Now that Judy Cole is the Managing Director here at Speller International, we interviewed her to learn how she fell into the world of SAP, and discuss how her career has progressed over the past 13 years.
What made you choose Speller International when you began back in 2005?
Errrrm, they offered me the role! [laughs]
Originally, I arrived in Australia on a working holiday VISA but my partner (at the time) was soon offered a role that would sponsor us. After 18 months of door to door sales, selling credit cards on commission only, I realised that we were probably staying here long term. My original plans of going back to Art college in the UK after traveling was no longer an option.
I really enjoyed sales and was quite good at it so I started to consider Recruitment, as I had heard it was related. I had a few interviews with some larger firms and one day (while I was standing in the middle of an industrial estate in Thomastown) I received a call from an incredibly posh and incredibly chirpy man.
“Hello! Is this Judith? Is it Judith or can I call you Judy?” erm Judy is good… “Great, hello Judy… NICK Speller here, Speller International!”
After about 10 interviews (no joke), I was finally offered the role as SAP Resourcer. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was actually going to be paid a base salary! With all of that a side, I went to my first interview at Speller International. The office was so small we lovingly refer to it as the “tic tac box”, but I knew that over any of the other companies, this was the company for me.
Even in the office of 4 people, the energy was high, the people were happy, and quality and customers came first. The owner of the company was in the thick of it all and employees were actually singing in the office, so that was a bonus!
How has your role evolved since joining Speller?
I have been incredibly lucky to be continually challenged at Speller. From starting as a junior and doing role play after role play to learn the ropes, I settled into the job well. Once I was comfortable and succeeding, I asked if I could manage a project to get my leadership skills up. I completed a business case for it and presented it to Nick and he gave the go ahead!
After that I lead the resource team and had the opportunity to give input into leadership decisions, influencing the direction of the company. My role then developed into the BDM/Account Manager which gave me more of a challenge (I was still required to lead the resource team), and from there I became Nick’s 2IC. We managed the company and the team together for many years and I have always had exposure to most areas of the business. Nick and I work well as a team and I am incredibly grateful that I have been able to drive my own path forward. I’ve always been able to implement new ideas/processes (as long as there was value), such as the Speller Newsletter and social media strategy.
I became the Sales Director 5 years ago and have really enjoyed having an input into the direction of the company, while still remaining “hands on” in recruitment. For me, it is as much about the team internally at Speller whom I enjoy working with, as well as the external contractors, candidates and clients. I have built a lot of strong business relationships over the years as well as gaining some great friendships.
3 years ago, when Nick got sick I was thrown into managing the company (which at the time I thought would not be much different to what I was already doing) but as it happens, it really was! It has been a huge learning curve over the last 3 years with some very stressful moments. But as a whole, the team have such great loyalty and respect for Speller and more importantly to Nick, so everyone pulled together and worked hard which resulted in company growth.
What are you enjoying most about your new role?
I am working on a structural change that takes me away from the day to day recruitment to enable me to put some time into strategic sales, developing the team, maintaining long lasting relationships and ensuring that we can grow, remain relevant and keep adding value to our customers in this ever-changing market.
For the moment, my role is not really different from what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years but I envisage it will start to change slightly this year. I still enjoy getting the Deals, but that has never changed!
What do you see as being most important about your new position within Speller International?
To ensure that the company remains successful, while developing the internal team, offering career growth and maintaining the quality of the company brand in the market.
What made you want to invest your future in Speller International?
In short, Nick Speller and the Spellerites.
I have been part of the family at Speller for 13 years now. I have been given and I have taken every opportunity that came my way and Nick has and always will be a great mentor. When Nick got sick I wanted to ensure that the Speller team were looked after and that Nick and his family didn’t have to worry about the business. After 3 years, Nick offered me the opportunity to be Co-Directors and I took it (after some negotiations). I have never seen myself working anywhere else and it has been no secret that if I was to ever leave Speller it would be to go traveling and do something completely different.
I believe in the values of Speller International, I love the team that we have here, I enjoy sales, working to targets and networking within the SAP community and I want to ensure the future of the company and the team. So it was an easy decision for me.
Have you and Nick always been the dream team?
As mentioned Nick and I have always worked well together, we have had our highs and lows but have always ensured we keep communication open. We have had some major “wins” together and some very stressful moments, along with some almighty arguments (or debates!) but we have never taken things personally and once we reach a decision then we both get on-board.
The “dream team’ however, does not come down to just myself and Nick, but rather everyone who works at Speller. We hire based on the same values and culture fit and it is the Spellerites here that ensure the success of the company, along with the loyalty and support of our candidates’ contractors and clients in the SAP community.
Is your time with Speller International everything you have hoped and dreamed for?
Yes! [laughs] And much, much more!