Ri5 profile: Sophie Milliken, Smart Resourcing Solutions

Ri5 profile: Sophie Milliken, Smart Resourcing Solutions


Sophie Milliken, operations director at Smart Resourcing Solutions, has a lengthy background in graduate recruitment, and was an inaugural member of the Association Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Advisory Council as well as being a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute Personnel Development (CIPD).

How did you first get into your present sector?

I joined John Lewis on the graduate scheme and stayed there for 12 years – the first few years in retail management then a move into L&D with the last five years in charge of graduate, placement and internship recruitment. An opportunity to set up Smart Resourcing Solutions came up in 2013 and I’ve been working with co-director Simon Pollard and the team on all the bits of graduate recruitment that I love ever since.

What was your first recruitment-related job?

I had dabbled in recruitment in some of my early HR roles at John Lewis but my first proper recruitment job was the graduate role, so I was in at the deep end - when I took it on, it consisted of one graduate scheme, one internship scheme and around 3,000 applications. But it quickly became five graduate schemes, three placement schemes, internship schemes and apprenticeships and around 20,000 applications!

Accident or design?

A bit of both. When I completed my Masters in HR management, I wanted to broaden my HR experience and take on more procedural HR roles – I’ve never been a fan of the more serious HR roles so recruitment seemed to tick that box in a more fun way.

Would you do the same again?


What would you do if you didn’t do this?

Open a restaurant that only makes amazing breakfasts.

Proudest achievements?

Professional: Winning our first contract at Smart Resourcing Solutions
Personal: Balancing family life with growing my own business

Top professional influence?

Although not in the same sector, I’ve always admired the tenacity, courage and passion of Ultimo founder, Michelle Mone.

Favourite industry colleague and why?

It’s always a pleasure bumping into recruiters I knew from the AGR Retail Sector Focus Group – Ashley Hever (Enterprise Rent-A-Car), Machar Smith (Expedia) and Helen Alkin (M&S) and I’m really lucky have been able to work with Helen and Machar with Smart Resourcing Solutions.

Why we love social media?

It keeps us connected to the action as it happens, any time, any place.

Why we hate social media?

As above! It’s hard to switch off.

Favourite recruitment ad (and why)?

Not strictly an advert but I love AXA’s The Great Global Adventure marketing campaign that saw AXA give away a round the world trip to one lucky student.

Favourite non-recruitment ad (and why)?

I really like the Aldi adverts as they always make me laugh.

Favourite piece of music/album?

It changes on a regular basis, so I’ll have to go for Trouble by Ray Lamontagne.

Perfect weekend?

A child-free break with my partner or a friend somewhere warm with a bit of culture and lots of good food and wine.

Favourite restaurant for:

Business: Hoxton Grill, Shoreditch
Enjoying with friends: The Drunken Monkey, Shoreditch
Romance: The Roof Gardens, Kensington
Eating: Moonlight, Brick Lane

Most looking forward to?

A holiday somewhere hot!

Favourite sport (participant)?

I enjoy HIIT training and yoga.

Favourite sport (spectator)?

I’m not a fan of watching sport but make an exception for World Cup football.

Holiday – sun/sea, ski, safari, or culture?

Sun and culture would be a winning combo for me.

Guilty pleasure?

Watching trashy TV shows, ideally with a magazine and a glass of wine.

Any brushes with fame?

As a student, I worked in the VIP bar of a nightclub in Leeds and met a lot of ‘celebrities’ – mostly Leeds United (who were good in the late 90s!) footballers and soap stars but also a Spice Girl, Graham Norton, Boy George and Fatboy Slim, among others.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

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