Meet the Team: Head of Talent, Ciarán Smyth

Meet the Team: Head of Talent, Ciarán Smyth

Originally hailing from Ireland, Ciarán (he/him) is a rugby-playing family person with a particular penchant for a good old cuppa accompanied by rich tea biscuits. (Er, who doesn’t love that?!) Find out what he wishes people knew about recruitment, and the best advice he’s ever been given…


In one sentence, explain what you do. 

I find and vet incredible candidates for the very best luxury travel businesses – not only here in the UK, but across the globe.  


What made you want to work for Lightning? 

To be honest, before Lightning I probably didn’t see recruitment as a career. But what we do here is more meaningful and we try very hard to make it much less transactional. We do our best to create long-term partnerships with clients and support candidates through their career change journeys.


What’s the best part of your job? 

My job is largely speaking to people in the travel industry, which is full of incredible people who have amazing stories about their experiences in travel… What’s not to enjoy?! That aside, it’s really rewarding matching the right people to the right businesses and watching both thrive.


What does ‘professional’ mean to you – and how is it changing? 

I used to think of ‘professional’ in the traditional sense of the word, i.e. corporate suit and tie. But now, to me, professional means simply doing your job to the best of your ability and acting without guidance, but asking for support when it’s needed.


Why do you think diversity and inclusion should be a focus for businesses? 

It honestly baffles me that employers make conscious or unconscious decisions to not employ someone based on the way they look or how they identify, it’s not something I’ll ever understand. This has always been my mindset and, before working in recruitment, I naively figured it was the mindset of everybody else. But this clearly isn’t the case, which is why these conversations need to happen.


What advice would you give candidates looking for their next role? 

Don’t rush it. People who make a rushed decision and take the first thing that comes along often regret that decision later.


What advice would you give employers looking for fresh talent? 

Understand the market and acknowledge that the unicorn you’re looking for probably doesn’t exist – that’s probably why you haven’t found them!


What do you wish people knew about recruitment? 

Recruitment agencies can get a fairly bad rep – and in some cases I can understand why! I can only speak for Lightning, but we genuinely have your interests at heart and want to find the right people for the businesses they love.


What’s your guilty pleasure outside of work?

I’m 33 going on 73… So I do enjoy a cup of tea and way too many rich tea biscuits at about 8pm every evening.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

During downtime only spend time with people who you genuinely LOVE spending time with.


Fancy a chat? We’re a friendly bunch here at Lightning – so go on, get in touch

If you love to lurk, you can connect with Ciarán on LinkedIn or follow Lightning on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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31st January

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