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Made in Manchester - Will Mel be Crowned Best Young Recruiter?

It was September 2016 in a Manchester hotel, and the room had fallen silent ahead of the announcement for The Drum Recruitment Awards’ Consultant of the Year.


Oscar had never won an individual recruiter award. Yet, having picked up Best Small Recruitment Agency earlier on, the team were optimistic for our youngest ever Managing Consultant, Melissa Houghton – despite her facing much more experienced competition for the prize.

The announcement was made and Mel stepped up to claim the award to huge cheers from the Oscar team. Champagne, dancing, bad karaoke, more dancing and hangovers soon followed.

Fast forward to February and Mel is one of eight finalists for the Made in Manchester (MIMA) Talent and Recruitment Professional of the Year category.

The MIMAs celebrate Greater Manchester’s young business talent across a range of categories. Following a detailed application and a rigorous interview process, the winners will be announced on Thursday 2nd February at the Hilton Hotel, Deansgate.

“Without sounding clichéd, it does mean a lot to me to be a finalist for an award that is dedicated to the Greater Manchester - being based in Manchester and working everyday with clients and candidates in the local area.

“The Drum was my first award entry as an individual within Recruitment so it wasn’t something I expected to win especially being up against strong competition from candidates across the UK. It’s a great testament to the training and support I have had at Oscar.”

The Drum Awards Celebrations

Last year, Mel became Oscar’s youngest Managing Consultant at just 24 years old and now manages a team of eight Recruitment Consultants, all of whom are around her age, and admits managing a team of her peers at a young age was one of her biggest challenges:“Managing a team of my peers was a huge challenge initially, as I found it difficult to separate myself from being their friend and their Manager,” Mel said,

“But I worked closely with our Training Manager and our Directors who passed on their advice and experience to help me to take that step into Management.”

“Mel joined Oscar in 2013 straight out of university and has been an invaluable asset to our growth.” Said Oscar Director Matthew Southworth,

“She has always had clear career goals and ambitions in mind. As a result of this, combined with her skill and talent, Mel has quickly built a team of successful Recruiters.

“Mel deserves to win this award because she is an inspiration to her colleagues and to women in the technology space.”

Mel and her team recruit for Software and Web Developers across the North West, and she is delighted to see the progress of technology in the local area:

“Working every day with clients and candidates in the local area, it has been great to see Greater Manchester become a hotbed of talent in the technology sector.

“We have seen a huge growth in the number of local start-up tech companies, as well as seeing much larger companies expand and move their IT and technology divisions in the area to take advantage of the number of skilled professionals we have here.”

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