"Perseverance, hard work and humility. These are traits that an excellent recruiter should possess."
I had a few questions to ask Chanel Wee, principal consultant, and she shared her advice for someone just getting into recruitment and the challenges she has faced, how she has overcome them and how she stays motivated.
1. How did you get into recruitment?
I was fortunate enough to have met the right people along the way! A few years back I was deciding between an in-house role or agency role and I kind of knew that I wanted to be in a role that would provide a wider perspective.
I recall that it was at a Christmas party when I met a friend, who shared about her experiences as a recruiter – I was intrigued! From that evening, I decided to start interviewing at recruitment firms and it is truly the best decision and I have not looked back since!
2. What is your advice for someone just getting into recruitment?
Perseverance, hard work and humility. These are traits that an excellent recruiter should possess.
3. What is it about recruitment that has kept you in the industry?
The satisfaction of placing candidates, meaningful conversations with industry stakeholders, the dynamism of the role (as not one day is the same) and that we get remunerated for the good work that we do.
4. What is your proudest moment in your career to date?
I guess the “firsts” are always the most memorable, e.g. first placement with a new client, first exclusive role mandate etc. Thinking back, my proudest moments are when I get recognised for the excellent work done, be it by a client mentioning their positive experiences with me or even by the company, say when I hit personal milestones to get a promotion or awards.
Then again I do feel that I have been blessed and am surrounded by people who inspire me, hence my proudest moments i,e. personal achievements would not have be possible without them.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far and how have you overcome that?
The biggest challenge for me that I have faced so far would be learning the technical aspects of the industry that I am covering at lightning speed. As I did not come from the industry and joined recruitment straight out of school, there were quite a few technical aspects and terms that I was not familiar with in the banking and financial services sector. How I overcame that was to constantly dedicate the time to do research, speak to industry contacts, staying hungry and curious. It worked out extremely well for me and now I can safely say that I am a true industry specialist in my sector.
6. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
So many... One of them would be to think deeper, to understand why you are doing what you are doing and to find joy in doing the little things. E.g. Even if it is administrative work which can be time consuming, try to understand why you are doing it as it is an important part of the process.
7. What are you driven by and how do you stay motivated?
I am motivated by my candidates and clients as I do feel a strong sense of responsibility to provide excellent career choices and / or advice. With that, I will always seek to do better and to go above and beyond for them.
8.What do you think you would have been had you not gone into recruitment?
I might be an entrepreneur of some sort or in human resources or a marketeer (because of my degree)!
9. How do you keep a work / life balance?
I… don’t… Haha in all fairness I think I am not the best person to answer this question as I find it tough personally to strike a good balance between work and life. However, it is important to take time off to spend quality time with family and recharge – taking care of one’s health is of utmost importance.
10. People would be surprised if they knew?
I did consider pursuing music as a career choice while growing up, as it is not very a common thing to do. Also, that going into recruitment will always be and was my first choice and a very conscious one indeed, as it is not something that merely I chanced upon. Since after speaking to many people – I realised that so many people got into recruitment by chance.