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Globe-trotting Opportunities: Jess Taylor, Robert Walters New York

Like many of us, Jess Taylor got her first look at New York City watching various movies and TV shows over the years. So, after graduating from University back home in Australia, it’s no wonder New York was at the top of her list when eyeing up locations for a potential overseas move. Now, 6 years later, and no sign of leaving the city anytime soon, Jess discusses her move from Australia to New York, how she got into recruitment and why Robert Walters was her preferred choice:

Adam Woolley

How did you end up in New York?

I started a cadetship with PwC while attending University and during that time I decided I wanted to have a gap year before I got really stuck into my career, so the day after I graduated, I flew to the US. I think what inspired me to choose New York City was the diversity and multicultural aspect as well as the hustle and bustle. I thought I wouldn’t last and that I’d end up only staying 6-12 months, but it’s been close to 6 years!

What did you do when you first got here and how did you end up at Robert Walters?

I took a job in hospitality working at The Australian which was a bar here in New York City. I had been living here for close to 2 years and I knew I wanted to stay longer but I needed to find something more career orientated. I had changed my major back in school from accounting to HR, so I reached out to a friend who was a recruiter and she introduced me to her recruitment agency about potentially working there. It just so happens, I had a connection who at the time, worked as a recruitment consultant at Robert Walters and while I initially reached out for some interview prep, she ended up sharing my details with her manager at Robert Walters. I ended up interviewing for two different recruitment firms at the same time.

Why did you choose Robert Walters over the other firm?

It really came down to the people and the culture. I had very different interview processes and experiences. From the onset at Robert Walters, I felt more comfortable and really welcomed. I was able to connect with my interviewers well, the interview was much more conversational, and it seemed like they wanted to get to know me and my personality. The international mobility piece was also very appealing – the prospect of being able to move to another country or move back home to Australia with the same company was a huge plus.

How were your skills transferable?

I thought working in recruitment would provide an opportunity to leverage my background and diverse skillset. Having the combination of HR and sales experience felt very transitional to recruitment. During my time at PwC, I worked closely with COOs and CFOs, so I feel very comfortable in communicating at all levels of an organization. Additionally, working in the hospitality industry, you are surrounded by differing personalities and are faced with various situations, so I was confident I’d be up for any challenges that came my way.

What do you enjoy most about your role now?

I find there’s a lot of variety in my role and it can be extremely rewarding speaking with different candidates and clients from different companies every day. Last year I was promoted to oversee the Finance and Operations team, so I am currently building out my team and this function. It's been exciting to learn a new space and bring on new consultants to mentor. 

I have also been given the opportunity to join various groups within the organization such as our North America Wellness Committee and ED&I Counsel and be a part of our global working group to implement our new CRM system. I am very passionate about these initiatives as I have the chance to voice my opinions and help shape where the business is going.

What’s the culture like in the New York office?

I said it earlier and it’s what I observed when I first interviewed here but everyone is so friendly and welcoming. We’re a very tight office. We have our direct teams, but everyone comes together to celebrate each other’s achievements and we’re extremely collaborative.

What would be your advice for someone thinking about a move into recruitment?

Do your research on the different firms and find the one that reflects your values and has the type of environment you’d like to work in - that’s where you’ll thrive and see success. Once you're in the door, immerse yourself in the industry you’re recruiting for. Speak to as many candidates and clients as possible, this is the fastest way to become knowledgeable within your industry.  

Get in touch with our Talent Acquisition team to find out more about exciting opportunities in the US.

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