#RealRecruiters Series: Jocelyne Liu, Recruitment Consultant at Robert Walters San Francisco
Jocelyne Liu heard about Robert Walters through a mutual friend via Instagram. Following her role as a manager at Target, Jocelyne discovered that she already had many of the skills that would propel her success as a Recruitment Consultant at Robert Walters. Learn about Jocelyne's career growth, and what her typical day looks like in the following article.
How did you hear about Robert Walters, and what were you doing before your career as a recruitment consultant?
So I essentially heard of Robert Walters through the Robert Walters Instagram. My (now) colleague, Vivian, posted about the fact that Robert Walters was hiring, and one of my boyfriend’s mutual friends saw it, and referred me to the role. That was followed by a chat on Facebook, which ultimately resulted in my role here.
Before my career as a Recruitment Consultant, I was an Executive Team Lead/Manager at Target, which is where I realized I wanted to pursue either a career in HR or recruitment, but then after being at Target for a while, I realized that HR or recruitment in a retail space wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.
What made you want to work for Robert Walters San Francisco, vs other job offers you were considering?
When I first learned about Robert Walters, I didn’t know much about what it would be like to work for a recruitment agency (versus working as an internal recruiter). After hearing more about what the role entailed, and getting the run-down from my friend, I was super excited to pursue the opportunity.
Did you have any preconceived notions about what it would be like to be a recruiter? Have your opinions changed since starting at Robert Walters?
Well, I thought I was going to be on the phone all the time, spending much of my time cold calling. I don't necessarily enjoy being on the phone all the time, so I wasn't sure how that was going to go, but going through the interview process and working here, I quickly realized that that's not the case in our office. I really have ownership and the ability to block off my schedule or calendar with a mix of screening calls, coffee meetings with candidates, and client lunches. I think I have a great mix of in-person meetings, calls, and LinkedIn focused computer work. I really have the ability to schedule my time based on what I feel like is the most efficient way for me to work. Plus, we don’t really do cold calls either, which is great.
What sorts of clients and candidates do you work with?
I’m on the Design team here. We work with early state startups (from series A to D) as well as larger enterprises. Some of the companies I work with just as examples are Chime, Shift, Quizlet and also smaller startups that are in hyper-growth mode. I focus specifically on design roles, so I work with clients in that field looking to hire, as well as candidates who are a mix of visual designers, researchers, and product designers (among others).
You worked previously as a recruiter for Pepperdine and also at Target as an executive team lead. How have the skills gained in those roles helped you in your current role?
I feel like in both roles I really honed my organizational skills, which are so important as a recruiter when you're juggling so many different clients, candidates, and processes in general.
But I think more recently, the soft skills I gained while at Target have helped me succeed in my current role. As a manager, I had direct reports who had been in the business for many more years than me, who would often judge me based on my years of experience or my age. So, it was a really great experience to navigate through that environment and learn to be more of a servant leader, having tough conversations with people but also being sympathetic to them and to the situation. Persistence and a positive attitude when things go wrong are also key skills I’ve learned in my career before Robert Walters.
How would you describe the office culture in the Robert Walters San Francisco office?
I honestly love our office and the people I work with so much. We're constantly building each other up and celebrating each other's wins whenever we make placements. We also share candidates, working together to present them opportunities when they come up. We also like to have fun while we're working hard, too. We have weekly happy hours and company events.
I also hang out with a lot of my colleagues outside of work, and just yesterday, our office dodgeball team, “Robert Balters”, won a grueling game against a long time rival.
How has your career progressed since you joined? Do you feel like you’ve had opportunities towards growth?
I came in not really knowing too much about full-cycle recruitment, and now I feel really comfortable with the whole process. Even after the first two months, because of the training here, I was able to master the process very quickly. I was equipped with all the information, resources, and the confidence I needed to really do my job to the best of my ability from the beginning.
Since starting, I’ve learned so much about how to navigate processes, how to provide my clients with valuable market insights, and how to assist them in improving their own interview processes and candidate experiences. My manager is able to give me opportunities that push me towards growth, while providing her support all along the way.
What is the most challenging aspect of working with candidates and clients?
I think the most challenging aspect of working with clients and candidates is maintaining full transparency throughout the process. It’s important that candidates are comfortable enough to really tell you what they want, what they're motivated by, and if they're interested in a given opportunity.
On the client side, the biggest challenge is making sure expectations about the role are clear and feedback to the candidate is succinct. If we don’t have a clear idea of our clients’ expectations, we aren’t able to curate candidates that we send to them, making roles really difficult to place.
Can you describe what a day looks like in your role?
Every day is different, but on Mondays, I plan out my week starting with a team chat in the morning. During that time, we talk about candidates who are open to opportunities, and share each other's candidates (with their permission).
From then on, I will typically have screening calls set up throughout the day (I average about 3/day). While I’m not screening candidates, I'm on LinkedIn headhunting. I also do a lot of scheduling (setting up next steps for candidates, getting availability, etc.). In order to keep processes moving as quickly as possible, I do a lot of “following up” phone calls. Some days I meet candidates in person for coffee either at our office or close to our office.
Do you think a recruitment consultant needs to be competitive to be successful at robert walters?
Yes, and I’m definitely a competitive person. I think having competitive drive motivates people to work harder or faster, and timelines are so important in this job. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of healthy competition, and it helps that we have fun incentives like food and travel.
Do you feel like you’re having an important impact on people’s lives?
Definitely! I feel like that's the most rewarding part about this job. Choosing your next career move is such a big life decision, and being an integral part of someone getting to the next level in their career is a really rewarding feeling.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about being a recruitment consultant at Robert Walters San Francisco?
Sometimes people are surprised to hear that we have a non-commission model where it's very team-based. I think they're also surprised to hear that we're a part of the hiring process from beginning to end. A lot of times candidates don't realize that we're the ones pushing the process along, getting feedback for them, and really trying to convey an authentic picture of them to the companies they’re interested in.