#MyLifeAtSoftcat – Keisha Ffrench, Internal Recruiter
Tell us about yourself
I live in Birmingham City Centre, a short 15-minute walk from the office. I went to the university of Manchester where I studied English Literature for 3 years with the hopes of becoming a journalist. I quickly realised that journalism wasn’t as glamorous I had hoped and so landed by first job in sales post university as an account manager for a local distribution centre. After two years in this role, I decided to go rouge and step into the world of estate agency. I’d always had an interest in property and wanted an insight into the industry. In my spare time I love to read and write and hope to publish my first novel by 30. I also enjoy exploring the UK and beyond and am a big foodie. I love trying weird & wonderful dishes.
What is your role?
I started at Softcat as an Account Executive and was in the role for a year and half. I’m now an Internal Recruiter specialising in apprenticeship and early careers recruitment. My main responsibility is to recruit for Softcat’s next generation of early careers talent through our dedicated programmes. As well as the day-to-day recruitment, I’m also involved in Softcat’s school and college engagement, ensuring that we take part in school career events and initiatives across the UK.
What do you love about your role?
I thoroughly enjoy what I do and find recruiting extremely rewarding, especially those just starting out in their careers. I’m also passionate about diversity and inclusion and this is something I can directly impact in my role. I was also one of the Ethnic and Cultural diversity Network leaders between 2020 – 2022.
What drew you to apply for Softcat?
When I first applied for Softcat, I was looking for a company that offered the balance of good commission structure and also the opportunity forge a long-term career. Most importantly for me, I wanted to work for a company that truly cared for their employees. Having spent weeks researching Glassdoor, endlessly scrolling through job after job advert, I came across the infamous purple logo on Indeed. I was vaguely familiar with Softcat because one of my best friend’s worked there and always spoke so highly of the company. Once I joined Softcat, I was pleased and relieved that the company lived up to my expectations and then some.
Why did you decide to change roles?
After a year and half in my sales position, I realised that sales no longer formed a part of my long-term goals and started to seek opportunities internally. I wanted to be in a role that focused more on the people and cultural aspect of Softcat. An opening came about within our D&I team, which I applied for, and made it to the final stages of interview. Whilst I didn’t get the position, my passion and tenacity during the recruitment process opened up opportunities within the HR department and I eventually found my calling in recruitment. My journey into this team is a great example of the internal cross - career progression opportunities at Softcat. My journey didn’t end with Sales. In fact, I feel like my journey truly began once I stepped across into my new role.
What do you love about Softcat?
Softcat is most definitely the best company I’ve worked for to date. Though I came in as an Account Executive, I’ve been able to forge a different career path for myself through to the support I received from my colleagues, key stakeholders, and managers. I’ve now found a job that I truly enjoy and love that I can replicate that for hundreds of other candidates who apply for positions at Softcat.
What would be your ‘Top Tip’ for success within Softcat?
It would be to always be proactive in everything you do. Whether it’s achieving professional and personal goals, gaining skills, climbing up (or in my case across) the career ladder; the opportunities are endless, but they won’t be just be handed to you on a plate. Understand what your goals for your career and then put the steps in place to achieve them. The most reliable way to predict your future is to create it. Softcat is a company where you can forge a long-term successful career and future for yourself if you are willing to put the work in.
What advice would you give to aspiring Softcatters?
To be yourself! Softcat’s people and culture are at the heart of the business. Throughout the whole recruitment process it’s important to show who you are and understand whether you could see yourself within the business. If you are fun, responsible, passionate, intelligent and care about your community then Softcat is definitely the right company for you!