Mark Fallon is a Director and Co-founder of Coopman Search and Selection. With more than 10 years’ experience in the financial services recruitment market, Mark has partnered with some major financial services clients in Ireland. Get to know Mark in this spotlight interview covering the direction of the financial services recruitment market, the key to a successful business, the benefits of working with Coopman and more.
1) WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The work that we do can change people’s lives – that’s what makes me passionate about recruitment! As people progress in their careers, their personal circumstances change; perhaps they are moving to a new house, or going back to college, or starting a family. In recruitment, you can help these individuals to find a position that supports them in whatever stage they are at and it is a great driving factor! In order to do that, however, you have to know the person on a personal level and ensure you put their needs first when it comes to a role. That is why engagement is one of our core values at Coopman, to ensure we always get to know the people in our network.
2) WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO CANDIDATES ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE MARKET RIGHT NOW?
The market is quiet but there are certainly pockets of work there. The volume of positions coming through, however, will remain low for the remainder of this year. In saying that, companies have adapted to remote working and are somewhat more comfortable remote recruiting, hiring and onboarding. And where there is work available, it is more in the mid senior professionals’ market as opposed to the newly qualified market. The advice I am giving to individuals is to put on your recruitment hat – setup your job alerts, have your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn updated and broaden your job search to include more titles, as they are often loosely used in the market. So, for example, the Head of Financial Reporting could expand their search to Financial Controller, Head of Finance, Finance Director, or potentially CFO in a smaller company. It is also a great time to upskill, with online courses so accessible, as are online events with professional bodies and companies.
3) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Personally, scoring two goals in Croke Park during the junior club championship final in 2017 for my adopted village of Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath – I’ll take that one to my grave! On a professional note though, it is the creation, building and development of Coopman Search and Selection. We had a set idea for the business, from the brand to the culture, and it is great to see that idea come to life as we expand our team and further evolve our service offering to our network.
4) WHAT IS THE KEY TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS?
Building a culture of complete transparency and trust, setting clear objectives, and recognising individual and business successes. Our approach is simple, we find out what motivates our team members, turn them into career goals and then set clear roadmaps and incentives for them to achieve this, whilst also ensuring continued personal development. So, take for example a team member that loves to travel; we would take that personal goal and turn it into a professional goal, so that if that individual meets their targets, it gives them the opportunity to see places they’ve dreamed of. We also set a collective goal to encourage collaboration, perhaps on a quarterly basis or annual basis, and if it this is met, we celebrate with a team activity. When people buy into the culture, without a doubt, success will come.
5) WHY SHOULD A CLIENT WORK WITH COOPMAN?
We will always find the right solution for our clients, and we only put forward people that we feel are the right match for a role and for a company. We take a consultative approach, ensuring the people we work with get our full attention and engagement on every call. Our team members have extensive experience in the financial services recruitment market, with the expertise and knowledge to manage the recruitment process from start to finish to the best standards. I have no doubt in our delivery. We are adaptable and reliable, with extremely high conversion rates. We are open and transparent with our network and we believe in the power of information sharing, by providing market insights to our network at every available opportunity.
6) WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE?
It is important when you build a team that you engage with them on a personal level as well as a professional level. I establish professional working friendships with my team, ensuring open lines of communication and honesty. I get to know the people I work with through regular engagement, providing support where it is needed. I think that when you have trust and transparency, if there is an issue or an obstacle, it is addressed quickly as people feel comfortable voicing their concerns. I do have high standards and expect the highest performance from my team, but to support this, I set expectations from the outset and guide individuals on how to reach their best professional selves.
7) WHERE DO YOU SEE COOPMAN IN A YEAR?
As I previously mentioned, engagement is a core value for Coopman. In a year’s time, I see the Coopman team back in the office in Dublin, engaging with people every day. Through a hybrid working model, our team members will likely spend three days in the office and two working from home. This approach will facilitate a strong culture of collaboration and information sharing, while also focusing on building those valuable relationships with clients and individuals through in-person meetings. We will continue to build out our team with the right individuals, while cementing our foothold in the market and evolving our brand. We have great ideas for the direction of the company and how we get there, but I can’t share that information just yet.
8) HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORKLIFE BALANCE?
A general rule of thumb is that I don’t work weekends. I’d say 99.9% of the time I take the entire weekend off, very rarely would I work on a Saturday or Sunday. It is important to take the time to relax with family and friends to ensure you don’t get fatigued. It is certainly something we encourage at Coopman with our early finish on Fridays. At the weekend, I like to spend time with my two kids and wife, Nancy and I do a lot of ‘bad’ DIY around the house and in the garden. I’m heavily involved with Multyfarnham GAA, training the underage girls team whilst playing with the intermediate team also.