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We Believe Training is One of the Core Pillars of Our Success

With the recruitment industry rapidly evolving, processes and philosophies are constantly changing. So how does Oliver James Associates keep up with the change and ‘evolving curriculum’ to ensure our consultants are up to speed? By designing a world-class learning and development programme that promotes continuous learning. 

As an independent, niche provider of contract, interim, permanent and search recruitment within the financial and professional services sectors, we work to ensure that our consultants are well versed with the industry nuances and encouraged to develop professionally through our tailored, global learning and development programme. We strongly believe that our impressive consultant retention rate of 81% is as a direct result of a tailored training approach for our consultants; we focus on developing areas for improvement and maximising the benefits achievable from strengths. 

Designed to consistently improve performance, training and development is at the heart of our business philosophy and offers a well organised pre and post analysis session, including specific follow up points to help provide a framework for improvement. We understand that providing professional development opportunities contributes to employee satisfaction, retention and engagement alongside supporting our wider strategic goals, which is why we continue to invest in our in-house training, having spent nearly £300,000 to date this year on improvement processes.

Over the last 12 months, we have overhauled these processes by bringing training and development in-house, hiring a team of 5 internal trainers committed to implementing a multi-step programme. This year alone, our training overhaul has resulted in 70 promotions globally alongside several employee moves into new markets. We have a higher than industry average for promotions from researcher to consultant. In fact, 42% of our researchers have been promoted to date this year.  

Our on-floor training on disciplines identified by and agreed with both the consultant and their manager, encourages improvements in performance. We aim to foster a collaborative working environment, encouraging two-way discussions between consultants and senior management to ensure gaps in application of skills are identified and addressed. 

The ‘OJ’ global training philosophy is centred on three key training streams:

  • One-to-One Coaching
  • Workshops at key development stages 
  • Ad hoc needs based training 


Our philosophy is consistent and tailored to the individual; coaching and delivering courses on a weekly basis to all consultants. We also offer 5 key workshops designed to provide maximum support at the critical points of their professional development. Senior sales staff and managers are included in skill development activities to ensure competencies are constantly fostered amongst all our staff. We are proud to have a dedicated, on-site trainer in each of our offices to ensure we deliver exceptional training experiences to our teams. Our trainers design each stage of the consultants training to meet their specific needs and skill development with tailored one-to-one coaching, delivered with excellence. 

Our Online Industry Training is also of paramount importance to our business; we have a dedicated ‘Adapt’ Trainer to share expertise with consultants on online training alongside an impressive video library of industry specific training to encourage and facilitate further learning about specific industries relevant to the market the consultant is trading in. 

Kenny McPhail, Head of Learning & Development at Oliver James Associates says, “We view training as a dedicated tool and not a corrective tool and are proud of our excellent, pro-active training experience which we believe is central to our business, ensuring the best coaching and development for our consultants and senior management”. 

The recruitment industry is dynamic, offering many diverse opportunities and we believe firms have to be willing to allocate a budget per headcount for training in order to invest in people management, facilitate development and contribute to future growth. It’s a priority for us to develop and retain talent which is why we’re proud to have an industry leading training and development programme, centred on each individual’s needs and ambitions. 

Are you interested in a rewarding career with Oliver James Associates? For a confidential and open conversation, contact Jessica Schwier, Head of Internal Recruitment +44 (0)161 8307836 /Jessica.Schwier@ojassociates.com to find out about our current opportunities.