November is National Career Development Month, encouraging professionals to celebrate their own career development and focus on their future career choices. To celebrate, we have produced a ‘Creating Careers’ series, in which we interview members of the team about their career development, personal successes, and highlights of their career so far at Invenia Group. First up, we interviewed Christine Sands – our Divisional Director of Pharmaceuticals. Christine joined Invenia Group as a Sales Manager for the pharmaceutical team in July 2018. In little over four years, she has been promoted to Divisional Director.


Christine, to begin – what was it that initially made you want to work in the recruitment industry?

I had worked in recruitment for over nine years before I joined Invenia Group and I’ve now worked here for over four years. Recruitment is something I just completely fell into. My passion for the pharmaceutical industry and love for what I do helped me to grow to where I am and where my team is today!


Why do you think you’ve been so successful in your time at Invenia Group?

As a team, we focus on a niche market – generics and biosimilars. There aren’t many people in recruitment who specialise in this industry in as much depth as we do, and we really use our expertise within the industry to find our clients the best candidates in our network. Generics and biosimilars is a consistently growing market – unfortunately everyone gets ill so healthcare is essential, so there are always jobs to fill, and it keeps us super busy.

In terms of my team’s success, I like to take a mature approach to management and really trust my team. As a Manager, I’m always available to support and offer advice, but I think it’s equally as important to keep that independence – and I think that has really helped in terms of my team’s own personal development.


What are your plans to develop your team in the future?

I’m a firm believer of organic growth and so I am keen to grow several of our experienced consultants to management level, which is something we are currently working on.


Do you find your environment supportive of your career? Do you think this is important for career growth?

Absolutely! I’ve had great support from the company directors since I started here at Invenia Group. The leadership team is actively involved – arranging weekly 1:1s to voice any concerns or simply see how the week is going. It’s great to have directors who also care about your personal life, remain supportive and are an advocate for your work.

In my opinion, we also offer one of the best training programs within any recruitment company. We have some fantastic training facilities, internal and external trainers, and all of this gives you that path and direction as to where you see yourself growing, which is so important.


What are your future goals and ambitions?

I’ve just recently been promoted to Divisional Director, which was a huge goal of mine. It means I can involve myself thoroughly with the strategic side of the business. However, being promoted to Board Director is the next goal, and eventually building a team who can turn over £10 million!


What challenges have you faced growing your team?

I think the initial hiring process can be difficult; it’s really important that you find people who can fit into your team culturally and who mirror the values we have as a business, but who also possess the right skillset and the passion to succeed. It’s also a competitive market – there are a lot of recruitment companies all looking to hire the best consultants – so it can be difficult.

In terms of managing my own team, it can be difficult to find time to catch up with everyone, mentor and coach, as well as work with your own clients, but it’s all worth it when they succeed!


What are your personal highlights from your time here?

There are too many to count! We have some fantastic incentives here: holidays, Michelin star meals, and company-wide celebrations. The company trip to Palma this year was a huge highlight of mine though; as well as hitting individual billing targets, as a team we managed to achieve 336% of our quarter target!

I’d also say the progression within the team this year has been a huge highlight. Some of the members of my team who have been here a couple of years have developed and progressed massively since they started. We’ve had some fantastic promotions, which has meant development into management positions for them, as well as some exciting new hires recently. So, this year has been a huge success for the whole pharma team!


You’ve recently been promoted to Divisional Director – huge congratulations! What will change in your new role?

As a manager, I was more hands-on and focused on the recruitment side of things, managing the day-to-day tasks within my team. As a Director, I’ll be looking more at developing my team, hiring more senior members to grow the division and thinking more strategically around the progression of the team, bringing in new ideas, as well as supporting and helping my peers.


And finally, what is your advice to anyone looking to develop in their career?

I would say to look out for the glass ceiling and the barriers that we often face as women trying to progress within our careers. It’s important to have advocates within the business that support your beliefs and listen to you.

I’d also say to make sure that you hire incredible team members who can bring in new ideas to your team or your company. Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of building relationships with everyone around you and growing your network!


Are you looking for an exciting new career opportunity within recruitment? We have a variety of roles across our life science, medical device and pharma sectors. Email your CV over to to find out more!