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Interview With

Matt Hanley, MTWO Q & A

With the need to bring young people into the industry and difficulties finding skilled workers, we catch up with the man behind recruitment company MTWO to find out more about what the company does and how we can bring new talent into print

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Matt Hanley founded MTWO three years ago and has 13 years of recruitment experience

First up, tell me a bit about yourself...

I’m a dad first and foremost to my three kids William, Louis, and Hugo. I’m also husband to Lyndsey who also works in MTWO, and am a huge football fan and season ticket holder at Manchester City. I have terrible taste in music and am ridiculously reliant upon coffee to function (probably the kids' fault).

How did you come to be in the print industry yourself?

Unlike most people, I chose to be in the print industry. Bonkers eh?! Before working in recruitment I worked as a business development manager for a purchasing club that sold the premise that bulk purchasing would mean lower prices.

These had to be within social housing or independent private healthcare and one of the categories I looked after was print. I got on really well with the suppliers so took an interest. When I joined my first recruitment business, I was asked to build a ‘desk’ which means to focus on an industry and so for me it was print!

Tell me about MTWO for anyone who isn’t aware of what the company does...

Simply, we Match Talent With Opportunity (MTWO) specifically across the print, packaging, and signage sectors.

From a client’s point of view, we will be an extension of your business when attracting industry talent for your business. We are proactive not just reactive relying on people to apply through an advert. We’ve been in this industry for many years so have a pretty extensive network!

Hanley’s wife Lyndsey also works in MTWO 

MTWO finds roles for those in the print, graphics, and signage industries

As a candidate, you know you’re dealing with a recruiter that knows the space. We know organisations that will fit with your aspirations, location, and drivers. More than this though, we do what we say we are going to do. We call, we follow up, we manage the process for you, and most importantly, we feed back.

MTWO is in its third year with four of us working within the business. I am personally into my 13th year of recruitment within this sector so you can imagine the network of industry professionals we have.

What does a typical day look like at MTWO?

It’s recruitment, there isn’t a typical day. We try and keep to a structure the best we can but things happen and stuff shifts.

Our typical day starts the night before where we plan and structure the day so we come in knowing what to focus on. The day is normally split into sourcing for two positions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon and then we plan for the next day. Sounds simple, but it’s not!
What is your favourite thing about MTWO?

My name above the door. I care about the recruitment process, those within it, the journey, the service we provide, and how we do it. For me, you do that (and do it well) and everything else will look after itself.  We have lots of repeat business and we have solid relationships and that is a reflection of us providing an exceptional level of service.

Can you give any examples of jobs that you have matched people up with recently?

It literally spans across every level within the industry. The most recent placement was an Estimator role in Birmingham for a commercial print business and a Creative Project Manager in Surrey for a large-format and vehicle branding business. Outside of these two, we’ve placed everything and anything, as long as the business is in the industry, we will recruit the role you need.
Do you find there are any specific roles that are in demand more than others?

No, it’s a skilled industry and there’s always been (and will always be in my opinion) more opportunities than there are good skilled industry people. For a recruiter, this is tough as it takes time and patience to unearth the talent. That said, we’re 12 years in so we must be doing something right. The biggest thing for me is that people know I’m only a call away or am here when they are ready to look at the market.

What are three tips you’d give to a company looking to hire new talent?

Good people are hard to find so make sure you have a plan in place for the process. If you don’t have one, we will talk you through the best ones. The period between offering the job and the person starting with your business is vitally important, don’t forget that.

If you are using a recruiter, don’t work with more than two as the benefits you think it will have working with loads of recruiters will actually be the opposite.

What are three tips you’d give to a candidate looking for a new role in the industry?

Clarity is huge. Be clear on your reasons for looking, clear on the reasons you want the new job, clear on your decision to leave, and not be persuaded to stay.

Be flexible. Interviewing is tough, people are busy. Show willingness and commitment to the process to be flexible to requests.

Make sure your CV is the best it can be. This opens the door, so make it punchy and leave enough questions for the hiring manager to want to chat with you. We’ve written a blog on this to help, just shout if you want a link for it.

We hear a lot that there is an ageing workforce and a lack of young people in the industry. As a recruiter, what is your opinion on this and can we do more to bridge this gap?

This is a fact. There’s so much good activity around this at the minute. You don’t have to look far to see the Next Generation with FESPA UK, or the Rising Star Awards with The Printing Charity, or any event now having Rising Star/Talent categories. We need to see more of it.

For organisations hiring youth, MacroArt is a great example of how to do it directly with local schools and colleges. As a recruiter, my value is obviously finding experienced talent within the industry new opportunities. It’s rare that we bring talent into the industry from other areas, but we should. There are so many transferrable skills. This is an education piece.

MTWO finds roles for those in the print, graphics, and signage industries 

About youth though, I’d love to run, in partnership with anybody looking at bringing youth into the industry, maybe an open day which includes assessment-type activities. I haven’t done one yet but it’s on the horizon.

With print being a skilled, manufacturing industry, are there any challenges with recruiting for a ‘niche’ industry?

The challenges are the lack of skilled people at any one time. Be that production, studio, client services, or salespeople, there’s just not enough of them!

For anyone wanting to chat to you to find out more about what MTWO can offer, how can people get in touch?

I love a chat, so the best and easiest way is 0161 399 0804. If you would rather get an email across to me, that’s cool too matt@m-two.uk. In the event that you didn’t want a chat yet but prefer a mooch around the website, you can visit that here – www.m-two.uk.

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