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From Big4 to recruitment

Making the switch from a Big4 to recruitment proved to be the right career move for Jef.

After a career start within Big4, Jef decided to take a new professional path and join Walters People as a Recruitment Consultant. The right choice, as it soon turned out. 

What did you study and how did you get into recruitment? 

After obtaining my master's degree in Social and Economic Sciences, I decided to delve further into taxation with an Advanced Master in Tax Law. Not so much the numerical, but rather the analytical and advisory aspects within the tax world attracted me. After graduating, I was able to start working immediately as a Junior Tax Consultant within one of the Big4. After six months in this role, I decided to change direction in my career and joined Walters People as a Recruitment Consultant.  

Why this early career switch? 

As a recent graduate, I sort of automatically rolled into my job within Big4. It was a logical continuation of my studies and moreover, the Big4 have a strong reputation - and rightly so. However, it soon became clear to me that I was not getting the expected satisfaction from my job. I missed human contact and the opportunity to have a real impact as a consultant. Moreover, within the Big4 I was being guided to become a top expert in a specific tax branch, while I actually wanted to develop a broad knowledge in my job.  

Why did you choose Robert Walters?  

One of my best friends was already working at Robert Walters. Of course our jobs came up regularly, and she always spoke very positively about her work. So when she suggested over time that recruitment might be something for me, I was immediately excited. I was particularly attracted to the commercial aspect of the job, where you build long-term customer relationships. I know quite a few alumni who were active in the student union, and spoke to two of them who were also working at Robert Walters. They too were full of praise for their employer as well as the job content. The fact that I heard positive stories from different people won me over to make that bold career jump.  

You have now been with Robert Walters for one year. How do you look back on that first year?  

I haven't regretted my choice for a single day. Being in contact with candidates and clients from the very beginning, you quickly learn a lot in this role. You gain insight into business operations, learn to professionally deal with different types of people and develop in-depth people skills. After intensive onboarding training, you immediately gain ownership of your portfolio and the necessary freedom to fulfil your responsibilities your way. After six months on the job, being able to advise a CFO on market-compliant salaries for employees in his team is a real kick.

Every day, I feel I am making a difference for my clients and candidates. This is exactly why I made the switch.  

How do your studies and work experience within Big4 help your job as a Recruitment Consultant? 

I work within the finance team and focus on jobs within accounting & finance, but also banking & insurance and tax & treasury. So my knowledge and background come in handy when clients brief me on the technical aspects of their vacancies. My background is also a plus in the search for the right candidate, as I can draw on my personal experience within Big4 to assess the match between job and candidate. 

What are your further ambitions at Robert Walters? 

Robert Walters offers consultants a clearly defined growth path. I am therefore fully open to working towards this. It's nice to know that a managerial role is a possibility in due course, but right now I am mainly driven to grow in my role as a consultant, expand my network and perfect my skills.  

What advice do you have for graduates who do not yet know what direction they want to take?  

I would recommend taking plenty of time to consider all the options. Don't focus on your field of study, but also explore other possibilities. Talk to organisations within different disciplines, and consult specialised recruiters - job fairs are the ideal opportunity for this, by the way.  Conversations with your friends or fellow students can also be inspiring. And last but not least: dare to think outside-the-box!


Would you also like to be part of this team?

Then quickly discover our internal vacancies.

Jülide moved from Istanbul to Brussels and felt part of the team from day one, all set for a new and exciting adventure.

Gemma looked for a position where she could impact people's lives and further develop herself. She even moved for it, from Spain to Belgium!

Christophe's skills, motivation and a tailor-made career path ensured he advanced to a management position in just two years. 

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