Published: August 13, 2020 | Updated: August 13, 2020

Amanda’s ‘happy place’ is the sea in front, Old Harry to the right and Isle of Wight to the left

Amanda Reuben, Owner, Bijou Recruitment.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Amanda Reuben’s words will strike a chord with many.

“This was my happy place – and it still is,” she says, talking of Dorset.

“It’s where I spent many of my holidays as a child.

“When we had the chance, we leapt at the opportunity to move here.

“There’s not a day now when I don’t go down to the beach.

“I see the sea in front of me, Old Harry Rocks to the right and the Isle of Wight to the left.

“Whatever else is going on I feel that all is right with the world.”

Known as a ‘DFL’ – Down From London – the 54-year-old headhunter moved to Westbourne with husband Rodger, a business advisor, exactly 12 months ago.

The couple have four sons, aged 18 to 25, between them.

Her business, Bijou Recruitment, founded in 2014, previously specialised in the retail and fashion sectors.

Clients included Giorgio Armani, Loaf, Swarovski and Penhaligon’s.

It now has a wider remit and includes other sectors.

But one thing that has stayed constant is Amanda’s notebook.

Because her unique approach is to “get under the skin” of every candidate and company she takes on.

She said: “I will not put any candidate before a client until I’ve met, screened and interviewed them.

“And, by the same token, I will not put a client before a candidate until I’ve seen the company and got all the requirements for the brief.

“That includes the skills and experience the client is looking for but also the company values and culture.

“I consider that so important.

“My interview style is open and engaging, maybe even quirky and sometimes even downright nosy.

“It is, however, precisely this granular detail that I believe sets Bijou apart and creates what I call the Bijou Difference.”

Amanda was previously a director with a London recruitment firm.

But, she said: “I had my lightbulb moment in the summer of 2014 while in a job that simply didn’t suit me.

“A job which, therefore, made me very unhappy.

“I decided to be bold and to follow my instincts.

“To be true to myself.

“I resigned and, that very day, Bijou was born.

“It was without doubt the best decision of my professional life.”

Of course, recruitment, as with so many sectors, has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Amanda said she, like others, saw business literally dry up overnight.

It allowed her time to refocus her business as well as remodel the website.

For people facing redundancy, or who have already lost their job Amanda offers this advice.

  • Really stand out from the crowd. Make sure your CV is in top condition with no spelling mistakes, pictures or ‘silly’ graphics.
  • Ensure your CV is suited to the specific role you’re targeting.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a good cover note as this can highlight your personality and character.