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Taking Vertical Advantage on New Adventures: An Interview with Jo Miller, our new Commercial Director

Tell us about the role you do for Vertical Advantage?

I’ve joined Vertical Advantage as Commercial Director.  Essentially, I’m here to support the growth of the business, giving extra managerial support and assisting with developing our operational structure.

Tell us about your career so far. How did you arrive at where you are today?

I’ve worked in recruitment since I was 21 years old.  I have always loved the industry and the challenges that it’s offered me.

I started as a permanent and temporary consultant in a High Street secretarial recruitment firm and progressed to Branch Manager.  After this, I had the opportunity to help them develop their brand and open a new London office, working with some amazing people.  After a stint working at accounting recruitment firm Robert Half, I took the plunge and left to launch a high-end secretarial brand from scratch.  I switched from in-house to consultancy for many years, which gave me the chance to work with a number of owner managers and was a great experience.  Following my 20 years+ in the industry, I found my way to Vertical Advantage and I’m excited to be here.

What excites you about working for Vertical Advantage?

Without a doubt, the biggest appeal of Vertical Advantage is the people.  We’re not like other recruitment agencies. Everybody is so different, people can be themselves and we have a wonderful collaborative approach to working.  Our MD has fostered a culture of positivity, where people are encouraged to learn and develop, including from their failures.  People are taken on a journey where they are trusted and they’re able to achieve. 

What do you feel sets Vertical Advantage apart from other recruiters in this space?

Vertical Advantage really is true to our specialisms.  Our consultants know their verticals and industries inside and out.  But it’s more than just industry knowledge.  What makes the team different is how personal they make it.  The consultants know their clients and candidates on a truly individual basis.  They retain the personal contact, which is essential.  It’s not just the team that works like this, it’s the power of the MD and the way he manages to keep his network at the same time as leading the company.  He keeps relationships going with people and they want to do business with him. 

What are the opportunities and challenges facing you in your role?

The most significant opportunity is taking our success story to market!  The essence of our story is the effectiveness of what we do – understanding our clients and their growth journey.  We’re truly consultative, for example when we’re working with up and coming food brands, we grow with them.

When it comes to challenges the biggest one facing us is time.  There’s so many fantastic brands to work closely with and of course our time isn’t unlimited! 

Tell us about the impact you would like to make to Vertical Advantage as a business?

I’m thrilled to be able to add value to each individual in the team.  Recruitment starts at the desk, with the quality of individual consultants and the relationships they have around them.  I can’t wait to make an impact by improving ratios of efficiency and developing client relationships, supporting our consultative approach.

I’m committed to helping our consultants fulfil their potential.  Short term, that’s providing consultants with the tools they need to develop their already successful desk.  Long-term as we get bigger, my goal is to provide career opportunities as their desks become more successful, such as specialisation in their market.

Strategically, sales plan of the business so Vertical Advantage can build on its success to date which we’ve achieved through our networks.

How do you see the recruitment sector changing and progressing in the next few years?

Of course, it goes without saying that technology will continue to influence recruitment.  I also think the diversity question is a huge point for discussion.  Successful businesses have diverse workplaces and I believe lack of hierarchy is key in achieving this – it’s important to let people help shape a positively diverse environment.  Diversity directly impacts loyalty from employees.

Describe your personality in 3 words

Humorous, resilient and gregarious!

If you were an item of food and drink, what would you be and why?

I would like to be a lovely G&T – classic, refined and the drink of champions!

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Jo Miller

Commercial Director

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