Supporting role: Ben Debnam and Chris Kent

February 1, 2018

Managing consultant Chris Kent joined Nigel Wright in 2015 to set up the sales and marketing service at the recruitment firm’s new Wynyard office. His line manager is associate director Ben Debnam, who is based in Newcastle. The pair meet regularly to discuss client progression and the Tees Valley marketplace

Ben Debnam 
Associate director 

I met Chris about three years ago. At the time, he was working for a competitor but I’d heard positive things from our candidate and client base, which prompted us to approach him to join Nigel Wright. My first impression of Chris was that he was someone who was meticulously organised and driven.

As his line manager, I meet with Chris every week. Our discussions are centred around the marketplace and what is going on with businesses in the Tees Valley region. We also spend a large proportion of our time talking about his clients and their development, as ways to grow the business.

At Nigel Wright, we have a true ‘one team’ structure from graduate to board level. This allows us to share information between teams and really understand the challenges our clients face at all levels.

I think I have helped Chris to develop his role as a coach rather than a manager, as well as helping him vary his style and approach depending on the people that he interacts with.

One of the things I always look out for when hiring people is whether they may bring something different to my own skill set. Chris has been central in developing my operational skills, which have helped me to scale the businesses that I am responsible for.

Chris can achieve anything he wants to in our business. He is passionate about making sure we are the recruitment partner of choice in the Tees Valley and his growing team is testament to that. As part of our regional strategy, we’re committed to growing our presence in North Yorkshire and Chris will play an integral part in achieving that.

Chris Kent 
Managing consultant 

Having studied business studies at university, I was keen to undertake a commercially-focused career. Recruitment seemed to provide a platform with excellent reward opportunities and I proactively applied to a number of well-known brand names within the recruitment industry, successfully securing a role.

I was headhunted by Nigel Wright in June 2015 after ten successful years with my previous recruitment company (the last six years in a management position). The firm was looking for an experienced hire to set up a sales and marketing specialism in its new office in Wynyard, reporting into the divisional head in our head office in Newcastle, Ben.

I lead the sales and marketing team in Wynyard, recruiting commercial professionals for organisations in the southern half of the North East and the North Yorkshire area. I run my own recruitment desk, focusing on mid-senior level hires, and manage a team that focuses on entry to mid-level hires.

Ben is my official line manager and is one of our associate directors. He manages me remotely from our head office in Newcastle but we meet once a week to discuss market place developments, performance reports and plans for driving the Wynyard sales and marketing team forward. We also hold a quarterly appraisal/review meeting, which is more formal.

In my early days with the company, Ben taught me a lot of marketplace information and discussions were more detail focused about the day-to-day job. As our relationship has progressed, my learning has been driven more by Ben being a coach, facilitating the development of my own management skills. As a result, I have been able to develop my team and coach them more effectively.

I would like to continue to grow my team and career Nigel Wright and this is actively encouraged from the top down within the company.

Nigel Wright

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