Getting to know Zoe Donnelly
Our meet the team blog series highlights the amazing people behind Xalient. This week we met with our Talent and Development Manager, Zoe Donnelly. Zoe is responsible for implementing the complete talent acquisition strategy for all roles; attraction and selection, internal mobility and talent management, innovation, and continuous improvement of process and recruitment tools. Zoe also looks after employee development and is currently scoping out a self-service L&D model for all employees. We caught up with Zoe to learn a little more about her and what makes her tick.
Could you tell us about your career background to kick things off?
I’m a bit of a mixed bag in that I left Uni with a History/English degree, fell into the finance world, studied and passed my CIMA and worked in finance for a bit, and then decided to try the IT recruitment world.
What is it that attracted you to Xalient?
The people! I wasn’t looking when I was first approached, but after meeting Annie Davies (my boss), I knew I wanted to work for her. This was further cemented when I met the rest of the team – I knew I wanted to be part of this company. The energy, speed, innovation, and tech blew me away!
What’s the first thing you do when you start your working day?
The day starts at 7 am with either a PT session (I like the boxing ones) or a dog walk. Then coffee (strong), check emails and reply to anything urgent while shooing my girls out the door for school (husband does the drop-offs). Then more coffee and plan my day.
And what does a day in the life of Zoe look like? Can you take us through a recent work day?
There is never a typical day in recruitment. I’m usually headhunting and sourcing candidates for roles, which can be anywhere (the UK, US or India), writing adverts, replying and arranging calls with candidates, and catching up with the HR team on changing priorities and arranging interviews and liaising with outside L&D providers to understand if their offer would fit Xalient for our employees. I am currently scoping out the L&D offering, what we have in the house, what to buy in, etc.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Good question. Hopefully, a team player and someone they can come to for support.
What do you like most about your job?
I really get a buzz out of finding the right candidate for our roles and making that offer. For some, it can be life-changing, and I often get people crying with happiness. Can’t beat that! I also like my role’s speed, pace, and autonomy to look for solutions and make changes for the better.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
Probably own a bar, somewhere hot!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Being with my girls (6 & 11), watching them play cricket, football, and squash. My oldest beats me at squash now. And drinking very nice wine with friends and family.
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I started more frequent PT sessions. It sets me up for the day if I can fit it in early.
Are there any products, gadgets, or apps that you can’t live without?
I like Insta, Tik Tok (sorry), Uber, and Deliveroo! (I don’t cook).
Who/what inspires you (work, personal or historical)?
My girls inspire me to be better every day and try to change the workforce for women. So when hopefully they enter the workforce, they won’t have to deal with archaic attitudes!
What’s a fun fact about you that many people might not know?
I used to do competitive swimming for Wales 😊