Irish Recruiter Abroad
As the first (of hopefully many!) article in our new series – “Recruiter Abroad” – I interviewed my fellow business partner and Co-Founder of Pro Resume Write & Pro Recruitment Solutions (Dualta Doherty) to find out about his experiences as an Irish Recruiter working abroad.
How long have you been in recruitment and why did you originally get into it?
I have been in Recruitment for 4.5 years.
When I finished my undergraduate degree 10 years ago, I knew I had an interest in business strategy but my attention to detail and administration skills were never going to be good enough for a career in Marketing.
I returned home to Donegal and further to advice from friends and family I started to try and find some information on sales positions before stumbling upon the recruitment industry. After blindly attending some recruitment Interviews in Dublin the general feedback was “Go and get some life experience and come back and give it a try when you are ready”.
Years later whilst travelling Australia I met my now fiancé who was working in recruitment and it reignited my interest into the industry. With a new suit and a clean shave I chanced my way into Robert Walters where I was fortunate enough to be given a shot as an IT Recruiter. Luckily I hit the right desk at the right time and was given world class training.
What is your current role?
I currently co-own and operate to 2 global businesses that fall under the banner Pro Recruitment Solutions:
- Pro Resume Write ( proresumewrite.com ) – which is a global online based resume writing business that leverages the skills of my business partner (Charlotte Flatley) and our other recruitment experts aka our Brand Ambassadors.
- Pro Recruitment Solutions – We work with a select number of global Agency Recruitment companies and help them source the best talent in their core markets – Ireland, England, USA, Canada, Australia, the UAE and Asia. We also partner with some niche local Agencies who have unique offerings for the more tenured Recruitment Consultant.
What, do you feel, are the key differences between Recruiting in Perth and in Calgary?
Tough question – I have worked for 2 very different companies:
- Robert Walters is a global top tier recruitment player and David Aplin are a National family owned business.
- I think Canadians and Australians are very different in how they do business.
- The sales cycle was much longer Calgary.
- The market was much more contract focused in the IT sphere in Calgary.
- Whilst Perth was heavily reliant on Iron Ore/Oil and Gas, Calgary was ever more so on Oil & Gas – hence right now it is being hit hard.
- Wages in Perth are better but commission rates in Calgary are more attractive.
- UK Companies dominate Perth and Calgary has more local/boutique agencies with legacy accounts and relationships.
- % Rates charged are much higher for permanent placements in Calgary.
- % Margins charged for contract are pretty similar.
- Working hours in Perth are much longer, in Calgary very few firms will work 8 to 6 with flexible working being a norm.
- More companies have the 180 split in Calgary (Account Managers and Recruiters) than Perth which is 360 focused.
- Recruiters tend to be older in Calgary and it is often see as something you get into after a solid tenure in a sales career.
You were one of the top performers at Robert Walters when you were in Perth, what was the key to your success?
I was lucky to get into the right team with the right manager when the market was good and booming. I also knew at 27 it was my last shot at a professional career so I was driven to succeed and make it work. Overall I’d have to say timing, determination, perseverance plus a sprinkling of luck. That said, as a friend of mine always says “you make your own luck in life!”
What interests do you have outside recruitment and how do you fit them in with the crazy hours we work?
Still working on this one. Our new schedule means we work morning and late evening so there tends to be some down time late afternoon to go to the gym. It is difficult for Recruiters to get the right work life balance but to stay in the game its essential.
What inspired you to take the plunge and work for yourself?
I have always wanted to run my own business. I love discussing business strategy and having the control and flexibility to implement marketing ideas and process improvements. This does drive my business partner a little crazy as each change requires lots of technical/administration on the back end (especially in Pro Resume Write which has lots of moving ecommerce parts).
I have been thinking about Rec2Rec for a while. When I was a Recruitment candidate I was only approached re-actively and very late on in my search and could of really used the help of a good Rec2Rec who would go to the effort of mapping out a market and taking pride in the amount of information they give to the candidate. I know this is something a lot of recruitment companies say but our point of difference is we do go the extra mile for our candidates. We do not work jobs, we work our candidates and find the best fit for them in the location they are after.
You successfully recruited IT positions for a number of years, what prompted you to change disciplines and recruit Recruiters?
Honestly, I am more interested in Recruitment than IT. I’m not really that technical and I find I prefer being an expert in what I am selling so I enjoy the conversations I have with Recruiters and feel I am better able to advise them on their careers. Like any recruitment, recruiting Recruiters doesn’t come without its frustrations. It’s like trying to trying to be a match maker but all your clients are on tinder.
What advice would you give recruiters from Ireland who are considering a recruitment career in Australia or Canada?
Reach out to us. If you have 1 to 5 years and have consistently billed there is an excellent chance we can help you. If we can’t we will be able to point you in the right direction.
It is important to take the below into account:
- Don’t expect it to be easy and choose a firm that has enough relationships to get you started.
- Recruiters are seriously lazy with their resumes, make sure you have all your key achievements, KPI’s and billing listed.
- Don’t expect relocation support unless you are a real proven commodity. It can happen but you would need to be in the top 20% and going to a strong market.
- Do lots of interviews in your chosen city, this will help you get a feel for the market.
- Consider changing discipline if you are moving city, catching the right desk can be the key to your success.
- Don’t get too hung up on your starting salary – Once you get a local book of business your earning potential will go through the roof. Look to possibly put a 6 month review in place.
Socially, how did you make friends and integrate into Australian Society and how did you found the expat scene in Calgary?
Luckily being from Buncrana (Donegal) for some reason there are always people from home out and traveling/living abroad which was definitely the case in both cities. I also joined football teams and met a few locals through that. Embrace the Expat scene and if you are lucky enough to make a few local friends take it as a bonus.