In this blog series, we place the spotlight on K2 employees across the company from management and recruiters to the back office support teams.
This week we talked to Santigie Kanu, Manager of K2’s London HQ
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I originally started at the K2 London HQ back in 2006 working as a recruiter under Shehzad Tabassum who was my manager at the time (now Head of Region for Europe), I then moved onto the sales side of the business six months later where I worked with lots of well-known people who are actually still at K2, from Ludovic Frichment (now, Managing Partner of K2’s Cybersecurity practice in Dallas, USA, to Antonio Gulino (now, K2’s CEO) to Nick Savoia (now, Permanent Recruitment Team Lead at K2 San Francisco) it was a crazy and fun time.
I eventually moved up to being responsible for a team of four people focusing on CRM recruitment, which proved very successful. After that I was asked to move to Geneva to help set up a similar recruiting team for K2 there. As things progressed, we started to focus on business intelligence and analytics recruiting which was also proved successful and it was not long after that I was asked to manage the K2 Geneva office.
Right now I’m responsible for our London office. I’m loving the challenge, and who knows what the next step will be. In sum, I’ve done lots of things here and have been in charge of lots of teams since I joined in 2006. However, my biggest accomplishment is having worked alongside so many talented, young people, some of whom are still here (others who have gone on to do great elsewhere). But it’s not only about the numbers achieved or teams I set up – but all about the people who put their trust in me to get them from where they were before, to wherever they are now, that puts a smile on my face.
What do you do when you arrive at the office in the morning and how do you prepare for the day?
By the time I’ve arrived at the office in the morning I’ve already read my emails and had my morning coffee. If you ask the team, they’ll tell you that I’m usually really awake and ready!
Then I start finding out where people are with their candidate placements and client meetings; what needs to be done and what urgent business needs to be covered. Once the rest of the team are focused, then I look at where I am on my weekly to-do list and pick things up from there.
What are some of your daily highlights, what do you like most in your day?
1) The start: Getting the engine started and people pumped up, helping team leads and sales associates understand what activities they need to prioritise.
2) Doing deals: When we a see a candidate placed or seal a piece of new business it really picks up the energy of the whole office, which still gives me a buzz to this day!
3) When everyone is giving it their 100% and I walk around the office with every single person busy on something urgent, something that can or is close to being signed. There’s electricity in the air in those moments, and we have a lot of fun.
4) The end: doing that sanity check on where we stand, on whether we achieved or not. If you’ve given 100% it’s quite satisfying to close the door and go to the pub, knowing that tomorrow it will start all over again!
How do you end your work at the end of the day? What do you usually do after you leave the office?
Spending time with the team out of hours and away from the tension and stress is always healthy and I would say it’s one of the most important aspects of working in a sales environment and a great way to get to know each other. I also enjoy reading biographies, cooking, there is not one single TV show I haven’t seen, I love my house music and as you can see I’m a keen sportsman.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned working on K2?
Wow, so many lessons over the years! From not putting all your eggs in one basket to knowing there will always be someone better than you and to learn from that person!
I guess one of my favourites and one which still resounds to me right now is that when you build a house, you should build it on a solid foundation, otherwise the whole house will be crooked.
The same lesson applies to business I think; the quality of the people you surround yourself and the processes you set up with will define your success. I believe that if K2 continues to hire amazing, talented, smart people across all the different departments; from managers to recruiters to business development and support teams, then we can continue to grow successfully!
Santigie Kanu, Manager of K2’s London HQ
Read more from the K2 Day in the Life series:
Day in the Life: Christopher Neudl, Recruiter
Day in the Life: Marc Burgess, Recruiter
Day in the Life: Nivetha Devi, Senior Business Developer
Day in the Life: Kimberly Chism, Senior Recruiter
Day in the Life: Clement Crubleau, Operations Manager