Leyton’s Sarah Glanville about falling in love with sales in TA


This time, we have the opportunity to peek into the world of Sarah Glanville, Talent Engagement Specialist at Leyton UK.

Leyton is an international consulting firm that helps businesses leverage financial incentives to accelerate their growth and achieve long-lasting performance. In the UK, Leyton are the market leading independently owned tax consultancy, specialising in supporting businesses access a range of tax incentives and innovation funding. They operate in 16 countries.

Sarah is a part of the UK Talent Acquisition team and is responsible for building an engaged and active Talent Community for Leyton UK. She supports the TA Partners by improving Leyton UK’s employer brand, recruitment marketing, engaging with the Talent Community & improving the candidate experience. Winning employee engagement and advocacy for TA Strategic projects and objectives – ensuring securing top talent in the market.

Sarah shares her journey from business banking to recruitment, driven by her passion for working with people and her knack for sales, which is an important part of talent management.

She also touches upon her personal experiences and strategies for maintaining balance and avoiding burnout, providing a candid look at the challenges and successes that have shaped her career. It’s a truly inspiring read!

How did you get started in talent management? Was working in talent management something you always wanted to do?

I started working in agency recruitment 5 years ago. I had previously worked as a people manager in business banking, and I knew I wanted to incorporate my love of working with people with an opportunity to work in sales. From then, I had a career in agency recruitment and moved into an internal role at the start of 2023.

This opportunity was not joining the team at Leyton to support with direct recruitment. It was a brand new role for Leyton, supporting the Talent Acquisition team across all things recruiter enablement. I am responsible for everything in Leyton UK, from recruitment marketing to employer branding, candidate experience, and talent pooling. I see my job to make the jobs of the rest of my TA team easy. I enhance and increase our top-of-funnel to make the recruitment for my team easier.

What would you say is a common misconception about the work of a recruiter/TA manager/HR professional?

I think internal TA teams often feel like they are not salespeople – they ARE! Selling is what we do, all day, every day. Get cosy with that idea, and fall in love with the sale. It’s not a dirty word at all!

Like any good consultative salesperson, get to know the pain points of the people you talk to – your stakeholders, hiring teams, and your candidates. Listen more than you talk, and be honest and ethical with your approach to selling them your candidate/company/job role. How does this fit what they are looking for? How does this align with their motivations & values? How does this solve their problems?

If you can nail the consultative sell, you will be able to bring in the very best talent on the market and fill vacancies with the right people.

Selling is NOT just for agency recruiters; it’s a fundamental skill for anyone working within a TA or recruitment capacity.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve managed to overcome or improve on during your career so far? How did you do it?

The biggest challenge I have faced in my career has been learning not to dim my shine to make others more comfortable. I come to work with a LOT of energy, and I have found myself in rooms & within teams before where this has not been appreciated or celebrated.

In the past, I have tried to fit in to make it easier for others to work around me, and all that has done has made me really unhappy in my work and feel really disengaged from the purpose of what I am trying to achieve. The best thing I ever did was recognise this impact on my overall well-being and the quality of my work, and I removed myself from environments where I felt unable to belong and be myself.
In the first week of my current role, my Head of TA told me that I was hired for my energy and it was my job to bring it every day – and I have vowed to do this ever since! I attribute any success I have to this.

What are some of the most rewarding experiences or achievements you’ve had in your career so far?

Working in recruitment is like a rollercoaster – a lot of tough times, but wow, it’s so rewarding. I have placed some exceptional people into new jobs that they are so excited about and grateful for the opportunity to take on.
Likewise, I have filled some incredibly challenging positions and seen the impact that has had on the teams my candidates have joined.

What motivates me is my ability to have an impact in my work, and working within recruitment and helping the businesses I work with find the very best people to join their teams and elevate what they do is so very rewarding. I feel and see the impact I have within my job on a daily basis, and it makes the tough days so worth it.

What kind of experiences have you had as a candidate yourself?

I have had a mixed bag of experiences – I have been ghosted so many times, and I have had poor or no feedback almost as many times.

It’s part of the reason I am driven to create exceptional candidate experience for anyone who is a candidate at Leyton. I understand the value of building relationships with candidates over time. Just because someone isn’t a right fit for us today doesn’t mean they will never be. Every interaction we have with candidates matters and adds value. If someone isn’t right for us, we can help them become a better candidate in future with real feedback.

