Selby Jenning

Selby Jennings


Just been looking at the Selby Jennings grad trainee scheme. Does anyone have any experience of the scheme itself like the recruitment pocess or the training and any info on the company; working hours, culture, salary etc?

Any advice would be much appreciated!




Since it’s kinda hard to find info on these guys I thought I would try as give some info on them as i’ve been through the interview process with them.

Firstly selby jennings is part of Phaidon capital which is also made up of a few other recruitment firms, but they are all connected, and all apart from selby share the same office. Selby has been going for about 7 years, but most of the other organisations associated with selby have been going for a couple of years.

You will initially be invited along to an “assessment centre”, they run these every few weeks and will have about 30 people attending one session which will go on for about 90 mins to 2 hours, and this assessment centre is not a real assessment centre as you would normally expect from someone like KPMG etc, it will basically be you introducing yourself, and selling yourself above the other candidates. If you are successful, then you will be invited along to an interview, and possibly expected to spend an hour or so in the offices to see how you cope, after that you could expect a job offer.

Now my experience with this process:

I found their offices to be a bit shabby (even though they are next to the ritz), and their operations to be micky mouse to be honest, I had a chance to meet a few of the individuals who work there, and I think that if you were to get a job with them you would not be surrounded by the best in the business, it is very much a start up and while they promise high rewards the chances of you getting them are very slim in deed.

A typical day, would be getting to the office for about 7-8am and then working for about 12 hours making cold calls, not really the glamorous life style promised, and they will be on your back the entire time making sure that you are meeting targets, and if your not, then they will just get rid of you. They advertise themselves as having hands on training, but the reality is, you are thrown in at the deep end, and you can ask the guy next to you some questions about what you need to be doing. The stress that would be put on you would be heavy and certainly not for the faint hearted. From my experience, the people who worked there seemed more like second hand car salesmen, and after delving in to their organisation a bit more, their clients are not really the best in the business, and a lot of big companies out there have never heard of them. The promises they make and the online profiles that are available were written when the company was a lot smaller, and the competition between fellow colleagues was a lot less.

When I was invited down for an interview (they don’t refund travel costs like most other companies), they were 15 minutes late seeing me, no apologies were made, and everyone who passed me seemed to ignore me (even the guy who eventually interviewed me), after that, the interview itself only lasted about 20 minutes and the interviewer spent most of that time looking out the window (probably wishing he wasn’t there either). I found them rude and off-putting, something i’ve not experienced with any other company. Needless to say, i wasn’t offered a position with them, and in hindsight i’m very happy about that, as i’ve now come to understand that this is not how companies should behave, and certainly not the correct manner in which an interview should be conducted.

If you are a graduate with actual talent, i wouldn’t recommend applying, and instead I would say to apply for some of the bigger better recruitment firms. A good way to test whether or not the company is a respected recruitment firm is to see how they charge their fees to clients (the companies looking to hire), if they use the contingent model or retained model, a well established and respected firm will use a retained model whereas a non prestigious firm will use the contingent model. The contingent model means that there is no upfront fee.

Hope this helps, and has given anyone looking for more info on this company a bit of an insight in to how they operate.

Good luck job hunting!


Hi, Same as above really…

At the assessment stage (around 11 of you) have to fill out a sheet, which is basically your cv, and then a sheet at the back asks for referrals of names, numbers and email addresses of friends that you think would be good at the job…SCAM!

other reasons not to apply:
Staff are rude.
Money-motivated company.
Cheques are posted over the walls - which they tell you to look at, at the assessment day - I was cringing!
Employees earnings are written on a white board openly in the office ‘just to keep competitve levels high’ (therefore very unprofessional)
Only a few are actually from red-brick universities, I am pretty sure one employee did not even have a degree.
Long hours.

Lie to candidates just to get names of senior people in banks such as HSBC, pretty sure this is illegal e.g. Phone call from Employee at Selby jennings or a brand such as carlton senior appointments: Hi Carlton senior appoinments here, how are you etc. I saw your cv on E-Financial careers etc., what was the name of the person at your last HSBC inteview was it …(made up name), candidate: No it was …(actual name)" - all they want is a name from a senior person at a bank so they can pester them, they do not care about the welfare or emotions of the candidate they are supposedly ‘helping’ to find a job.

False hope to candidates they call.

