My move into management

Yaamini Pillay

What does it take to move into management? Yaamini Pillay joined Robert Walters Singapore as a consultant in 2013.

Two years later she was promoted to senior consultant and then principal consultant and now manages our commerce and technology contracting divisions in Singapore.

Yaamini shares her career journey and reveals how grit, determination and self-belief has helped her to progress. 

Where did you work before joining Robert Walters?

Prior to joining Robert Walters, I worked for a bank in Malaysia. I started as a graduate trainee and later moved into the credit department where my role focused primarily on employee learning and development, although I was also involved in internal recruitment. When my fiancée received a job offer in Singapore, it seemed like a great opportunity for me to take on a new career challenge, so I moved with him.

What made Robert Walters the right choice for you?

Although I’d really enjoyed the recruitment aspect of my previous role, I had some reservations about working in a sales environment, so Robert Walters’ team-based approach to recruitment really appealed to me. During the interview process my line manager helped break down how my role would fit within the wider business and the structure of the teams. This transparency helped to put me at ease and feel confident that I knew exactly what my role would involve and what was expected from me. It also made the prospect of achieving targets a lot less daunting because I knew that I had a whole team of people that would be willing to guide me and help me develop in my role. 

How has your career progressed since you joined Robert Walters?

I joined the business as a consultant, focussing on recruiting HR and business support roles. After two years, I was promoted to senior consultant and then progressed quite quickly to principal consultant. I moved into my current role as manager of the commerce contract division earlier this year.

How did Robert Walters help you transition into your management role?

Once I moved into the role of principal consultant, I wanted to keep focussing on individual billing so the idea of moving into a management role didn't initially appeal to me. However my manager really encouraged me to think about where I wanted to take my career and what I needed to do to reach the next level.

Moving into a managerial role is a big step as it requires a real shift in your mindset and I questioned whether I was ready, but my management team were fantastic in offering me the guidance and support I needed to make the transition. Having very experienced recruitment professionals telling me that they believed in my potential really inspired me and gave me the confidence I needed to progress to the next stage in my career.

What do you like best about your role?

For me, working in recruitment offers so many different rewards; there are financial rewards and incentives which are great, but I really love the human element of the job; helping candidates to find roles that will enable them to develop their careers and receiving their gratitude is something I find really rewarding. In addition, I love being able to work with people across the business, sharing knowledge and helping to strengthen relationships across teams.

How would you describe the culture at Robert Walters?

I’ve found the culture to be very warm and inclusive; people want to work as a team and genuinely want to help their colleagues to succeed because, if the whole team is performing well, it’s a great achievement for everyone. I really like the fact that there isn’t a hierarchal structure – everyone has the opportunity to share ideas and make an impact. 

What advice would you give to someone considering a move into recruitment?

I believe that finding a company with a strong team culture is really important. Working in recruitment is exciting, challenging and offers great rewards, but it requires determination and grit because it can be tough. When you have a fantastic team of people championing you, it’s a lot easier to keep the motivation and self-belief you need to keep driving forward. 

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