I am actually really excited about the introduction of AI and how we can use this to make us more efficient and elevate what we do. There is a fear from many recruiters that AI can replace us, but in all reality, I don’t see that as something that will happen. As a people function, we are most successful when we work with people and for them. Incorporating AI, leaning into it and getting comfortable with change can be our biggest asset if we allow it.

If we let AI do a lot of the bitty, admin, clunky bits of the job for us that have always drained our time and cost us productive work time, it actually leaves us space for the real human interaction that will elevate us to be better. We can become more strategic and become an operational asset, not an administrative cost to the businesses we work within.

What do you feel is special about your current place of work? Why should people apply?

Moving out of agency recruitment was never really on the cards for me before I joined Leyton UK. I loved the flexibility of working for multiple exciting clients and having options to talk to my candidates about. The fact I left that environment to represent one company in the market should tell you a LOT about how incredible I think Leyton UK is to work for.

Leyton is a business built on ambition, hard work and its people. The way I see Leyton UK is a career springboard, and it offers anyone who joins access to opportunity, stability and career advancement. Everyone in the business has a valued voice, and whole business areas have grown from the most junior persons’ ideas. If you are looking for an opportunity to do meaningful work in an environment that values you bringing your whole self to work – your future could be bright at Leyton UK.

What tools that you use in your day-to-day work are the most valuable to you? What do you use them for?

I use Monday.com to run my work. I work on multiple projects consecutively, and Monday.com is a project management tool that is a lifesaver!

In your opinion, what are the most critical skills and qualities a recruiter should possess to be successful in this field?

Listening, influencing, organisation & a drive to work with urgency.

How do you approach diversity and inclusion in the hiring process, and how do you ensure fair and unbiased recruitment?

This is hugely important to me and Leyton UK. We have extensive training for our hiring teams on unconscious bias and have a great relationship with our stakeholders, where we challenge for real feedback on every candidate. We will challenge unconscious bias when we see it.

Do you track any metrics/KPIs in your day-to-day work?

We track a lot of data within our team and have KPIs that we look to hit for direct recruitment efforts.

We measure:

  • Our outreach, screens, first stages, finals, offers, offer acceptance and hires.
  • In my role, I track many metrics on engagement and report on these.

How would you define a good candidate experience? What strategies do you use to offer one?

A great candidate experience is when, regardless of the outcome, a candidate leaves our process feeling that their time and effort were valued.
We try to offer this by guaranteeing every candidate gets feedback. This is tailored depending on where they leave our process. Every applicant gets an acknowledgement email for their application and a rejection email if they are not selected for screen. If our team screens them, and from then on in the recruitment process, the candidate will be given comprehensive verbal feedback on the phone.

Valuing our candidate’s time, effort and care to apply with us or meet us for a screen/interview can only be shown by giving them feedback appropriate to their commitment to the process.

Recommend us 3 books/TV shows/podcasts.

  1. Lean In – book by Sheryl Sandberg
  2. The Robot-Proof Recruiter: A Survival Guide for Recruitment and Sourcing Professionals – book by Katrina Collier
  3. Recruiting Future Podcast with Matt Alder

How do you know when it’s time to take some time off to avoid burnout? How do you recharge?

I have a pretty full-on life, and outside of work, I am a competitive natural bodybuilder, and I work as part of the team that runs the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation in the UK. So, outside of work, I am likely training in the gym or working on behalf of the WNBF UK.

I have an amazing little red staffy called Maggie, so she gets a lot of attention and love outside of all my work, and I also like to schedule time with my friends and family regularly.

I find myself energised by other people, and I tend to get energy from each of the things I spend my time on and that I am passionate about… My brain recharges during a heavy workout, and then my body recharges whilst I sit at a laptop and work all day.

I think a lot of burnout is when we drive all our energy into one thing and neglect the other parts of our lives. There is no such thing as work-life balance, but I believe in creating a life you are incredibly passionate about, full of lots of things that bring you joy and happiness.

Be realistic about the time and energy they will cost you. Look for ways to recharge that energy, and make sure you prioritise time for all of those areas of your life. And communicate your workload openly. People only see what they need from you. Don’t be shy about communicating your passion and love for things outside their line of sight; others will understand it.

What motivates you professionally?

I am motivated by my ability to make an impact. I am driven by the opportunity to progress and have even more impact.

Thanks, Sarah, for sharing and motivating!  👏 

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