You just have to be very cold hearted and ruthless.
If you want a lot of money but the worst days of your life this job is for you.
p.s. the recruitment process is very mickey mouse, do not waste your time and money, go to bigger recruitment firms if recruitment is what you want to go in to.

I CAN ONLY ADVISE GRADUATES NOT TO EVEN APPLY HERE. I ignored a bad review from a website and thought it was probably a bitter person, but they were also right about the company. I do not have a clue how it has won a best recruiter award, they were probably all paid to say how good it is to work there. One employee said to me when she first started she wanted to shoot herself…I should of listened to this at the assessment stage and not gone to the next interviews.

To anyone from SJ; The way I was treated throughout the recruitment stages was unacceptable. One certain member of staff that interviewed me, could only just speak english and spoke to me like I was the lowest of the low. I would love to know what degree she has obtained, but I very much doubt she has. I was appalled by how she spoke to me, there is a grilling at an interview and then there is being quite frankly insulting. I graduated with a 2:1 from a red brick University with a highly academic degree subject. After this awful interview I was then told to come back in 4 and a half hours, just appalling really. I was incredibly disappointed. You need to review your recruitment process and your company is definitely breaching confidentiality laws - which quite frankly should be reported to to watchdog. Lying to job seekers is unacceptable.


It’s a great shame but I can only confirm the above… I was very reluctant to post this and even more so when believing that the info above is (or could possibly be) true, but well it is.

My interview reminded me of Monty Python sketches… totally unprofessional.
If you are ambitious, know your worth and even in the current difficult market you are still prepared not to sacriface your values and beliefs, then there is really no point in applying.


i’m suprised by these comments as I actually really enjoyed the assessment centre. The presentation was very informative and it seemed like a great place to work for ambitious graduates such as myself. unfortunately, I was not successful but the feedback was extremely useful-as the advice was catered to me personally i felt the interview was really worth while-comapred to some others where i left feeling disheartened by a lack of contact! hope that helps!


I am also very surprised by this negative feedback. It initially convinced me to turn down the assessment centre which I had been offered. However, after a phone call with an internal recruitment consultant, I was easily persuaded to go along and make my own opinion.

There were five candidates at the first round assessment, and we were divided into smaller groups for a couple of hours of enjoyable exercises, which tested our understanding of the required skills, and our capabilities in persuasion and sales. The atmosphere was very laid back but the challenges encouraged an element of healthy competition, and our assessor was very helpful and informative.

The negative feedback on this forum does not reflect the experience I have had so far with Selby Jennings.


Likewise, the above negative comments, to me, seem completely unfounded.

I was incredibly impressed with the establishment as a whole, from the way the internal recruiters addressed me initially, to the welcome at reception, and then the innovative assessment process.

The assessor was confident, personable and the assessment process fun, informative and really helped me to become aware of the skill set and personality traits required to become a successful recruitment consultant.

To touch on the points made by some of the above - recruitment consultants are obviously money motivated (you wouldn’t be in a commission based position if you weren’t). In terms of the long hours recruiters work, i got the impression that it is a very young company, and although the recruiters work hard, its very much a company with a ‘work hard, play hard ethos.’ This being said, in any commission based role, what you put in, you get out?


I own a business who deal directly with Phaidon Capital and its constituent brands and have done for nearly a decade. I have seen the business grow from about a dozen employees to one that turns over well over £12,000,000 a year. From the top down this business is run by exceptional people. It is also a multi-award winning business.

Phaidon may not be right for all applicants, that’s why they offer assessments where candidates can see if they like the look of the company. As a business we have placed lots of people at Phaidon over the years who are incredibly successful, have enjoyed a successful career and enjoyed a great lifestyle.

My advice to any candidate applying for ANY job in ANY sector is ignore ‘comments’ on the internet (including this one) and make up your own mind! I’d also specifically ignore comments from those who have been unsuccessful in their application, like most of the negative comments above, they are unlikely to be impartial.

Logic dictates that some candidates will suit Phaidon and others will not, a thorough, sensible and diligent job searcher will make a number of applications to do their own due diligence on the market to make up their own mind. If you decide to apply and you are one of those who is suitable you’ll see a business where the rewards are exceptional for the right individual.


