Emily Bongiorno, Business Manager on our Mental Health Nursing team, spoke with us to discuss life in recruitment, benefits of working with an agency and giving an insight into the mental health sector. Get to know more about Emily here:

How did you get into recruitment?

I started in recruitment when I was 17, I walked into a high street agency for temporary work and they offered me a permanent role! The rest is history!

How has the mental health recruitment market changed since you first started?

It has changed considerably over the last 10 years, I think more people are aware of how mental health affects people and the need for medical professionals in this sector has become a lot bigger as more people are talking about mental health.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

The most rewarding part of my role would be watching my team flourish into their roles and placing candidates into hard to fill areas across the mental health sector. Knowing that we have made a difference to the patient lives is always in my mind whenever I work on a role – I always ask myself would I be happy to have this clinician helping my family, as I wouldn’t want to place anyone that I wouldn’t have working with my family.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Biggest challenge I have faced is learning a new area within the mental health sector as I used to work on psychiatry doctors for a number of years and moved across to the nursing team. Of course I knew about the sub specialties, but the job roles are very different and this was also a new area for Athona. We have grown very rapidly and I have had to learn quickly!

What makes a candidate stand out for you?

Their personality is the biggest way a candidate stands out for me, I get to know them and understand the issues they have had when working with agencies. Over the years I have made new friends from working with the candidates which I am very proud of.

What do you most admire about your candidates?

How much they care about the patients they look after and the way they handle themselves in difficult situations. During COVID, they continued to work when others were told to work from home, at the time this was a very scary situation for the world and they took it in their stride and continued to support the patients even when they were worried about getting the virus.

If you could give one piece of advice to a candidate, what would it be?

When choosing to work via an agency make sure you have a good relationship with your consultant as this is key to a good working relationship. Always be honest and if something isn’t right speak up.

What would you describe are the best benefits of working with an agency?

Flexibility and you get to work in various roles across different Trusts so you can find the right role for you. This works well for candidates that have families and need that flexibility as you can choose your shifts and we are there to negotiate hours etc with the trust to make it work well for you.

You know your candidates Emily, so tell us something interesting about you?

I am a wife and a mum to a beautiful girl who is 7 and a step mum to a lovely boy who is 9. My family is everything to me and in my spare time we always make sure we are making memories as that is what life is about!

Are you looking for a dedicated and specialist recruiter to find you your perfect role? Get in touch with Emily today:

T: 01277 245902

E: Emily.Bongiorno@athona.com

View our latest vacancies in Mental Health Nursing