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From Big 4 professional to recruitment consultant

What makes recruitment such a great choice for finance professionals looking for a career change?

Former Big 4 professionals Christophe Paquay and Aline Lewy discuss their reasons for making the move and tell us what a day in the life of a recruitment consultant looks like.

How did you get into recruitment?

Christophe: “After over three years working as an Auditor I was ready for a change and started looking for a more commercial & client-facing job. While talking to my consultant, I realised that being in daily contact with HR decision makers and professionals looking for a new challenge is a rewarding job. Becoming part of an international organisation promoting self development and offering interesting growth opportunities, convinced me to move into recruitment.”

Aline: “As an Auditor, you are trained to analyse data and advise on how to optimise business processes. But after three years in that role, I felt I did not make enough impact. I was interested in a more entrepreneurial role in which my expertise could be used to help people. When my consultant raised the idea of recruitment with me, I realised that this was exactly what I was looking for.”

How were your skills transferable into recruitment?

Aline: “My studies at Solvay and previous Big 4 role has really helped me in this job. My experience with private equity and asset management allowed me to understand my clients’ needs, not just in terms of the technical skills required for a role but also in terms of who would be the best fit.”

Christophe: “My Big 4 experience was definitely a plus as I learned to be empathic and diplomatic. Being able to rely on my technical skills and ability to build client relationships really helped me to become a successful Recruitment Consultant.”

How does recruitment compare to your previous role?

Christophe: “In my previous role I lacked independence. Today I manage my own agenda and am able to meet interesting candidates an clients from a range of organisations, from SMEs to blue chip companies.”

Aline: “Helping people and having an impact on their professional lives is an added value that I had never experienced before.”

If you’re eager to learn and pay high importance to bringing added value and using your financial expertise, a career in recruitment is definitely worth while considering.

What are the benefits of working at Robert Walters?

Christophe: “There’s a great atmosphere in our team. Although you’re able to work independently, you can always rely on a mentor or member of the management team to provide advice when required. Your success and how quickly you evolve is based on your own efforts. Incentive trips are also organised each year for top achievers to destinations such as Phuket, Miami, Barbados… Things like this really motivate everyone in the team to go the extra mile.”

Aline: “I really enjoy getting to work with such driven and motivated people. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off each other. Being able to talk to different types of organisations, allows you to see and learn things you would not be able to do in another job”.

What does a day in the life of a recruitment consultant look like?

Aline: “Every day is different and the first few months are quite tough as you need to build client and candidate relationships based on trust. After that, you get to see the impact you’re making and the added value you bring when you’re able to bring clients and candidates together.”

What advice would you give to those interested in a career in recruitment?

Christophe: “Lots of graduates kick off their career within a Big 4 as they feel it’s an extension of their learning curve. If you’re eager to learn and pay high importance to bringing added value and using your financial expertise, a career in recruitment is definitely worth while considering.” 

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