Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Jonathan Wiles, managing director, Michael Page Human Resources 31/10/2012
Career interview with Jonathan Wiles, managing director, Page Personnel Secretarial & Business Support and Michael Page Human Resources.
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Brief CV history
- 2010–present: managing director – Page Personnel Secretarial & Business Support and Michael Page Human Resources (UK)
- 2006–2010: managing director – technology, marketing, sales HR, legal, retail (Australia)
- 2004–2006: regional director – Michael Page Marketing (UK)
- 2005–2005: operating director – Michael Page Sales (UK)
Q & A interview questions
Q. When you were a kid, what was your career dream?
A. As a kid I was fascinated with all things big and noisy with four wheels so my earliest memory of wanting to do a job was becoming a fireman primarily because of the fire truck itself.
Q. How did you get to where you are now?
A. Like most of the leadership here, I began my career as a consultant. I joined Michael Page Marketing and have since worked for and led many more of our businesses. But it was perseverance and hard work that got me where I am today.
Q. Who inspired you along your career journey, and why?
A. It sounds a bit cheesy but it has primarily been our current CEO Steve Ingham. It was he who hired me into the business and he’s been instrumental in my success, largely due to his leadership style and by living the core values of the business. In an organically-grown, meritocratic environment my career progression has been based on results.
Q. Why did you join your current organisation?
A. I had the opportunity to step into a larger business that had a track record of success. When I joined Michael Page, it was a privately owned business with a £30m turnover and it’s grown into what we are today, so we’ve come a long way.
Q. Describe your typical day.
A. There is no typical day! You’re thrown into a million different things, and something can come up at anytime that will change the course of the day. Most days involve business planning and strategy, managing and developing people, ensuring operational objectives are met and providing a consistency of service. One thing doesn’t change; I’m always up at 5.30am and don’t get home until 7.00pm.
Q. What’s your greatest achievement?
A. The opportunity to go to Australia back in 2006. I was part of a small senior management team that doubled the business’ revenue in a two year period in what is a very mature and competitive market, equally it gave me the opportunity for my promotion to managing director.
Q. What are your biggest challenges?
A. Pursuing the objective of being the leader in all the markets we serve and maintaining the balance between managing a market leading business such as Michael Page Human Resources and a growing smaller, ambitious brand such as Page Personnel Secretarial & Business Support, which has huge scope.
- Business book: Martin Johnson’s autobiography. Much of what he says about leading a team to emerge as world champions can be applied to business.
- Website: Changeboard of course, but in addition I use the BBC news and Financial Times sites to keep up with what is going on in the world.
- Music: My taste in music is massively diverse; if you looked on my iPod you’d see everything from Coldplay to Paolo Nutini to Leona Lewis. ‘Pictures of You’ by The Cure is one of my all time favourite songs.
- TV programme/film: I am afraid I have to admit to being and avid EastEnders watcher. Equally you can’t beat The Godfather trilogy from a film perspective.
Jonathan Wiles, managing director, Page Personnel Secretarial
Jonathan Wiles is managing director at Page Personnel Secretarial