more effective in a home environment. This is something I never imagined would be the case. These years have been my best in terms of results. This ultimately proves that it is doable. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of adjusting, boundaries and discipline to put in place. I believe that the environment needs to be right. Luckily I have the space to set up my own office. As I walk into the office I’m in the mindset of work. I am not the sort of person who can be flexible working from home. I tried to do a bit of work here and there and some personal things in between but it just didn’t work for me. I have to schedule my time, I am going to work between these times today then I will be finished and can do my household tasks. I need routine and discipline. Not commuting 2 hours every day has saved me so much time. I have more time with my husband, and now I know it’s achievable to get the results at Citrus Connect Recruitment and have quality time at home with my new family. I am grateful for how much I have learnt these last 2 years, and having the baby on the way has been such good timing with regard to balance. Going into 2023 will be exciting.
What is your favourite thing about working in Citrus Connect Recruitment?
I thrive on numbers, I like looking at numbers, learning them, and understanding them. That’s what I enjoy the most probably because that’s where my strengths lie. The element of seeing all aspects of the business, understanding the different aspects and how they are working or not working together, then coming up with solutions to get them all to align. I used to like everything to stay the same, with change came a lot of adapting, learning, and adjusting, although I have always wanted growth, I like knowing what is around the corner. At Citrus Connect you can have a plan for this week, come Monday afternoon everything changes as we may need to flip something and take it in a different direction. I have grown to enjoy being kept on my toes, something else I wasn’t sure was possible. When the pandemic hit we didn’t think right, that’s it, we are done. We didn’t freak out as we are so used to changing, readjusting, and realigning ourselves at such short notice that it was literally like, right this is just another week this is our challenge and how are we going to deal with it? We did this on a weekly and monthly basis. That was our surviving factor.
What was the impact of the pandemic with Citrus Connect Recruitment’s existing clients?
If anything we come out a lot stronger. Leena has such a passion for doing the best job possible for her clients and that has bled and filtered out into every part of what we do. You can’t be Citrus Connect unless you have that passion for getting our clients to where they want to be. The pandemic took a different direction, everyone was getting used to remote working. We work with direct selling which is a very much a face-to-face industry, so we worked with our clients figuring out what are the best practices to put into place so they can do remote selling and get their sales team back in the force. It was always about adjusting and finding new ways and avenues. We helped some of our clients with what the best platforms were to use for communication and how we would go about the interview process, and other clients were heading towards making their business entirely remote. The goal was always how are we going to help our clients survive the pandemic, even if that means we don’t physically make any new placements with them though this period we will still support them with the skills and knowledge that we have the best way we can to get them effectively running again. This made our relationship of loyalty and commitment a lot stronger. No business crumbled, broke, or folded. bled
Do you have any advice for new recruiters?
Be humble, by that I mean be open, even if you have come with experience, a high-level executive, or whatever it is, come in with the view that it’s all completely new. There will be a lot of learning, be willing to take all of that onboard. We do things very differently here at Citrus Connect Recruitment, we are not the “norm”, but if you’re open to learning and taking things on you will survive and you will thrive. Don’t put yourself in a box with the assumption that what you know already will be your success. We are not used to complacency.
When you say Citrus Connect Recruitment is not the “norm” what do you mean by that?
Our culture and our values we are very open and transparent. We take each other as individuals and as human beings, we are not here to waste anybody’s time. We are not going to put a number on your forehead and you are just that number. We value you as an individual, and each other as individuals. One of the first bits of training that the company gives us is not just how to communicate effectively with candidates or clients, but how to get the best out of the individuals in your office and in the business that you are working with. We learn what each person’s style is, how they communicate, and how we can effectively communicate to get the best out of them, and that’s not just verbal communication but social interaction too. How do we honour them as an individual. We also give them training on how to get the best out of other people they are working closely with. It’s all about everyone being an individual. At Citrus Connect we always say don’t take things personally, we are going to be open and direct, and we don’t want to create an element of distrust in the business. Open and direct in an honourable way. If you want to hide in a group environment this is not the company for you. You don’t get lost here, you will have one on one, your strengths will be highlighted and you will shine.
What is the advice you would give to candidates joining an agency?
Your CV doesn’t tell us everything. I would suggest to candidates to always be open to having a conversation, you might not understand why this conversation is relevant now but there is an element to it. It’s understanding the person behind the CV, what drives them, what are their ambitions, goals, motivation, and where they want to go. All of that you don’t get on a CV. I would always advise candidates to be open to opportunities that they would have never considered before. I am one of those stories of someone that took a leap in an industry I knew nothing about, If I hadn’t been open to a very different career, a very different industry I wouldn’t be where I am now confident in knowing that I am going away for a year and I will come back into Citrus Connect with 100% support. Candidates limit themselves when they are not open to having a conversation. They believe they have their CV put out there and that should be enough. It’s just not like that. Only by speaking to you, we can then only understand the depth of who you are as an individual. A CV is just an initial selling point, it just grabs attention. The second part of that conversation is based on everything we have gathered about the candidate. Only then do we know what jobs will suit them best and give them the opportunity of the quality they want and help them towards their goals. Don’t shut out an opportunity just because it’s not the norm for you.