Orbis Spotlight Interviews with Jessica Moore, Head of Contracts


Career, Team Orbis

The most important foundation of Orbis is our people. So to celebrate the different characters we have within the business, we’re sitting down with our team for spotlight interviews to find out more about the passions, motivators and journeys that create the backbone of our culture.

Jessica Moore, Head of Contracts sits down with Hannah to talk about pivotal career moments in Recruitment, the importance of inclusion and her love for Lapland and Whitney Houston.

Hannah: Hey Jess! Let’s start at the beginning; How were you introduced to recruitment?

Jess: After school I worked in Lapland and ventured around Europe. Then I moved to London and became an estate agent. I was an estate agent for about five years in Barnes, which was hardcore sales. Then someone recommended that I should try recruitment. I think that’s quite a common transition.

I had an interview at a little start-up in Covent Garden run by these two lovely ladies. It was temporary recruitment and focused on administrational roles, PA’s and receptionists, which has a quick turnaround. We didn’t have a database, so that was a really weird way to learn. We had a box on the table full of names, which nowadays would have been a complete GDPR nightmare!

Then I moved to a company, which is where my career in recruitment really started taking off. I was learning about KPIs, targets, business development and contracts. They focused on Creative roles. That was an interesting environment because I think that was where I really had an insight into how batty and crazy recruiters are. We had a bar in the office, candidates would come in and we hosted loads of fun events. It was good exposure to being a good salesperson.

Then I spoke to the owner of another agency and moved over. I focused on Client Services, within Advertising firms for instance. That was brilliant. I progressed up to a senior level and I found that I was good at business development. I missed contracts though, as I was doing permanent recruitment there. There's a lot more detail that comes with permanent recruitment. I like to have lots of plates spinning and a fast pace.

After that I moved out of London, joined a company in Reading and continued working across PR and contracts. I expanded the desk further, so we were doing anything from Client Services to Strategy to Project Management. Anything that came up that was created in a creative company, I was giving it a go. Then I naturally just fell into Contracts there. We worked across Web Design, UX UI design, Marketing and Advertising.

Then the opportunity at Orbis came up, where I am now Head of Contracts across UK, Europe and USA.

Hannah: That's an awesome story. What career moment really stands out for you?

Jess: Sales can be quite a thankless task at the beginning, you put a hell of a lot of energy into something and it takes a really long time to see the benefits of all your hard work. So, I would say honestly, I've got myself to a point where the hard work is starting to pay off.

Joining Orbis, being recognised for Business Development efforts and then moving to being Head of Contracts has probably been a moment where I’m like, ‘Yes, this is actually the role I should be doing.’

My position at Orbis gives me the opportunity to go to New York, or wherever I want in the world. I can grow my team and still do the bits of the role I love without stepping too far away from the delivery.

Hannah: What are your goals, what do you want to achieve over the next year going into 2021 and coming out of Covid-19, what do you want to build here at Orbis?

Jess: I suppose, because of Covid, I haven't been able to go to New York and that was always the plan.

My plan is to get the contracts division up and running. To have folks in London, folks in Europe, and then go out to the US and help build the team there too.

Hannah: Within recruitment and a sales environment, we have lots of quick wins and it can differ to other roles in terms of what success can be defined as, but what does it mean to you personally? What does success mean to you and what does it mean to be successful at your role?

Jess: For me, it's recognition from internal colleagues. Whether they are more senior or junior, that you are the ‘go to’ and that you're approachable.

This has probably changed in the last three months. I think with Covid happening, there's been so much time for reflection.

Success is being somewhere you want to work, where you're going to be putting in all those hours of your life? I think you've pretty much made it if you're working in an environment where you're happy to put those extra hours in every week and you want to come into work.

Even from the point of view of working from home, being motivated and being keen to impress. In a weird way that’s some sort of success in itself as it's not easy working from home.

There's so many elements of success but for me it's mainly gaining recognition from peers.

Hannah: You've worked closely with all-women teams before and we talk about women in tech and women in the recruitment industry a lot at Orbis. What's your experience of being a woman in tech recruitment?

Jess: I think there’s few women in tech and few women in sales roles as well.

I am a feminist and I'm passionate about women having a voice and being empowered by their peers. I don't necessarily think it's a problem having men in the room, I think if anything, that's what you need!

I’m passionate about creating an environment so that people feel safe, whoever they are. If you’re the minority, feel safe in your environment to speak up and feel that there's opportunity, then that environment is correct.

That’s one thing I wanted to make sure of when I was moving companies. I'm happy being the only female in the room as long as everybody else is listening to me and making me feel heard, exactly the same way I would make them feel heard.

I think Orbis has that down. We are all on the same level and it's actually a very nice environment to work in. From interviews and initial conversations with people at Orbis, I knew very quickly that there was not going to be any glass ceiling, any stifling or oppression within all of this.

Hannah: You’re a feminist, passionate about Inclusion and empowering women in the workplace. Do you actively work on this within your role?

Jess: Yes, definitely. It's really important to make sure you're always campaigning and champion everyone around you. Especially if there's women in the room, it's really important. That's not to say that I wouldn't champion any men, I'm very much a cheerleader for everybody!

Diversity and Inclusion is massive for me. I'm big on creating a safe space for people to feel comfortable to join an environment. No one should feel they are the minority, a token, or a tick box.

Orbis are really good at keeping the conversation on that topic constantly flowing. ‘Are we creating the right environments?’ ‘Are we attracting the right people?’

We're not all cut from the same cloth at Orbis, which is actually very rare in a company. Normally you feel everyone's very similar, but we've got an eclectic group of people which is quite nice.

Hannah: Amazing. Before we wrap this up, what are you reading, listening to, watching right now? Any cool books, podcasts, blogs, new albums we should add to the library?

Jess: I’ve got a Spotify playlist that gets me through the day when I’m working at home. It’s called ‘2010 hits’, I’m so un-cool.

Hannah: I didn’t know that was a pivotal year for music…

Jess: I didn't even know either, but I just really love it. I know all the words to songs and I just love having music on all the time. The cheesier the better, Whitney Houston is my soul sister!

I recently discovered Audible. I’ve been listening to it on my walks and I’m finding it really therapeutic.

I've been listening to ‘Why I No longer Talk to White People About Race’, ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ and Michelle Obama's ‘Becoming’. 

Hannah: That's very healthy. Favourite place to eat and drink? We need to gather some lunch club locations…

Jess: A little Italian on Endell Street. It’s the size of a train carriage, it’s the smallest place and you would easily walk past it. It’s really authentic. They do the best lobster linguine of all time.  

Otherwise Santa Maria del Sur in Battersea. It's an Argentinian Steakhouse.  

Hannah: Favourite staycation location?

Jess: Whitstable, Margate or Broadstairs.

Hannah: What’s your favourite place to travel abroad? Where could we go for our next incentive trip?

Jess: My favourite place in the whole world is Lapland.

Thanks Jess! 

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