Penguin Recruitment Reviews

Updated 22 Jul 2020

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3.4
52%
Recommend to a Friend
77%
Approve of CEO
Penguin Recruitment Director  Jim Richardson
Jim Richardson
4 Ratings
  1. "Honest Review"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Recruitment Consultant in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penguin Recruitment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people are some of the best I've ever worked with, there is a friendly office environment & everybody pulls in the same direction/helps one another. The commission structure is great- I was able to buy a house in my first year of working here. Monthly Incentives top up your earnings and enable you to make an extra few hundred pounds on top of your salary too (as well as comms). Early finishes on Fridays for hitting target Monthly group incentives are also good- fancy dinners, trips away etc.

    Cons

    Long hours & does take time to gain trust from management.

  2. "Goodness"

    3.0
    Current Employee - Recruitment Consultant in Swansea, Wales

    I have been working at Penguin Recruitment full-time

    Pros

    Great company to work for

    Cons

    Can get very steamy and erotic


  3. "A good company for recruitment"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Recruitment full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good incentives, fun office/social,

    Cons

    Its recruitment: cut throat, long hours, cold calling

    Penguin Recruitment Response

    May 30, 2018Owner

    Many thanks for your review and I am delighted you consider us a “A good company for recruitment!” From your brief comments - I don’t believe you left this calendar year but if you had been here I think you would have found our social events have hit a new high with The Charity Quiz, Go Ape, It’s a Knockout, The Swansea Bier Festival and next month we are going for a VIP fast pass trip to Thorpe Park. And of course in July we have the New and Improved Sports Day with Beach Party in the evening. Similarly our monthly prizes have been generating some phenomenal results with people winning Jeroboams of Champagne, new outfits for work , new shoes, perfume and this month – a prize of your choice! You choose it, you hit target – you win it! As for the downsides, it’s recruitment – we know it doesn’t suit everyone. We always explain at interview - it is a really tough telephone based job. The rewards are still fabulous – but you need a powerful engine and considerable staying power to get you through your first year and into a genuine career in recruitment . Cut throat ? This I can’t understand – we encourage healthy competition – but at Penguin integrity and fair play always prevail. If the author of the review would like to elaborate I will investigate this with a matter of urgency. Long hours – It can be, the nature of recruitment is we need to speak to candidates before and after work, however we do offer the opportunity for consultants to leave early up to three times a week. We do offer flexible working plus a “Sporting lunch” once a week for consultants to get involved in a sporting activity of their choice - eg surfing or the gym at lunch time. In fact today we are having shower facilities fitted so that lunch time runs and volleyball games can be more strenuous ! Cold Calling: It exists. The job does involve business development, but recruitment is a sales role . We are however very specialist which means that each consultant only speaks to one niche sector of clients and our conversations are about candidates who only work in that sector. As such if industry knowledge is used wisely, each call should be at least warm. If anyone reading this is interested in a career in recruitment, please get in touch or pop into the office. We will be more than happy to show you round, you can chat to the new recruits and if you are lucky and move quickly you could find yourself on the bus to Thorpe Park!

  4. Helpful (6)

    "A great company to work for. I'm into my third year and still enjoying it..."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Swansea, Wales
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penguin Recruitment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -The company offer internal and external training to develop us -I feel the commission scheme is strong. I like that it increases with time in employment and performance -Pay rises based on performance and merit -The staff. We have a great team and lots of fun -Promotions on performance/merit -Excellent incentives. I have won a Michelin star meal, spa retreat, an Ipad, champagne, GoPro and more -The company offer early finishes based on team/company targets being achieved -2 hour sporting lunches that encourages fitness and well-being -Regular company team building activities (White water rafting, paint balling, bowling, kayaking etc.) -Seaside location. You can get an ice cream for lunch!

