Talent Acquisition

What Advice Would You Give to a Younger You Entering a Career in Recruiting?

Consider all the life lessons you have a learned along the way, what would you tell a younger you?

What advice would you have for a younger you? Let’s ask our panel of highly experienced experts to answer that question!

Ruth Penfold

Get yourself a fabulous mentor. Look for someone you truly admire and approach them to see if they can find space to work with you. Learn from as many people as you possibly can and build your network as much as you can.

Recruitment is an amazing job. You get to be the person that provides the lifeblood that ultimately fires up amazing businesses. It’s a role that will offer plenty of highs but also plenty of lows – as we are dealing with people, we are never truly in charge of the ultimate outcome.

Building resilience is therefore key, and do so early on. Learn to take satisfaction from simply doing an amazing job, and not to attach your satisfaction solely to filling a role. Find ways to keep your mindset steady, so the highs aren’t so high and the lows are less low. Meditation has been hugely beneficial on this front for me.

Ruth Penfold, Director of Talent Acquisition, Shazam.

Angela Bortolussi

Treat feedback as a good thing. I really struggled with receiving any type of “constructive feedback” – I often hated hearing it – and sometimes felt the need to be defensive. Over the last few years, I’ve learned to be more accepting of feedback and often encourage feedback. There’s always room for improvement, regardless of your title, seniority, or years of experience.

Angela Bortolussi, Partner at Recruiting Social.

Lysha Holmes

Listen to more experienced people. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. This is where you learn the most valuable lessons in recruitment! Be prepared to say no and walk away from a customer. Only negotiate if you get something out of it that you benefit from. Have courage of conviction in your role as a consultant. Save your bonus wisely.

Lysha Holmes, Owner and Recruiter of Qui Recruitment R2R.

Caroline Stokes

Do exactly what you did. I kicked off the first half of my career in marketing, product development and PR for Sony, Virgin and Nokia. It was there that I could see the pain points I’m working on today.

Caroline Stokes, Founder of FORWARD and The Emotionally Intelligent Recruiter.


Rebecca Fraser

Be open to criticism. People have a lot of different perspectives about individuals that have worked in both internal and external recruitment. The selection process is very challenging with the need to align technical, environment and motivators of 1 individual to a much larger and established work environment. You will be criticised for any decision that is made by someone so be prepared to talk through these decisions openly and without emotion.

Rebecca Fraser, National Executive Committee, Career Development Association of Australia.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore

My advice to everyone is always to treat people as you would wish to be treated yourself. Recruitment tends to be target-driven and meritocratic, offering a broad range of opportunities. The skills you’ll build are transferable and recruitment is a great starting point for a career in business development or management. You’ll need excellent communication skills and great sales and negotiation skills. Be aware that the working hours can be long.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore,  Director and Co-Founder 10Eighty.

Libby Herrmann

This is a high growth, fast-paced industry; you’ve chosen wisely! No matter what your professional experience or personal background, lean-in, be YOU and remain authentic. With this approach, you’ll find success comes naturally! In addition, your personal brand is everything. Provide positive candidate experiences in every interaction, and it will yield a network that continues to give back.

Libby Herrmann, Client Relationship Manager at WilsonHCG.

Amanda Bell

It’s ok to be confident and curious. Curiosity isn’t a sign of weakness–it’s a sign that you’re open to additional information and opportunities to get better at your craft. At the same time, you can still remain confident about the things you know you’re successful at. They’re not mutually exclusive qualities.

Amanda Bell, Director of Recruiting at Lever.

Poonam Mawani

Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be yourself, don’t compromise your ethics and morals for anyone. Always just do your best.

Poonam Mawani, Director at Azuki Accounts.

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