In our Consultant Spotlight Q&A series, we take a magnifying glass to the day-to-day responsibilities, opportunities and challenges that our consultants experience while working at Kerry Consulting.
In this edition of the series, Joey Wong, Senior Consultant specialising in Marketing Communications searches within our Financial Services Practice, sits down to discuss her reasons for making a mid-career switch to recruitment.
Joey Wong, Senior Consultant, Kerry Consulting’s Financial Services Practice
Q: What made you want to join the recruitment industry?
A: I was always curious about career paths and motivations. What makes someone join an established firm vs. a start-up? What excites them about work? What is the career opportunity offered in a position?
In recruitment, there is a valid reason for me to dive into this.
Every day, I get to interview candidates to understand what makes them tick so that I can find the right job that fit their goals. This can be career growth, lifestyle and family changes, or simply financial needs.
I get to really understand the reason for the headcount and partner businesses to find the right candidate to drive that upcoming ambitious growth plans, or someone who can be relied on to manage day-to-day operations.
Q: What do you best enjoy about being a recruitment consultant?
A: While I get to partner with many clients and candidates, there is a growing network with whom I have stronger ties. This is the group that I can learn from and grow with, continue to partner for upcoming opportunities and reach out to discuss the latest in the market. For me, this sense of community is what gives meaning to recruitment.
Of course, the cherry on top is a successful placement where both candidate and client are happy!
Q: Can you briefly explain what your profession and responsibilities were like prior to recruitment?
A: Prior to recruitment, I worked in large advertising firms. I fronted client meetings, built an understanding of their business challenges, and worked with strategists, creatives, developers, and leadership teams to tackle problems.
In a way, it is similar to recruitment. Now I provide talent solutions instead of marketing solutions.
Q: What made you want to work at Kerry Consulting?
A: Early in my career, a boss said something that resonated with me. While I can’t recall the exact turn of phrase, the gist was that clients are individuals who you will share a meeting room with for a long time.
This idea of long-lasting client relationships appeals to me. It means a warm engagement over a transactional one, knowing the business inside out and truly caring enough to value-add.
Kerry Consulting, with its focus on creating positive long-term outcomes for both our clients and our candidates, continues that belief – and that is the precise reason why I chose to work here.
Q: How has your past experience as a marketer supported your role as a recruitment consultant?
A: When I first started recruitment, I managed compliance hires – focusing on mandates in regulatory compliance, transactional monitoring, KYC etc. It was a world away from marketing.
While my compliance knowledge did naturally grow overtime, my current focus on marketing communications is a major plus in my conversations with clients and candidates. I get what is said – or not said – quickly since I am familiar with the nuances of the function, and I can really empathise with their daily wins and challenges since I have a similar background. It sometimes feels like I never left marketing!
“Qualities a recruiter should have to set themselves up for success include a good energy level, healthy interest in your chosen industry/function and excellent time management.”
Q: What are the biggest opportunities/challenges facing the recruitment industry now?
A: The recruitment landscape has changed a lot – younger candidates are not always looking for a straightforward step up. As non-linear careers gain popularity, there is a stronger need to better understand both the opportunity and the candidate before making a connection.
Q: What advice would you give those who are potentially looking for a mid-career switch to recruitment?
A: This will be a non-linear career move – but one that could be very meaningful for the right reasons. Consider your motivations for this potential switch to recruitment and speak to someone who has made a mid-career switch themselves to get their perspective.