From Comfort to Courage: How Recruitment Pushed My Boundaries

26 Jun 2019
We interview one of our #DreamTeam members, Justin who focuses on recruiting Senior and Front Office Investment professionals in Banking, Asset Management & Family Offices across Asia. We find out some inside scoop on what makes him come alive, what keeps him going, and some advice he has for fresh graduates hoping to enter recruitment: 

 1. What do you do at Funds Partnership Asia exactly? 

By developing in-depth relationships with top talent within the Investment and Asset Management industries, my primary focus is to partner with individuals and companies alike, using the depth and breadth of my expertise and market knowledge to deliver a full consultative service and identify the right individuals for the right companies.

Roles I specialise in recruiting for include: Investment Research/Equity Research/Risk/Fund Performance Analyst & Portfolio/Fund Managers for Investment Firms.

2. Tell us more about your background. Did you ever expect yourself to be a recruitment consultant?

I graduated from the University of Western Australia majoring in Finance and Economics. I never expected to become a recruitment consultant! However, I was always interested in the Asset Management space, so I was already applying for jobs in the sector. Funnily enough, one of my Junior College mates, Daryl, chanced upon my profile on a job portal and decided to represent me for an opportunity in the asset management space. That’s how I started learning more about recruitment, and I haven’t looked back since

3. Describe your typical work day as a consultant!

Like other corporate jobs, we have ‘fixed’ working hours from 8:30 to 6:30pm, but what’s great is that we aren’t desk-bound. My typical day comprises of meetings or phone calls with clients and candidates, to check-in on them and maintain the relationships. Also, I have 4 sessions of Power-Hour every week, where I do nothing but chase warm leads and make cold calls for business development purposes. It’s quite intense but I’ve grown to love it! Finally, there is the mundane-but-very-important administrative work that I need to do to ensure I’m keeping tabs on all the different clients’ and candidates’ progress.

4. Have you ever been uncertain or fearful on the job?

Yes, for sure! Starting out, when I had to make my first client call I had no idea what to expect or how to even start the conversation. However, with much training and coaching from my colleagues in FP Asia, it got much easier as I went along! I also believe in learning by trial and error, so this job definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone to grow

5. Considering all the candidates you have met thus far, what personal attributes do you think clients look out for?

Generally, clients are more inclined to pick candidates who are confident and concise in their interviews. I always tell my candidates not just regurgitate their CV but internalise their strengths and experiences and share the essence of it! it is extremely important for your personality and X-factor to shine through. If the candidate sounds like he or she knows what they want in life or are very intentional about their next step or goals, it is very attractive to the client!

6. Considering all the clients you’ve met thus far, what do you think draws a candidate to accept an offered role?

One big factor that is often overlooked is chemistry between the client and the candidate. This is something that you definitely cannot ‘prepare’ for as an employer, so it is just best to be yourself! Do remember that their first impression of the interviewer is oftentimes a reflection of the company and its culture, so portraying this accurately is important as well. It definitely helps if the offer is attractive too

7. What’s the best part of your current position?

What is most fulfilling is the sense of achievement when I manage to close a role with a client, and when there is mutual satisfaction on both sides! I also enjoy having the autonomy to manage my own time – as long as I hit my targets, there is a lot of flexibility on how I want to spend my day.

8. What was the biggest challenge you faced when you were on the job? Are there any kind of unique challenges?

A big part of recruitment is about time management, as there will be multiple projects, clients, candidates to handle at one point in time. I’ve come to realize that becoming a top consultant is simply about having a mind-blowing level of discipline – sometimes it’s really about a numbers game

9. Is there time for life outside of work?

Definitely! It’s all about time management and discipline again. For example, I’m still able to squeeze in a 60-90 min gym session every day despite my busy schedule!

10. Would you recommend/advise fresh graduates to join the fund management industry as recruitment consultants? 

Yes! This is especially if they don’t know what they want to do, but are interested in closing deals or business development. I think it’s a good entry point for anyone who want to know what it’s like working in a goal-oriented, sales environment.

11. What advice would you give to someone who wishes to be a consultant?

DON’T GIVE UP! The first month will be the hardest when you have to hit the ground running, but it gets easier every day. One tip would be planning your schedule the evening before – it really helps me focus on which are the important and urgent tasks.