Why consider a career in recruitment?


If you’re a professional looking for new career ideas, it’s a great time to consider a recruitment career. Changing professions at any stage can be daunting but understanding what’s on offer is the first step.

We talk to Nick Dunnett, MD of our Swiss business, about switching careers, the advantages of a career in recruitment and what a career in our Switzerland business could offer you.

“If you’re looking for a genuine alternative career path with great earning potential I would definitely recommend recruitment to any professional,” says Nick. “We hire a lot of accountants and lawyers, in fact a whole range of professionals have successfully transferred their skills into our business.”

Many professionals fear losing their expertise when they make a career change, but recruitment allows you to use that knowledge, just in a slightly different way:

“You can leverage your expertise every day and it means you have the credibility to build relationships,” says Nick commenting on transferable skills. He goes on to say: “Imagine you’re a CFO and you get a call from a recruitment consultant. If that consultant is an ex PWC accountant who knows a couple of people in your network, that’s a very different proposition to receiving a cold call from a recruitment consultant who starts the conversation, 'have you got any jobs I can recruit for?' "

Industry knowledge also allows you to understand business drivers for recruiting and what skills are really needed for a role: “That requires technical understanding and strong commercial awareness.” says Nick. “That’s particularly important in my business, the Swiss market is all about relationships, so your credibility and expert knowledge from your professional background is crucial to succeed.”

What about other advantages to a career in recruitment?

“The industry professionals and particularly the management consultants I’ve hired into the business like recruitment because they are in control of what they do. That’s especially true at Robert Walters as entrepreneurialism is such a fundamental part of the business,” says Nick. “You can build your own business plan and strategy and own the recruitment process, you’re not starting at the bottom.”

Nick’s found there are some common traits in successful career switchers into recruitment: “You have to be a proactive kind of person, someone who likes autonomy - people who don’t wait for things to happen do well.”

He also comments, “teamwork’s a big part of the Robert Walters culture, and that’s not true of all recruitment firms, so you need to be comfortable with the particular values of the firms you’re considering - a lot of people like the autonomy but can’t work with others, whereas we really value those who can work in a team.”

If you’re looking for a genuine alternative career path with great earning potential I would definitely recommend recruitment to any professional.

And what about opportunities with Robert Walters in Switzerland?

"There are opportunities globally, but I look after our Swiss business and there’s a genuine ‘greenfield’ opportunity here to come in and create your own part of the business. When I was MD of our South Africa business we went from 8-50 people in two years and I’m confident we can do the same here. In London I built a significant business in one of the world’s most competitive recruitment markets so I believe there’s significant career growth on offer in Switzerland. All we need now is even more talented people to grow the business and this creates enormous career opportunity."

Interested in a career with us? Please send an up-to-date CV to our internal recruitment manager, serena.pook@robertwalters.com.

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