    Cons

    -Recruitment can be long hours, but that's the nature of recruitment -Lack of parking on site -The roller-coaster of sales can be tough but you learn to develop thick skin quickly

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  5. Helpful (11)

    "Ok"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Recruitment full-time

    Pros

    Good people (members of staff) and a good working environment. Some of the incentives are good, others are not so. The managers within the business are fair

    Cons

    The commission structure is not all as it seems and is evidently not that great. Sometimes you are treated like children with the lack of autonomy

  6. Helpful (8)

    "An experience..."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Recruitment full-time

    Pros

    The staff- resilient despite the madness and always offering support to each other, had some great times with them in the office and outside. The 'pod skippers' - calling these people managers would lead you to thinking they actually manage, but this is done from the top. However, the managers I had the pleasure of working with were superb characters and a big help day-to-day. Some incentives worth praising, notably at Christmas and the 'raffles' - it's just a shame that they don't go far enough though. Good launch pad for a recruitment career elsewhere - you learn the hard way. The ping pong table.

    Cons

    Micromanagement from the top - the managers have little influence, you know everything comes from above them and the frequent 'business updates' leave you little time to recruit. Being called Penguins repeatedly. Lack of career progression.

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    Penguin Recruitment Response

    July 20, 2017Owner

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We would of course prefer all our employees to build a long career at Penguin, but I fully accept the reality of the competitive, commercial world we live in and that a percentage of people come and go in every organisation. We do have quite a unique culture, accepted. We purposefully chose to create an organisation that had an element of fun about it and wasn’t too corporate in its style. I believe the majority of people enjoy that culture, but I totally understand that it may not be for everyone. A couple of the points you reference are from several years ago and have already been addressed within the organisation so I won’t dwell on them here. I’m pleased to see that you considered the managers to be ‘superb characters and a big help’, but somewhat disappointed that you then mention they have little influence. I tend to believe that it is their character and level of support (that you mention) that makes them influential in the workplace. We certainly appreciate their work so I’ll have a think about addressing your point internally in case I’m missing something. The current management team have progressed into those roles internally and we encourage all staff to work towards career advancement targets. Our business has grown (and can only continue to grow) if we bring talented individuals through from consultant to manager and that is something that we will continue to work on. Thanks also for praising the incentive schemes. That’s an integral part of the way we work – offering activity days, prizes, lunches and so on to individuals and the entire team. And yes, the Christmas shopping giveaway is always popular (who wouldn’t like being given up to £1,000 to go shopping on a work day!). I’m not sure on your point that the raffles don’t go far enough though – we gave away a Sonos sound system and £1,000 holiday after all – but as usual we’ll discuss the incentive options with team members in case there is a lesson to be learned there. Finally, may I wish you all the best in your future career.

  7. Helpful (10)

    "A decent place to learn the 360 recruitment ropes"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Penguin Recruitment full-time

    Pros

    Due to the 360 nature of the job Penguin is actually a great place to cut your recruitment teeth - you have to do everything bar chasing payments - so you learn quickly how to do advertising campaigns, searches, the interview process, offer management, Canvassing for business etc... It sets you up well for your next job in recruitment. There are decent team incentives - days out, sporting events, Lavish Meals, go-karting etc. A good place to make friends.

    Cons

    There was a culture of checking / micromanagement which came from the very top. Regular 'business updates', internal emails being monitored etc Being a smallish firm it's a very flat structure and with a settled management team in place it is hard to progress beyond being a good billing consultant. I was often distracted by petty battles amongst management as to which radio station was playing, whether doors windows were open or closed, whether food stuffs were in the office bin rather than the kitchen bin etc

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    Penguin Recruitment Response

    July 20, 2017Owner

    Thank you for the review. My colleagues and I appreciate the positive comments around the manner in which we both train and develop our new consultants to enhance their recruitment skills and knowledge. This is important to us. It’s also pleasing to see that you enjoyed the incentives and activities that we organise. I’m a firm believer in rewarding staff and in trying to build a strong team ethic and such activities help achieve that in my opinion. Obviously I’m disappointed to hear that you felt that some of our management processes were not to your liking. However, I have a duty of care to fellow staff and our clients and as such I will not shy away from following up on complaints of inappropriate emails being sent from the company email account – for example. We have worked hard to build a strong position in the market place and a strong brand reputation so I really make no apologies for protecting that. We try our best to reward and recognise good performers and I believe there are great career prospects at Penguin for those that do perform well and meet our expectations in terms of representing the company and respecting fellow employees. I had thought this was communicated to all staff, but I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear to you during your time here. We will work to address that. I wish you all the best in your new venture.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Not the best"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Recruitment full-time

