Amanda Hobson – Managing Director - Easypay Services
Posted: Monday 5th June 2017
We're proud to continue our 'Life Stories' feature with Amanda Hobson, Managing Director of Easypay Services!
Amanda shares some great facts about her life and talks us through her early career and how she ended up where she is today, heading up Easypay Services who, with over 40 years combined experience, are able to provide finance, payroll and back office services to support the recruitment industry.
When and where were you born?
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and lived there until I was 5. My parents were there 10 years, and decided to come back when the apartheid started.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to join the police force or be in the Navy. I actually got through to the Officer selection process with the admiralty board in Portsmouth and spent 5 days on a base being assessed for an officers position. Unfortunately, I was young, only 18, and failed due to a lack of confidence. The experience actually put me off!
Did you go to university or college? How did you decide what you wanted to study?
I found my A-levels quite traumatic,, so decided to take a gap year. During this year, my father made sure I did not sit idle and sent me to work in his recruitment agencies. I initially started doing credit control. When the year was up, I had the hardest decision in my life to make. To go to University (I had secured a place a Newcastle to do business studies) or to keep working in recruitment. I chose to stay working in recruitment so never ended up going to university.
How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life? How do you feel about that choice?
I do not regret my choice, but must say that I started working for my dad at a very opportune moment. He had just found out his business partner had embezzled him, and he needed someone he could trust. He also hated recruitment and wanted out, so all I had to do was prove I was capable, and then he handed the ropes over to me. I was made a Director at the age of 23 and running an agency with a turnover of £4 million by then.
What was your first job? What did you like or not like about it?
I spent my summers working in a printing company, again for my father from the age of 12! – I don’t think the laws were so strict back then for child labour! At 16 I remember working at a recycling factory from midnight to 7am in the morning. The trucks used to come in a deposit all the bottles, tins, and glasses on the factory floor. We used to be knee deep in rubbish and have to sift the glass, from the plastic, and plastic from the tin etc. Unfortunately as people had not rinsed it, I used to end up very messy and smelly by the end of the night often with food, baked beans, and beer all over me! Not very pleasant!
Which do you think you have the most of: talent, intelligence, education, or persistence? How has it helped you in your life?
Persistence and hardworking has got me where I am today.
Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
“It’s only a 2 minute job!” I say to my staff all the time when asking them to do a job and they tell me they have not got the time.
I like to help people focus on managing their time, and constantly recommend that they read my favourite time management book called “Eat that Frog!
I also like to use the phrase “Delegate the task and not the responsibility!”
Who are three people in history you admire most and why?
Margaret Thatcher, Churchill and Madonna. The first 2 because they were great inspiring leaders. Madonna has been a true idol of mine for many years. I read her biography and she had an incredible hard upbringing and it was through her sheer hard work and dedication to dancing and singing that has got her where she is today. She is also a strong women that likes to speak her mind.
What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but still don’t have?
Strangely enough, I have always been happy with what I have got. I have never wanted more than I could afford, or wanted too much of a good thing.
What do you think has stayed the same about you throughout life? What do you think has changed?
My work ethic has never changed, but having children, and juggling everything has given me a better appreciation for other people’s lives, and how life can be hard at times. I have become a softer employer over the years, with greater understanding of people and situations when things go wrong, whereas, in my early days, I had no patience for mistakes, or people who could not do the job in hand.
What words of wisdom can you pass on to the next generation of job seekers looking for a career in your industry?
Whilst grades and education do matter, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, if you work hard and persist, you will always succeed in life with what you want to do.
What words of wisdom would you share with your 21 year old self?
Be organised, and structured. These essential qualities will take you through life in everything you do, whether it’s socially, with your family, or at work.
When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered for?
Whilst many of my previous (and probably current) employees think I am a hard taskmaster, I hope they will remember me for helping and mentoring them to be better at what they do. I have trained many people in recruitment who now are successfully running their own recruitment business’s and have done for many years.