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Being on the Other Side

Bilge Blog

If you think back to previous roles that you’ve had have any of them come in handy for your current role? This is what I was reflecting on the other day. I realised that my previous role as a Policy Advisor has helped me in all areas of my current role as a Client Manager in the Government & Policy sector for Beyond Recruitment. There are several advantages of having worked in a space I am currently recruiting in that I thought I would share with you.

I’ve Had Hands on Experience

So, what does a Policy Advisor actually do? Simply put, a Policy Advisor’s main role is to consult and advise the government. A Policy Advisor can be very involved in the policy-making process. For example, they can help to identify and investigate a particular problem or concern, and then recommend suitable courses of action for policy-makers.

Having worked as a Policy Advisor in government before recruiting for that space, I get to click with my candidates and clients on a different level. I’m able to speak from experience, because I’ve truly had experience. That’s where my expertise comes from and I can advise both candidates and clients with their decisions.

There are other benefits that come with it as well. My experience creates a sense of trust with both my clients and candidates when I am talking to them. Mostly because they know that I have a deep understanding of what I am talking about and have gone through it myself. Not only this, but it shows I am passionate about this industry and truly interested in the sector. Not only have I walked the walk myself, but I’ve remained in touch with the sector and want to help others with the role!

It Moves the Interview Along Smoothly

One of the big advantages with candidates is that I have a good idea about their background. Quite often during an interview I find myself discussing a particular project the candidate had worked on in detail. This gives a much better understanding of the candidate’s level of experience too. Also, once I tell my candidate that I once was in the policy sector, I find that they get to relax a bit. It makes the interview atmosphere change slightly; from an interview with a recruiter to a formal chat about policy experience to another Policy Advisor.

And for the candidates I interview who are new to the career path, I find myself passing on tips and advice from my own experience. I quite often ask which organisations they would like to work for and why. Depending on their answers I can give them a greater insight on some departments, giving them my own opinion from experience and sometimes changing their mind.

When it comes to my clients, if we need to fill in Policy Advisor roles for clients, again my past experience in government comes in handy. In fact, my very first client meeting for a job brief with my colleague Paul Ordish was for the exact role I was in as a Policy Advisor. I must have come across knowledgeable with the questions I asked the client in my very first client interview!

I Can Expand My Network

Another perk of my job is that I’m able to expand and build my network further. Ultimately, having worked in the government, I came into recruitment with already established relationships in the government. My relationships weren’t only restricted to who I actually worked with or worked for but all the interdepartmental relationships I developed during consultations or projects that involved multi departments.

In fact, I often find myself bumping into Principal Advisors and Managers who I’ve known from my Policy Advisor days. Both on a personal and professional level, it’s always a delight to catch up with these clients. This also helps my clients and candidates, as these strong relationships can give me a greater understanding of my clients’ needs, and my network can help me to connect candidates with great opportunities in the policy space.


My time as a Policy Advisor was a great time in my career, and I also gained some valuable insights into the market. Now that I am recruiting for this sector, I’m able to apply what I learned then to what I do now. Most importantly though, candidates and clients can walk away satisfied if they’re consulting with someone who has been there, done that, and knows what they’re talking about.

If you have any questions or you’re interested in the Government & Policy sector, feel free to get in touch today. 

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