From receptionist to recruitment

Leoni Simpson

Leoni decided to pursue her dream of travelling to Australia from the UK on a holiday working visa. She approached Robert Walters to assist her in securing admin work and her first assignment was as a temporary receptionist in our Sydney office.

In little over two years, she's progressed in her career with us and now manages our Sydney secretarial and business support team.

Here she discusses her accelerated career growth and gives us advice on what it takes to be successful in the world of recruitment. 

What initially interested you in pursuing a career in recruitment?

"Working at the Robert Walters reception desk gave me a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day role of a recruitment consultant, as well as the Robert Walters business. I was initially drawn in and excited by the idea that my success within the role and the business was controlled by me. As a competitive person, I was also attracted to the fact that it's very meritocratic and that hard work and determination is rewarded.

What happened next?

After temping as a receptionist for Robert Walters and getting an insight into what it would be like to work in recruitment, I applied for the position of recruitment consultant. Within two years I was promoted to senior consultant, and a few months later I was given the opportunity to take on the role of manager of the secretarial and business support team.

Describe an average day as a Robert Walters manager

The secretarial and business support team are a lively, vibrant and close knit bunch, with a great mix of personalities. We are very team focused and it's a very supportive environment. My role as manager is to help guide the team to be successful consultants whilst making it an interesting and fun environment to work in. Alongside training new starters, developing the existing team and assisting with day-to-day queries, I am still a very active recruiter and have my own clients to work with.

What are your top three reasons for working at Robert Walters?

1. Training - I can honestly say that Robert Walters offers amazing training opportunities to help all consultants, whether they’re experienced or not, to be the best they can be. 

2. Career progression - The opportunities for career progression in recruitment and specifically Robert Walters are fantastic. Speaking from experience, I do not know any other industry where in such a short space of time, I could have worked my way from a temp on reception, to managing a team in a global business.

3. Global opportunities - With a network of offices around the world, if you work hard and deliver results, there are a number of opportunities available to take your career overseas.

What are the key qualities of a successful recruiter?

1. Persistence - There is an interesting statistic we like to remind each other of in my team - 80% of sales are made after the fifth to twelfth contact. Persistence pays off!

2. Ability to listen - As much as recruitment is about sales and the ability to talk to people, being able to listen, understand, and deliver on the needs and requirements of your clients and candidates is crucial to success. 

3. Self driven - To be successful in such a competitive industry, you have to be self-motivated. Things will not fall into your lap; you have to want it and be prepared to work hard to get it. The rewards are definitely worth it."

The opportunities for career progression in Robert Walters are fantastic. I don't know any other industry where in such a short space of time, I could have worked my way up from a temp on reception, to managing a team in a global business

See how Oliver Harris went from recruitment consultant to CEO of Resource Solutions.

Interested in a career with a clear track to progression? Please send an up-to-date CV to our internal recruitment manager for Australia and New Zealand, jess.allan@robertwalters.com or call +61 3 86282100

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