Fiona Pownall has just celebrated three years working at Blakeney Point Search & Selection. During this time, Blakeney Point has developed and grown into one of the UK’s top recruitment agencies for the Food & Drink Industry.
As the company’s Commercial Director, Fiona has been there to help guide Blakeney Point over the past three years. When we, like many companies, were faced with uncertainty in the market, we found new ways to grow, expand and develop Blakeney Point.
We asked Fiona questions about her recruitment journey, how the past three years have gone, and her view on the future of Blakeney Point Search & Selection.
Can you tell us more about your role and background?
After graduating from university, I went to London to do a graduate job at an insurance business. I decided that wasn’t quite right for me and so I went to do something totally different – I managed a freehold pub for several years. I gained a really strong work ethic from that; working 7 days a week is challenging! Then I started working in recruitment within the food industry when I was 26 and absolutely loved it.
What do you like the most about working at Blakeney Point?
I love that we are an independent business but at the same time, we are also part of a £100m turnover group. Being a part of a larger group means we have access to lots of group training and development opportunities which I haven’t experienced in smaller businesses.
I also really enjoy the team aspect of working at Blakeney Point – working with other passionate individuals is what makes the business really fun to be in.
What is your favourite part about your job? What excites you most?
There are a few things! I like the variety of work, the pace, new challenges and working with new customers. I also feel grateful to have a loyal base of clients and candidates who I have worked with and who have supported me over my career. Probably one of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping someone to secure a role that they really want and then seeing them progress. Some of the people I helped at the start of my career in recruitment are now directors of companies.
I’m also a real foodie so seeing and learning how food is manufactured is great!
I like to broaden my thought processes, I think it helps with the job especially when I work with people all day. Understanding others is a really important skill in my opinion.
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments since your start in 2019?
Starting in essentially a new business and developing our client base to where it is now has been a big achievement which I am really proud of.
For me, being able to branch out and recruit other jobs has been really interesting. My recruitment background has mostly been Commercial, Marketing and Managing Directors but I’ve placed Operations Directors, Chief Engineers and currently, Head of IT. I like that the environment we’ve created at Blakeney Point allows for constant learning.
How would you describe the work ethic at Blakeney Point?
Focussed, driven and customer-centric.
What is the commitment to professional development in your opinion?
As a business, we use all the training resources provided by the wider group which has been invaluable. Only last week I went on a Mental Health Awareness course and will be doing the full qualification later in the year.
Outside of work, I dedicate time to developing myself; I listen to podcasts on personal growth most mornings. I like to broaden my thought processes, I think it helps with the job especially when I work with people all day. Understanding others is a really important skill in my opinion.
What is your biggest hope for the next 3/4 years at Blakeney Point? In what ways do you expect to grow?
We have big and exciting plans for the business, we’re growing the team and setting up new divisions and finding new ways to support our clients as much as we can.
After the past few years when the industry has been turbulent, I think the next 3-4 years are going to be the most significant in our current growth.
Thank you Fiona for sharing your story and experience with us.
We are looking forward to many more years together!