Faith Collins: Celebrating Nine Years with Sewell Wallis

Faith Collins: Celebrating Nine Years with Sewell Wallis

Faith is rapidly heading towards her 10-year anniversary at Sewell Wallis. As she crosses her nine-year mark, we asked her to reflect on this significant milestone, tell us why she’s stayed with the business so long, discuss the ups and downs, and ponder on what else she wants to accomplish during her time here.

Growing with Sewell Wallis

I joined Sewell Wallis in 2015, off the back of nearly 5 years working as a Recruitment Resourcer for Capita, where I managed the end-to-end recruitment processes for over thirty clients, maintaining their websites, external advertising and liaising with clients directly.

When I started with the business, I was ambitious and eager to make a real difference in the world of accounting and finance recruitment.

Over the years, I’ve grown in my role and been promoted three times. I’ve taken on a number of new challenges, including moving to managing the Senior Finance desk and the management of a team. I’ve learned from each of these experiences and developed a deeper understanding of the finance industry because of them. Sewell Wallis, and my manager, Kayley, have provided me with a nurturing environment, that encourages professional growth and supports continuous learning, allowing me to evolve from a novice recruiter in the field to a seasoned expert who’s well-known within the finance sector.

Building lasting relationships

One of the most rewarding aspects of my time at Sewell Wallis has been the relationships I’ve built and maintained over the years with my candidates and clients. A lot of the people I worked with when I first started out are in senior positions in the region and are now long-standing clients, who come back to me again and again because they value the honest and straightforward service I’ve provided over the years. Watching many of my candidates progress in their careers has been incredibly fulfilling, and being able to work with them multiple times is a real testament to nurturing talent and providing opportunities for growth, for them and for Sewell Wallis.

Witnessing the evolution of the finance industry

It’s been almost ten years since I joined the finance recruitment industry, and there have been some serious changes to the landscape during that time. All industries evolve, but finance has seen some significant shifts, both in terms of how the industry operates and in terms of culture.

Finance has become ‘trendier’, for want of a better word. A lot of people have realised that working in the finance team of a successful business is a lucrative career path, one that can open doors into more commercial roles – we see more people these days move from higher level finance management into Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer roles, for example.

The culture within finance teams has become more collaborative and there’s a strong focus on technology. Interdepartmental collaboration has become more important, with finance teams increasingly working closely with other departments like IT, marketing, and operations. 

We’ve seen a rise in Business Partnering roles, and the role of finance has moved from being seen as a team of ‘number-crunchers’ to acting as strategic partners to the business, who advise other departments, contribute to overall strategy and ensure the business as a whole understand how financial strategies align with the goals of the wider business.

Leaving the EU also changed how our UK regulatory landscape was shaped, and the finance sector has had to navigate new regulatory standards.                                             

There have also been numerous technological advancements in the finance industry. The rise of fintech, innovations in mobile technology and new ways of investing have all created ‘new’ finance roles. AI and big data have also made their mark, enhancing the ways we manage risk, detect fraud and improve workflows. The finance sector is a lot more data-driven than in the past, and these newer technologies have led to a need for roles like Data Analysts and FP&A Managers, driven by the need for strategic financial management in a business environment that is increasingly complex and sometimes volatile.

Looking to the future

I’m excited about the future both in terms of my time at Sewell Wallis and the changes that are on the horizon within the finance sector. I look forward to helping more senior finance professionals achieve their career aspirations and supporting my long-standing clients to build strong and dynamic teams that are ready for the future. I’m also keen to build more relationships in Sheffield and South Yorkshire; the region’s business environment has transformed significantly, shifting from a traditional manufacturing base to a diverse economy with strengths in advanced manufacturing, technology, education, and the creative industries. There’s a real buzz around the city and lots of new things popping up, and I’m excited to support that growth.

The last nine years with Sewell Wallis have been an exciting ride – I’ve grown professionally, and I’m grateful for all of the experiences, the relationships I’ve built over my time here, and the opportunities I’ve been presented with. I’m so thankful to Kayley and Sue for supporting my development and helping me be the best recruiter I can be. I can’t wait to see what challenges the future holds.

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