Strangers on a train

Andrew Kerr | 02/05/2019

Adam Brazier recently joined Urban Connect as a consultant specialising in Architecture. But this isn’t the usual ‘employer meets employee’ story. Instead of LinkedIn or Indeed, Founding Director of Urban Connect Andrew Kerr recruited Adam on the commuter train from Manchester to Crewe. Andrew and Adam share their experience of the meeting, why they were intrigued by the other’s offer, and what their future plans within the business are:



Andrew Kerr, Seat 24:       

I met Adam on a train a couple of months before I launched Urban Connect. It was his communication skills that made me think he’d be a good fit at Urban Connect. Before we even spoke, I noticed how courteous he was to an old woman beside him, as well as his general way of speaking to people; he had an intriguing aura.

Then he offered me a beer (always helps an Irishman!) and we started having a long conversation about all sorts. He was very open and engaging and his emotional intelligence shone through in his words. For me, that emotional intelligence is key when dealing with people day in, day out, and it’s the hardest thing to teach somebody.

He discussed being ready for a new challenge in his life, one where he could use his communication skills. That conversation then led to me hiring him eight months later! We kept in touch and I asked him to think long and hard about the decision; retail differs a lot from recruitment as it’s a very reactive, transactional environment.

Adam has started off by supporting our surplus roles across the business and learning the ins and outs of the recruitment process through our existing client base. Alongside this, he will start building up our Architectural offering, with a view to running his own desk across the architectural market in the North West. I have every confidence in his potential to do very well in this field.

In terms of the rest of the Urban Connect team, we are focused on being able to offer a full multi-disciplinary package to our clients. We are currently building those pillars, as well as expanding our specialist residential team. Right now, we are on the lookout for another experienced recruiter who has operated in our main sectors across the construction industry.


Adam Brazier, Seat 26:

Before working at Urban Connect, I was a Deputy Store Manager at Aldi. I had worked there for six and a half years before making the move, something I was very eager to do. Although I am now sat at a desk and the vast majority of talking I do is over the phone, I feel that having been exposed to such a busy, intense environment has given me transferable skills for my new role at Urban Connect, such as time management and communication skills.

After chatting on the train, Andrew took my number and we stayed in touch. He kept me in the loop with what was going on at Urban Connect; likewise, I had an equal amount of curiosity for the role he had described. It was at the back of mind during the following months whilst still working at Aldi as I knew it was a great opportunity.

Urban Connect appealed to me for many reasons. The first was the fact that it is such a young business; joining at such an exciting team means I will be a part of its initial growth. Secondly, having come from a retail management background and a very physically demanding job with little reward, I was excited to learn something completely new and have the opportunity to earn more than I would at Aldi even after a promotion.

After spending several days here before signing my contract, I could see first-hand just how intense the job is. You have to be pro-active, quick on your feet and above all, resilient. I know how challenging it’s going to be but Andrew has been my mentor, working alongside me and giving direct feedback after each call. It’s this kind of attention that will help me to learn the roles as quickly as possible – plus, his great sense of humour and work ethic means he’s a joy to work with!

Even with my limited experience, I feel that Urban Connect is different to your standard ‘high street agency’. We are specialists in what we do. Knowledge sharing is at the heart of our culture; we are a small office which allows all of us to talk openly about our experiences and give feedback to each other, which is really important.