Zenopa, managing director, Mark Denton

Key Industry Interview

Recruitment: Focus on Zenopa

Mark Denton is the managing director of Zenopa, a recruitment agency which sources commercial staff for the medical, pharmaceutical, pharmacy, scientific, dental, vet and FMCG industries. As a child, he was never sure what he wanted to do or be. However, he was always commercially minded, selling biscuits and cakes on the school bus and as a teenager buying from auctions to sell on to retailers, this soon taught him that he wanted a challenging and lucrative career. "As an undergraduate I was hitchhiking and I kept getting lifts with travelling sales executives," he explains. "They were the ones with the best cars and most interesting jobs. I had a choice between going back to university to do a PhD and working. I decided I wanted to start a career and make some money."

He has been with Zenopa for 17 years now and believes it offers one of the best environments for those looking for a commercial role but who also enjoy a team atmosphere and a positive workplace. "The appeal with Zenopa is really the amount of team support," Mr Denton states. "In the recruitment world traditionally, what happens is when you leave your desk, your work stops. That means that when you're on holiday for example, it is costing you income. In the Zenopa environment, we ensure desk coverage in a team environment so that, whatever the reason you are not at your desk, your income stream continues."

It is clear that Mr Denton considers a work/life balance to be an important consideration for those working in recruitment which by its service function is a high commitment role. The managing director continues: "This allows you to go on holiday without stresses and without financial concerns. It allows you to enjoy time outside of work without the stress of missing the call that would make you your income, it allows you to have a life outside of work, rather than spending your life connected to your BlackBerry / mobile phone for fear you might miss something."

This setup illustrates the tone throughout the whole company, the Zenopa boss insists, and it does affect how the organisation selects staff. "Our whole ethos and value set has team spirit embodied into it, which filters throughout our recruitment processes, the company and how we reward and recognise individuals within the company," Mr Denton notes, adding: "One of our values here at Zenopa is mutual support. We recruit people to our value set and we reward individuals. This encourages people to bring empathy for their other team members to work with them and to support each other."

Despite the supportive atmosphere, he is keen to highlight that the roles on offer are very commercial, requiring dedicated and passionate members of the team. "In the sectors we're in, there is a very high demand for service from our customers and that means that we have to recruit people who are willing to give a lot of themselves and understandably seek a high income for this," Mr Denton explains candidly. "Therefore, our staff's work/life balance has to be driven by a demanding work commitment for a high spend life style, rather than someone who is content to have a less work commitment with more personal time, but a lower cost life style. We want passionate people but we need to have people who require a high income stream."

However, there are many sectors which require a commercial team, so why does Mr Denton believe candidates should move towards recruitment? Well he explains, recruitment offers variety and a changing workload within an environment where a person can add fifty percent plus to their income with commission and bonuses, much as many commercial roles, Recruitment as an industry though, offers a considerable advantage for sociable workers. "It is primarily office based, rather than field based. This will appeal to those who prefer to go to an office to work, rather than being on your own driving around in a car. They prefer to have the atmosphere of their desk and the colleagues they can talk to on a daily basis," Mr Denton explains.

Recruitment, it seems, offers an ideal blend of sales incentives within an office - and Zenopa allows commercial staff the chance to work hard and earn well, while still have time and funding to play hard too.

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