One of our pharma Recruitment Consultants, Christian Keenan, talks Star People’s future, missing thumbs, and football versus the theatre, in our latest recruitment Q&A.
Hi Christian, tell us about yourself and what you’ll be working on.
I’ve worked in recruitment now for about seven years. Before that I spent over a decade in adult learning disability and children’s services, supporting some of the most vulnerable people across the East Midlands. One time a 10-year-old tried to bite my thumb off, and a friend of mine who owned a recruitment agency suggested I was getting a bit old for it!
So, I decided to take him up on the offer of helping him with his recruitment business. I didn’t think I would like it, but absolutely loved it. After I’d done a few years, I moved into tech recruitment and digitisation and that was part of the reason I wanted to join Star People.
How would you describe your recruitment style, and what matters to you the most as a consultant?
I’d describe my style as genuine, honest, and chatty. I think my recommendations on LinkedIn all pretty much say the same: that I’d understood the brief, I’d matched the candidates to the brief of the job, that I was engaging with them, etc. And that’s something really important to me.
I’m easy to talk to and I’m a very chatty person, but it’s that active listening to what the candidate has to say, listening to what the clients have to say, and trying to match those up. But having that honesty and that integrity – I think what’s really important is to provide that feedback to people, good or bad or indifferent.
I’ve been on the receiving end of bad recruitment, so pride myself on making the process as smooth as possible for candidates and the client.
One time a 10-year-old tried to bite my thumb off, and a friend of mine who owned a recruitment agency suggested I was getting a bit old for it!
Why did you want to join our Recruitment team?
A friend of mine worked with Star People previously. When I was made redundant, she said I should reach out to Sadia, our Talent Acquisition Specialist. And that’s what I did. I spoke with Danny and Sadia but there initially wasn’t a position that was right for me. Danny stayed in touch, though, and six months later he reached out to me to ask if knew anybody looking for a new role.
I asked if we could speak about the role, and he said he was hoping I might ask that! And that’s how he came about. It was just really nice to finally get to be here because it was my first choice when I went through the interview process initially. I’m excited to be here and have really bought into the strategic direction.
Star People has such a good reputation across pharma and medtech, and is a reputable company. Through the interview it was apparent my skills and demeanour matched what he was looking for in terms of a fit for the team, but also to start branching out into other verticals. So here I am!
What skills and experience from your career to date do you bring to the team?
My skills and experience from the health and social care perspective means that I understand terminology within pharma, but it’s also good to have that learning curve. From a digital technology standpoint as well, I can lend my expertise there.
I’ve been on the receiving end of poor recruiting processes, so pride myself on making the process as smooth as possible for candidates and the client.
What are you most excited about working on going forward?
To get to grips with our clients and candidates! I’m really excited by the role as a whole and the direction that Star People is going. There’s a lot of exciting things going on at the moment and it’s a good time to be onboard.
I’m excited to just get to grips with the role from a candidate perspective and learning more about the pharma market – what’s going on, what’s going to make a difference to people’s lives, the benefits of the health and biomedical care that companies are providing, and how we can help resource and recruit for that. That’s a bit that I’m most excited about.
What do you like to get up to outside of work?
I play a lot of football, so Saturdays and Sundays are normally taken up with that, much to the disappointment of my wife, Simone. She would rather me spend this time with her, going to the theatre, which we quite enjoy doing, or going to music gigs. Pretty normal really. Just football, family, friends, music, good food. Probably a bit too much food at times!