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Award-winning Abid Kanji on How to Inspire

18th October 2016 | Awards, Blog, NonStop in the Press

“I once heard somebody say ‘forget being motivated to do something, it is all about determination’”, says NonStop Recruitment Associate Director Abid Kanji.

“So in the face to adversity, give it 100%. Life offers limited opportunity to succeed and ample opportunities to fail.”

Abid this month picked up an award for Most Inspiring Senior Manager/Director at Recruiter’s annual Investing in Talent Awards and says the ability to inspire others comes down to being humble enough to share your own failures, and leading by example.

“It’s sharing where you yourself have failed and how you have succeeded that enables others to grow, develop and succeed. Striving to be the best can often blur lines between how you succeed and why you choose to do it but remembering how you started in the first place brings things into perspective.”

This was not the first award for Abid, who founded and leads NonStop Chemical as well as our Swiss office. In 2013 and 2015 he was named Best Consultant at the Recruitment Business Awards.

In honour of his third win, we thought it apt to dust off some excerpts of a Q&A conducted after his 2015 win and published by Mercury xRM.


What attracted you to the recruitment industry?

At the beginning, I thought it would be more like HR, which I had a background in. I thought I’d be able to see more of organisational behaviour, compensation, benefits and rewards. But when I went for the interview with NonStop, it was Oli [managing director Oliver Donoghue] – I had a bit of a mancrush. But also, you could smell the money. I didn’t believe the commission structure (uncapped) was possible but the people I met and the success they spoke of was what sold me on this company and career.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry today?

Quality, ethics and regulation. Recruitment is a relatively young industry, it’s only been around for about 20 years, and it’s something that is heavily rewarded but not something that’s heavily regulated and so the biggest challenge we face is how we are going to regulate this sector and stop the cowboys.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for recruitment?

RPO and MSP. The industry is moving more and more into service-led areas where clients want more than just CVs sent, they want the whole process managed.

In one sentence, what’s been the secret to your success?

Self motivation and honing in on a niche – when I set up NonStop’s Swiss office in 2012, I was sat alone in an empty room with no one around me to motivate me, but I was the second top biller that year and the next year, still alone, I was the top.

What motivates you?

Money, it’s not the sole driver, but it’s a big one. Also, the chance to grow something like NonStop’s chemical division.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in business?

Don’t get distracted or dragged down by others that are failing, because there’s a reason for that. Stay focused on yourself, treat your clients and candidates as you would expect to be treated and be aware of the impact you’re having on their personal life. Your work is a reflection of yourself, author it.

Any tips on saving time during your work day?

Every minute counts. Turn emails off during the day. For those recruiting, if you have one position and one candidate, look for as many positions for that candidate as possible – double your rewards, halve your efforts. Make a day plan – plan your day out, not just with what you will do in the morning and what you will do in the afternoon but plan by the hour. Also, build a support network around you, more junior team members for example who will be able to help you with things and learn in the process – a win-win.


Photo: Carmen Vilano

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