From PA to recruitment

Claire Hunt

Claire Hunt manages the HR division in our Sydney office. Prior to joining Robert Walters in 2014, Claire held PA roles in both the UK and Australia. We caught up with her to discuss her transition into recruitment, what she enjoys about her role and what it takes to succeed at Robert Walters.

Tell us about your switch from PA to recruitment

I approached Robert Walters as a candidate looking for PA roles soon after arriving in Sydney. My consultant explained how my experience as a PA would be highly transferable into a recruitment career and asked whether I’d consider working as a recruiter. After speaking with a few friends in similar roles, I decided to go for it. I love working with people and get a real buzz from hitting high targets, so it seemed the perfect fit.

How were your skills transferable?

The time management and organisation skills that I developed as a PA have been invaluable to my transition into recruitment. Similar to PA work, recruitment can be fast-paced and it requires flexibility and the ability to stay one step ahead.

In recruitment, creating genuine relationships with clients and candidates is key to delivering the best possible results. However, you won’t receive a ‘yes’ from every person you speak to, so patience and persistence are key. As a PA, I had to establish strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders to ensure I always had the information I needed. This experience made me feel comfortable working with professionals at all levels, which is crucial to working in recruitment. 

How did Robert Walters help you transition into your new role?

Robert Walters provides great on-the-job training. The company’s comprehensive training program has helped me to establish excellent working practices to manage my workload as well as develop strong client management skills.

What do you like best about working for Robert Walters?

I love that every day is different and I’m always meeting new people. I also really enjoy the supportive and social aspects of the working environment. Collaborative working is strongly encouraged throughout the business and, with regular social and charity events taking place during the year, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun and build more personal relationships with your colleagues. It’s also great to be in control of my earning potential.

How has your career progressed at Robert Walters?

Within eight months of joining the company, I achieved my first bonus and was awarded ‘Rookie of the Quarter’ for the business support team, as well as being invited to the top billers’ lunch and awarded cash vouchers.  After two years, I was promoted to senior recruitment consultant, where I became involved in mentoring and supporting my team. Since then, I have been promoted to managing consultant in the business support team and more recently I became the manager of the HR division. I am keen to succeed and the incentives continue to drive me. My focus for this coming year will be to develop the potential of everyone within my team by helping them grow in their roles.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in recruitment?

To be successful, you need to be hard working, resilient and determined to overcome challenges. I learnt very early on that if you have the ability to collaborate and think smart, there is great earning potential and your hard work will pay off.


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