MEET THE NEWBIES: THE PLANNERS

Harris Lamb has been on a major recruitment drive over the past 18 months, expanding the team rapidly as the business grows; but what do the recruits themselves think? We meet the new kids on the block, and find out how they’re getting on.

Alisha Paul and John Pearce joined Team HL in December and April respectively, and have spent the past few months getting to grips with the working practices and office banter. And their verdict? So far, so good…

Alisha says: “This was my first job after graduating, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but almost immediately after beginning, I started work on one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on to date: guiding a client through an application to build 950 homes on the site of North Worcestershire Golf Club.

“There’s a real family ethos here and from day one I was able to hit the ground running and was trusted to do so, while always being reminded that if the tasks were too daunting or if I was uncertain, I simply had to say the word.

“There’s no ‘glass box’ attitude here. The Directors are very hands-on and completely approachable, always happy to listen and give guidance and support, while still having the confidence in the team not to micro-manage them.

“In just a few months I’ve gained valuable experience, guidance and been supported through challenges that I don’t believe a new graduate would have had access to anywhere else. Even though I have to notch up two years experience within the field before I can take my APC qualification, the senior team have begun to talk me through the process and put a mentoring project in place to ensure that when the time comes, I’m fully prepared for it.

“All in all, it’s been a whirlwind, and I’m loving it.”

John, who joined the team to focus on commercial planning work for developers says: “My goal when I joined was to be able to provide high quality advice drawing on my knowledge within the sector to clients. We’ve got a great spread of clients and I’m enjoying working alongside them on strategic land promotion.

 “It’s been a great time to join the business as we are in a far more positive planning environment than we have been in the past five years. There’s an obligation now to provide new homes and an increasing number of authorities that are progressive and recognise that there is a commercial benefit to supporting residential plans for their regions, which often makes for a satisfying outcome!

“A key bonus for me, though, has been working in such a multi-disciplined consultancy. The day-to-day environment in the office sees us work across departments to identify other opportunities to add insight and support for clients, and the more those skills and knowledge are shared, the more insight we gain, which makes it easier to identify future opportunities and understand more about how other departments can help tackle the challenges ahead.”

Patrick Downes, Director of Planning, said: “We are delighted with the contribution that Alisha and John have made within the business to date, and we certainly think they’ll continue to have a significant impact in the future.”