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Leah Graves
Job Title
Head of Product Strategy
Reed in Partnership

After joining Reed via the graduate scheme, Leah led some key early talent initiatives for Reed, and then made the move to Reed in Partnership to build a career within product.

What motivated you to join Reed?

When I graduated, I had a friend who was working as a recruitment consultant for Reed and they recommended the graduate scheme to me.

The graduate scheme particularly attractive to me as you have the opportunity to rotate roles and I was very much still trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career at that point. When I first applied, I had every intention of joining as a recruitment consultant like my friend, but then I found out about Reed in Partnership and their employability programmes and knew that the role of an employment adviser was perfect for me. Right at the beginning, I had no idea that Reed was more than just a recruitment company.

What opportunities presented themselves to you on the graduate scheme?

I worked in different parts of the Reed Group while on the scheme. In the first year on the grad scheme I worked for Reed in Partnership, as an employment adviser based in Cornwall. In my second rotation I moved to Northampton to work in the early talent team, covering Reed and, as early talent coordinator. Then in my final year, I was promoted to early careers lead within the same team.

I was really fortunate to be exposed to a lot of senior stakeholders early on in my career and found that I enjoyed finding solutions to the challenges they presented to me and needed support with. Some of my biggest achievements included doubling the intake for Reed’s undergraduate placement scheme and introducing a technology undergraduate placement scheme at I also improved our internship scheme and increased our number of interns across the business. That work led to Reed being recognised as one of the Top 100 Student Employers by RateMyPlacement in 2019/20.

How has your career evolved over time, and what do you enjoy most about your current role?

I’ve had as many jobs as I have years working across the Reed Group! I’ve been lucky to have a promotion each year and am now in the role of Head of Product Strategy at Reed in Partnership. My current role is new to the business, so I’m enjoying the challenge of building the foundations of the role and how it can best support the people who use our services and other support functions. I’m also excited to be more involved in the new products we develop to enhance our services, making sure they’re the right solution to our customers’ problems.

What support have you been given in your role, both in your immediate and wider team?

I’ve been surrounded by supportive teams and managers in all my roles across the Reed Group. There have been managers who have spotted opportunities where I can support and got me involved in some really interesting projects such as implementing new services into the company.

I’ve also made use of the professional development fund and completed courses to develop my skills and become a certified Change Management Practitioner.

Can you tell us about a project you’ve worked on that you are particularly proud of?

The project which I am most proud of is setting up a programme to support BBC employees who were fleeing Afghanistan and seeking refuge in the UK. The BBC reached out to a range of companies asking for support and Reed in Partnership designed and implemented a programme within 13 days to support those employees when integrating into UK society and finding employment. It was a perfect example of us demonstrating our value, ‘We take ownership’, by recognising we could offer some support to people who were in a devastating situation.

What do you think makes Reed unique and why should someone consider working here?

I think Reed is unique as we place a strong emphasis on our company values and they are truly embedded in the work that we all do on a day-to-day basis. A person should consider working here if they’re looking to be a part of a company which truly wants to have a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s also a great company to work for if you’re looking for support to develop your skills further and a variety of opportunities where you can continue to progress your career.

What’s next for you?

As Head of Product Strategy at Reed in Partnership, my goal is to ensure we have processes in place that enable us to make our products more accessible and demonstrate our commitment to putting our customers first when we introduce new products and services.