A senior executive from a leading Asia-Pacific-wide recruitment company says she is “dumbstruck” that university career counsellors are advising that fresh university graduates in Southeast Asia avoid entering the recruitment industry and “focus on their majors.”
Ivon Peek, the talent and development manager for Monroe Consulting Group, said university counsellors from leading universities both within Southeast Asia as well as respected universities in countries such as Australia and the United States were “close-minded when it comes to non-traditional careers such as recruitment, even though the industry offers top salaries and excellent prospects of rapid career advancement.”
Ivon said Monroe was expanding in a number of emerging markets in which it operates, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and was seeking fresh graduates, ideally with some sales experience, to become recruiters in the fields of consumer goods, industry, health, banking and finance, and technology.
She said that although Monroe had had success in sourcing candidates it was “concerning” that in a couple of cases promising individuals withdrew from the process at the last minute. “We were dumbstruck to find out that in these cases their university career counsellors had told them that executive recruitment was not a good profession to start their careers,” she said. “This couldn’t be more further from the truth.”
Ivon said that working as a recruiter for Monroe, which has won multiple international awards for its recruitment services, allowed candidates to work with other young, smart and talented people of varying backgrounds in a fun and rewarding environment.
“Our new recruitment consultants undergo a thorough induction programme, are mentored and put through an ongoing training programme,” she said. “In a short amount of time, these people are instrumental in the hiring of some of the most important executives from leading national and multinational companies operating in emerging markets. And the salaries and other benefits are suburb also.”
Ivon reiterated that despite what some university career counsellors were stating, “recruitment is a great first step on your career ladder.”
“As a fresh graduate with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, you have proven that you are smart and hard-working. However, to become successful in the business world, having a high IQ is not enough,” she said. “It is time to start working on your emotional intelligence, your EQ. People with high EQ scores have been shown to perform better in the workplace and are more likely to achieve their career goals. No matter what your career aspirations are, improving your EQ is key.”
She said that working as a recruitment consultant offered a number of benefits in terms of professional development.
“You have the ability to talk to the best people in their respective fields and learn about their companies, their company cultures and the available jobs,” she said. “You will be talking to and working with CEOs, directors and other top-level managers of renowned multinational companies, and sourcing and recruiting the best executives available for any particular role.”
Ivon said recruitment consultants also needed to really listen and understand a client’s problems and how to best address them, which were important to helping improve consulting and other skills. “You also have to listen to candidates to understand their career ambitions and motivations. This enables you to match them with a client’s specifications and place them in the appropriate positions. You will practice your listening skills and your capacity to be empathic.”
She said other important skills included business development and sales, which increased confidence and results. “Working for Monroe, you will also have the opportunity to work in a fast-paced and target-driven environment and be responsible for your development and for your own success. There is nothing to hold you back.”
She said Monroe Consulting Group currently employed about 160 recruitment consultants, but many others had gone down alternative career paths after receiving invaluable beginnings at Monroe.
Ivon said that with a degree and a couple of years’ experience in the recruitment industry, a number of career paths were available, including: An expert senior recruiter within the recruitment industry; A manager or business owner within the recruitment industry; A corporate recruiter at a multinational company; or a management, business or human resources consultant, to name but a few.
“In summary, being an executive-level recruitment consultant gives you the opportunity to grow and develop as a person and boost your EQ greatly,” she said. “After a few years you have learned to become more aware of yourself, you are better able to regulate your actions, you are better at taking ownership, you are more motivated, and have more empathy for others. This improves your success rate in any future career of your choice.”