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Consultant Spotlight Q&A with Tom Berrisford


We are introducing a Consultant Spotlight Q&A Series that highlights our consultants across each of the three divisions within the Compass Associates brand. The second article of this series will be introducing Tom Berrisford from the Elderly Care division. 

What is your role and how long have you worked at Compass?

I’ve worked within the Manchester office here at Compass for over eight years, starting out as a Trainee Consultant. As of July last year, I was promoted to Associate Director to help oversee the day to day operations and growth plans for the office. The role encompasses a diverse workday structure which I believe is categorised into 2 main parts;

  • People leadership: As an Associate Director in the North I directly lead a team of consultants within our General and Elderly care team (North), as well as deputise the Office Director, Adam Brenton, in the overall management of the Manchester office where you’ll also find our Specialist Services team (North) and our CCS division.
  • Billing: One of the favourite parts of my job. Since I began my career with Compass I have actively recruited within the Elderly Care sector (North) ranging from junior to senior management level placements with private, PE-backed & third sector organisations.

What markets do you cover?

As stated above, I lead a team of consultants within our Elderly Care division who deliver on middle management vacancies (Deputy / Registered Managers) across the North & Scotland, whilst I personally focus my efforts on Senior Management / Director type vacancies. With a view on building long-lasting, long-term relationships, much of my work is done on an exclusive basis given my network, reputation and ability to deliver, which has enabled me to make multiple Home Manager, Managing Director, Commercial Director, Quality Director and Operations Director appointments in the past 12 months.

What advice do you have for job seekers?

I’m sure there is plenty of useful literature/podcasts and videos circling the web that would be more than helpful when it comes to looking for a new job right now. However, the below are just 3 points I would review:

  • Know what you are looking for and what you want from your career. I know this sounds like an obvious point when looking for a new role, but it’s so common now to speak to people who don’t have a clear vision and understanding of what they want from a day to day role and how they want their career to progress. I find it a lot easier to work with and place candidates who have a clear vision of what they want out of their careers, it certainly gives my clients confidence that the candidate is transparent and honest about their ambitions and reduces the risk of candidates leaving roles early due to a role not meeting their expectations.
  • Share your success & achievements on your CV. Although it is great to here about your role & responsibilities, don’t forget to shout about your success stories! Employers are always looking for the very best talent in their respective sectors, even if they are ‘fully staffed’… (A rare occurrence nowadays). In my opinion, us Brits are not that great at celebrating success and shouting out about our achievements. Even the little day to day wins seem to be swept under carpet and the negatives start to take a leading role. Employers need to know what you have accomplished and understand how good you are! Your CV/application will only benefit from you adding on about that time you won that award, or when you achieved ‘Outstanding’ in line with CQC requirements etc
  • Utilise reliable/well networked head-hunters (me). Obviously, I am going to encourage people to use either myself or Compass Associates when searching for a new role, but that is because I genuinely believe a reliable and well networked head-hunter can introduce you to the right business and potentially secure you your forever job. In some cases these jobs are not advertised online and a good head-hunter can advise you on upcoming vacancies as well as introduce you to senior people within a business that you don’t have any connection to. Not only that, but some of my closest clients are in regular contact with me to ask if I can introduce them to high performing people in the sector, especially if there is a confidential role on the horizon that they don’t wish to make public. So, my advice, find a head-hunter that knows your sector, inside and out, and stay close to them. You never know what kind of opportunities they could present you with.

Current changes you foresee within the sector?

Most of my work is based around middle management and senior vacancies within the Elderly care sector and for sure I envisage a lot more businesses focusing on their ‘people development’ and ‘retention rates’. For so long, I have seen companies put a huge focus on bringing in new recruits (especially at management level), when the best person for the role is sitting in a junior position elsewhere in the business already!

With agency costs rocketing and the lack of new talent entering the care sector, it is imperative that businesses put plans in place to keep people in post for longer. One way of doing this is by giving your junior employers a platform and development program to grow their careers within your business and become future leaders – some of the most successful providers in the sector have managers who have been with the business for years.

Nine out of ten times, I can guarantee that provider will have flawless online reviews as well as compliant reports in line with regulatory requirements.

Career highlight within Compass Associates

I’m really fortunate that I have so many positive career highlights to date that I’m really proud to share, mainly because Compass have given me the opportunities to continue to grow my career. If I had to pick a standout moment, I would say that being promoted to an Associate Director is my highlight to date.

Starting in the business eight years ago as a trainee consultant with minimal to no knowledge of how recruitment works, I had no idea or thought process that I would be running a team of ambitious, likeminded and hardworking people whilst maintaining my billing status within the elderly care sector.

A bit about you outside of work

I’m a huge sports fan; football, cricket, golf, tennis – you name it, I’m all for it! Although I’m not much of a participant any more I still manage to get out and about to play a bit (a lot) of golf. Originally, I’m a country bumpkin from South Cheshire/North Staffs and after finishing my degree at Chester University, I decided to build a life in Manchester. Since then I’ve never looked back – what a city! The people are great, the nightlife is great, and there’s a bunch of fun things to do and be a part of.

Find out more about Tom and the rest of the Elderly Care division. For all the latest news from Compass Associates, find out more here