Having read the comments above I thought I could input something here as I worked within the Phaidon Capital corp for a good while. I agree with the above comment, people should make up their own mind and if you’re getting into recruitment then you HAVE to be money motivated otherwise it is pointless. The assessment day is easy, say you’re focussed on money.

Below are the things I found whilst I was there.


  • young and sociable employees
  • good benefits if you’re good
  • good support system
  • pretty good commission rates although you generally have to give your first 2 deals to your manager (this may well be true to other companies)


  • verrry long hours of mainly cold calling (office hours are 8-8 with a go-to-tesco-buy-sandwich-eat-at-your-desk lunchbreak)
  • manipulate candidates AND clients for info
  • high turn over rate of staff (a lot of people quit or get fired if they don’t meet targets within certain months)
  • VERY’lad’ orientated atmosphere
  • only target they care about are monthly kpi’s (don’t meet them and you will be shouted at)
  • management has clear favourites
  • focus is definitely on Quantity and not Quality, I was told to email and phone hundreds of people every day, even though I knew they either didn’t want to talk to me or my subject wasn’t relevant to them.

Overall I absolutely hated it, it was dull, pointless and I HATED having to choose quantity overall quality. However, if you’re money motivated and willing to work for it, you like the ‘lad’ and competitive environments then do it.
]Assessment is easy, talk about money.


Hi everyone

I happened to also attend the Selby Jennings group interview. It was a very interesting experience. Firstly, I was sent to the wrong office, and so had to get new directions from the receptionist who claimed: “this happens a lot to graduates attending the group interview.” I think this needs greater clarity, as I ended up being late to the group interview, however this did not really matter, because the interviewer left us all waiting for half an hour anyway. We were then asked to fill out a form, recommending our friends for the role. (This was before we had even been interviewed ourselves.)

We were then treated to the prospect of choosing a piece of paper with the name of an animal that we had to pretend to be. There was a whole menagerie: primates, crustaceans, arthropods, you name it. We had tigers, piranhas, flamingos and owls all vying for the Selby Jennings prize, BEST ANIMAL RECRUITER EVER. In all seriousness, it was very unprofessional and a real disappointment.

Given the impressive website and the claims made with regards to OTE earnings, I would have expected a more structured and organised proceedings, that was conducted by more than just the one assessor. However, if you are a graduate who is solely motivated by money and is prepared to work from 7am to 8pm in order to meet company targets, then these guys are for you.

I hope this gives you a little more of an insight.


I recently interviewed with Phaidon (parent company) for a role across all business areas. The whole process was appalling- there was a lack of information about position given and absolutely nothing provided to assist with preparation.

After spending money coming in to London and a day taken off work I arrived at the shabby offices, made to wait for 20 minutes beyond my scheduled meeting time and then met someone for 25 minutes.

The interview was rushed and very unprofessional. I then heard absolutely nothing, even after chasing their internal recruiter for feedback. I have not heard from them since, and that was 6 weeks ago!!

Absolutely appalling set up and I see it as a blessing in disguise.

Would definitely not recommend this company to anyone.


Having recently interviewed with Phaidon International (the umbrella company that Selby Jennings falls under) and experiencing an overall pleasant application process I wanted to share my experience to give an up-to-date opinion on the company.

Having a set mind that recruitment was the career for me I have spent the last few weeks interviewing at every single firm I can to find the right one for me. After initially approaching Phaidon myself I have been more than happy with my process, especially in comparison to some firms who in their need to test you, have actually been quite off putting and very cutthroat.

I was assigned a personal internal recruiter who worked with me from my first point of contact all the way through to offer stage. She was helpful in explaining Phaidon to me and how it differed from other companies that I was interviewing with, she guided me through the interview stages and what to expect and gave me honest feedback, which I appreciated. Everyone that I met was very friendly, and importantly honest. They have given me an honest account of what recruitment is like and were welcoming throughout the whole process. I now feel like I understand recruitment more and am ready to start my career. I met with a couple of teams from different sectors which was great as it gave me an insight into different parts of the business and I was introduced to employees ranging from Entry Level to the Managing Director. The most insightful stage was a ‘work sample’ which involved spending some time in the office with a team shadowing them at work and listening into calls that they made and then having a go at making a few calls myself - again giving me more insight into the role.

Luckily the whole process went quite smoothly and I ended up being offered a role with Phaidon which I happily accepted. Looking forward to getting started shortly and kick-starting my career!

One happy job seeker!