My Journey to Recruitment
In my role as a Recruitment Consultant at Madison, I meet different candidates and clients on a daily basis— and I love getting to know people. There is always a question I get asked: ‘How did you get into your role? Why did you choose recruitment? I know that it’s common for people in this business to answer that they ‘fell’ into recruitment, but for me, it’s a different story.
From a young age, I enjoyed working. I started out with paper rounds, harassing the neighbours for babysitting work, dishwashing at my local chip shop, before moving on to waitressing at hotels and restaurants. I left school at 16, and was living in a small seaside town, with no idea what to do next. I was then lucky enough to secure a Business and Administration Traineeship with my local Council, which included a placement within Human Resources (HR). It was here that I discovered my passion for everything people-related! After the completion of my apprenticeship, I accepted a permanent role within the HR team where I gained exposure to different areas within HR, and it didn’t take me long to realise recruitment was the path I wanted to follow. Still young, with my life ahead of me and a big world out there, I decided to follow my travel dream and go to Australia.
Touching down in Sydney after 35 hours of travelling, with my backpack, limited savings and only a week booked at hostel, reality soon kicked in. I was 19; young and naïve and didn’t normally venture far from my hometown. The next few weeks were challenging. I was trying to navigate my way around a new city, meet new friends, understand the currency, secure long-term accommodation and of course, find a job.
I got in touch with a Recruitment Consultant at a local temp agency, and this was one of the best decisions I made. I secured an amazing role through her, and she was a pleasure to deal with. I thought her job looked glamourous; meeting with loads of different people and using the company credit card to take candidates and clients out for lunches and coffees… little did I know that this was only 5% of the role. The other 95% was far from glamorous or easy! However from this point onwards, I was determined. My career goal was to become a Recruitment Consultant within an agency.
I had a few bumps along the road. After getting diagnosed with a life-threating illness, having major surgery, family bereavements and depression, home sickness really kicked in. I realised things weren’t going to be easy, living so far away from home. I returned to Scotland and after a brief stint back home, I built up the confidence to return to Australia and start over again, this time in Sunny Perth. In Perth I worked hard in several short temp temporary roles, all the while applying for numerous Recruitment Consultant positions. I finally got the news I was hoping for, and secured a Recruitment Consultant role within a labour hire agency. The role was challenging, yet rewarding. I enjoyed helping people and enjoyed the pace. I learnt loads, including how much I love my sleep! I grew to hate the sound of my phone ringing at 5 am with phone calls from clients needing a temp to start at 5.30 am, or temps calling in sick.
Unfortunately due to some visa challenges, it became too tricky to stay in Perth, and I decided to leave. During my time in time there, I’d met a number of Kiwis, who I found to be friendly, helpful and fun to be around. These friends suggested that instead of going back to Scotland, I should try out New Zealand. I took their advice and headed for New Zealand, with a plan to pick up some temp work, travel and seeing the country before returning home to Scotland after six months. I was determined not to settle in another country, and had decided to leave the stress of recruitment behind me.
Well, you know the saying about ‘best laid plans’. Everything changed for me when I registered for temporary work with Madison. The Consultant I dealt with (who now has a leadership role in our business) helped me to secure the temp role that I wanted. I completed my assignment, and carried on temping with Madison, and all the while my consultant, who must have seen something in me, would chat about the possibility of taking a role at Madison. Of course I was hesitant—I had told myself I was going to avoid the stresses of agency recruitment while in NZ. I loved the candidate and client-side of the work, but I was less keen on the pressures, the competitiveness and long hours I had experienced in previous roles. My Madison consultant convinced me that there was a different way, and eventually I was persuaded.
This story has a happy ending because three years later, I’ve just received my NZ residency, I’m still working as part of the Madison team and loving every day! While from a young age I knew recruitment was the business for me, it took me a few tries to find the right fit. My current role is everything I could ask for. I recruit fantastic candidates for temporary positions with Government organisations and I can honestly say it’s my dream job!