From the big 4 into recruitment
Lynley Hall made the move from Big 4 accountant to recruitment consultant when she joined Robert Walters in 2013. Since then, she has been promoted to senior consultant and through our international mobility programme, made the move from Adelaide to London.
She talks about the culture in our London office, what she enjoys most about her job and the opportunities in recruitment for someone considering a career switch.
What interested you in recruitment?
“I first came to Robert Walters as a candidate as they had placed me in a role when I was still in accounting. I had a good relationship with my consultant there who raised the idea of recruitment with me. After speaking to him about how my skills would be transferable and the commercial acumen required for the role, it sparked my interest.
How were your skills transferable?
Coming from a Big 4 accountancy firm and having extensive industry experience has really helped me in my current role. I understand what my clients really want, not just in terms of the technical skills required for a role but also in terms of who would be the best fit. Recruitment is similar to accounting in a number of ways; they’re both extremely commercial (particularly in the treasury space), you have to credible to get in front of a client, and you need a certain amount of technical proficiency. There’s more of a business development focus in recruitment, but the level of commercial acumen and strategic knowledge required for both roles is similar.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like working within the treasury space; it’s quite a senior market and close knit community. You have the opportunity to build a very strong recruitment network and the chance to develop your own brand within that market, outside of the Robert Walters brand. Now that I’ve been here a while, I’m seeing real pay offs in terms of senior roles coming in off the back of strong referrals and word of mouth. I also like that it’s consultative rather than transactional - there’s a real focus on long term relationship building.
What are some of the best things about working for Robert Walters?
I really enjoy getting to work with a group of highly intelligent and motivated team. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off each other and it’s quite a social workplace in that respect. As professional as the environment is, it’s also a very social one and we make the effort to catch up with each other outside work. Having moved here from Australia, it’s been great to come into such a friendly group. As a team we do a lot of fun things, such as nights out and quarterly lunches; we have a lot of foodies in our team so we go to some fantastic places.
Robert Walters also has a great international mobility scheme programme, which I’ve benefitted from myself having made the move from Adelaide to London. For someone who is keen to have an international career, it presents an incredible opportunity to work abroad in one of our global offices.
Tell us about your move to our London office?
I was keen to relocate overseas so I sat down with my associate director in Adelaide to discuss what opportunities were available to me. As I had a strong track record of success they were very open to me making the move. As I already had a number of friends in London, that seemed like the obvious choice. I’ve been here a year now and it’s worked out really well.
How did the business support you in your move?
In total it took a period of about eight weeks from the first conversation to my actual move, so it was a very quick process. The business were supportive right from the start helping me with all of the logistical aspects of the move, such as organising flights and temporary accommodation. In terms of the systems we use in London, they are the same as in Australia and the way we do business is also very similar, so that helped to make the move a lot easier.
Describe the culture in the London office
Much like our other offices it’s vibrant and social. While it’s a very driven culture, it’s still extremely supportive. The people here are quite similar to in Adelaide, they have relatively the same sense of humour, are commercially minded and highly motivated - Robert Walters tends to hire people with the same mind-set across the board. The London office is a quite big so there is a lot of excitement and energy on the floor which makes it a great environment to work in.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of making the move into recruitment?
The main piece of advice I would give is to talk to a consultant to find out more about the job and if it’s for you. It’s a really great commercial role and very meritocratic so for someone who performs well it can afford a very strong career, and one in which you can move up the ladder in quite a quick trajectory.”
Having moved here from Australia, it’s been great to come into such a friendly group. The London office is a quite big so there is a lot of excitement and energy on the floor which makes it a great environment to work in.
Read how Paul Kalo made the career switch from banking to recruitment and find out about his international move from Sydney to London.
Interested in a career with us? Please send an up-to-date CV to email@example.com or call +44 20 7509 8414.