    Pros

    The people who work at Penguin are good fun Some managers were good. Although most were not managers Some incentives were good

    Cons

    Often treated like a child Micromanaged from the top down No career progression. Financially only benefits the two directors. Even those next on the ladder seem to be a million miles away. What is there to aim for?

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    Penguin Recruitment Response

    July 24, 2017Owner

    Thank you for the review. Again I find myself wondering why we have suddenly been subjected to an influx of negative reviews, having received almost none in the previous 13 years of our existence. To all job seekers out there, I again ask that you contact us directly at Penguin to find out about the opportunities that exist here. I’ll talk openly and honestly with you as will any of my team (you can gladly talk to our current employees). We are a transparent organisation that believes in rewarding success and we welcome enquiries from anyone that would like to build a career with a long-established, well regarded recruitment specialist. At the risk of repeating myself, I will address the points raised here. I’m pleased that you found the working environment fun – it’s important to us that the team enjoys what they do as ultimately that leads to a better level of service for our clients and candidates. We try to encourage a positive team spirit through the regular free incentives and activities that everyone can take part in. As regards the combined points about micromanaging, motivating staff and career progression opportunities I am of course very sorry to hear that you felt that way. We try to support and develop team members who are struggling to find their way rather than leave them to drift towards the exit door. In most cases this has a positive effect and I’m always proud to see individuals that, mostly through their own efforts, are able to turn it around and begin to enjoy healthy commission payments and win incentives. I do understand that in a few, rare instances that could be seen as micro managing - particularly when performance improvements don’t follow and the individual chooses to leave the organisation - but the positive outcomes far outweigh the negative. I’m content to continue developing staff in much the same way as we have over the many previous successful years. As an open and transparent organisation, the path to promotion is clear for all. I’m sorry that you felt those expectations were not attainable for you, but the fact that many individuals have progressed into management roles and continue to enhance their earnings gives me confidence that our career development programme is working pretty well. Finally, allow me to respond candidly to the comment about the company financially benefiting the two directors. Yes, of course the co owners benefit from the success of the organisation - we now employ over 30 specialist consultants and the business is a far cry from the early days of Nick and myself working alone in a garage. Going forward however and of utmost importance to me is that we are able to continue to reward the staff that have helped us to grow the organisation and that we are able to offer career paths and earning opportunities which reflect their commitment and dedication. In so doing we hope and expect that Penguin will continue to flourish.

  9. Helpful (8)

    "Good in parts, bad in others"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Recruitment

    Pros

    Good summer and winter incentives

    Cons

    Going to play on a trampoline or bowling doesnt provide motivation for an adult billing in access of £100k. Can be treated quite childlike at times. No reason to want to become a team leader / manager.

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    Penguin Recruitment Response

    June 28, 2017Owner

    What can I say – You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Incentives and team building activities are part of our DNA. In the last 2 months we have been surfing, paddleboarding and Go Ape as well as all expenses paid trips to Ascot Races and Alton Towers. So we do try to mix it up, but I do appreciate trampolining might not be everyone’s cup of tea – It wasn't my favourite either! No Incentive to become a manager? Well the financial incentive is considerable, I am not quite sure how you were not aware? Jim

  10. "Going from strength to strength...."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Birmingham, England
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Penguin Recruitment full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great earning potential with generous rewards. They say a workplace is nothing without good people and this place certainly has some of the best people I've had the pleasure of working with. Also the directors have made a big push forward to grow individual's career prospects as well as business through continual money and time investment!

    Cons

    Long working hours, however this is made better by the early finishes, end of month incentives and late starts we are regularly rewarded with.

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Found 12 reviews