Celebrating Six Years of OTB Recruitment
July is very special for us at Outside the Box Recruitment, as this month we celebrate our anniversary! The world is looking very different from when director Charmain Gyles-Ferguson founded OTB six years ago, and of course our lives have undergone some radical changes in the time since then.
Through thick and thin, we’ve worked with some amazing candidates, clients, companies and newly emerging talent. We can’t do what we do without them and the contributions of our interns and team members over the last six years. For that, we want to say a huge thank you.
It’s hard to believe that OTB quickly went from a concept to a fully-fledged business in the space of two weeks. Nevertheless, soon after Charmain had left her previous role with an influential recruitment agency, she collaborated with the digital marketing agency digital360.mobi to design and launch the OTB website.She contacted her luxury fashion connections, friends, and prior colleagues she had met over her twenty years of working in the fashion recruitment industry. She then set about sourcing and headhunting great candidates building an excessive database of global talent, enabling her to build a recruitment consultancy with her ethos and beliefs.
Now, six years later, OTB Recruitment is continuing to headhunt, source and match exceptional candidates with some of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands and has helped to launch and develop the careers of some of the industry’s brightest talents. With their consultancy services, OTB has also helped businesses big and small realise their potential, thanks to Charmain’s extensive and holistic knowledge of the fashion industry.
In this month’s celebration blog, we wanted to look at the past, the present and the future of OTB, with a personal thank you and message from Charmain.
Before founding OTB, Charmain already had a broad skillset and knowledge of the fashion industry under her belt. As a fashion area manager, she developed the skills to manage a ten-million-pound business and understood every cog that makes the global fashion machine turn; from operations to buying and merchandising, design and production, marketing, wholesale and beyond.
When she entered the recruitment sector, she had a 360 understanding of the world of fashion she could apply to every candidate she worked with and knew exactly what clients were looking for and what the job realistically demanded.
Since OTB’s inception, the company has gone on to work with and recruit some phenomenal talent into its team. This has included an array of people at different stages in their career, from interns breaking into the industry to seasoned veterans. Career development and mentorship is incredibly important to OTB, and we’ve seen many of our candidates go on to become our clients and our interns go on to work with the likes of Hermès, Harrods, Gucci, the Shangri-La Hotel and Edmond de Rothschild.
OTB has recruited entire new stores for international brands expanding into the British market and even recruited for brands across Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Australia. OTB has worked with senior and junior candidates who clearly demonstrated great potential but were nervous and lacked confidence in an interview setting. We’ve given them the coaching and guidance they needed to go through the interviewing process with self-belief and determination.
Recruitment is and should be, first and foremost, a people business. At OTB, we believe getting under the skin of a client and a candidate, forging collaborations and working relationships that are built to last and focusing on happiness and growth should be the true guiding principles of any recruitment process. We’re proud of our legacy and ethos as well as the collaborators, clients and candidates who have helped us realise this business model.
In this moment, for many of us it’s difficult to separate the past form the present. We’re still very much feeling the effects of Covid-19, Brexit, the challenges of sustainability and the impact of Black Lives Matter and sometimes it can feel like the demands of the fashion industry, the demands of companies and the demands of workers are accelerating at a pace which is difficult to keep up with. Our monthly blog page explores these challenges in detail!
In one of our most recent blogs, The Great Resignation, we explored how the labour market has completely transformed over the last three years and how that is, in turn, transforming the world of recruitment. For many of us working in luxury fashion, whether we’re candidates, companies or recruiters, there’s no doubt we’re facing a range of challenges.
We need to be conscious about sustainability and climate practices, diversity and inclusivity in our hiring processes, mental health and wellbeing, gaps and shortages in the labour market, flexibility and hybrid working, training and growth, corporate development, contingency plans for disrupted supply-chains and so much more.
It’s hard to fathom just how much has changed in the last six years since OTB launched, and as a result we’ve had plenty of our own ups-and-downs, large influxes of demand and quieter periods during the days of lockdown.
Despite these challenges, there’s no stopping us, as we’re currently recruiting across
retail operations, head office, design, production and wholesale departments for clients based in the heart of London and the other side of the world in Australia.
The luxury fashion industry might be facing some unprecedented challenges, but just as equally, it may be facing a period of revolution. It’s for these reasons, we believe that now the time is ripe to discover and nurture new talent and help clients and their companies brace for evolution and change.
We’ve witnessed so much of our lives change in the last three years and who knows where we will find ourselves yet again in three years’ time. With this in mind, OTB’s very own Founder and Director Charmain reflected on the last six years, the future and wanted to wish a big thank you to her partners and collaborators.
“When I started OTB, I had no idea where it was going to go or if it would thrive against larger and more established agencies, but after years of developing my career in the fashion industry and recruitment, I decided it was time to put my skills and my ethos to use with my own recruitment consultancy. Even to this day, nothing will beat calling a candidate to say ‘you’ve got the job’. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many fantastically talented and committed individuals in my time and I’ll be forever grateful for them enlisting their trust in me.
During Covid, I was fortunate to have some work coming in, but of course the pandemic was a challenging time; now, OTB has never been busier! We’re living through some big changes in our industry, some of which I believe are long overdue, particularly concerning diversity and inclusivity. It can be overwhelming and daunting for some brands, but in the future, I hope that I can use my years of knowledge and the consultancy services OTB offers to help clients navigate these challenges and come out stronger.
Once again, a big thank you to everyone I’ve had the opportunity to partner with over the last six years. Working in an industry that’s so focused on hitting KPIs and targets, it’s easy to forget that in recruitment, our focus should be on the wellbeing and prosperity of our candidates and clients. I would never want to introduce or place someone in a role they’re not happy with. At the end of the day, I really hope I’ve been able to make a positive impact on the lives of the people I’ve worked with, and OTB will always be dedicated to doing just that.”
Whether you’ve been following OTB’s journey for the last six years or you’ve recently discovered us, we want to say a huge THANK YOU! We hope that you’re inspired by our ethos and will join us for the next six years…who knows where it could take us. OTB has witnessed potential talent go from strength to strength, rekindled partnerships with clients and friends of old, as we continue working with super luxury heritage brands and new up and coming brands.
We’re always looking to the future and building new relationships. If you would like to find out more: recruit for your business, take the first steps to landing your dream job in luxury fashion, receive bespoke and expert consultancy services or you just want to have a chat, OTB is ready at the other end of the phone. Contact us today 020 7169 3000 to find out more and follow us on our social sites to keep up to date.
A BIG THANK YOU for being a part of our journey.