My move to New York
Nick Louca joined Robert Walters as a consultant in 2008 and was promoted to manager in 2010. In 2012, he relocated from our Brisbane office to New York, where he is now associate director of our New York commerce recruitment division.
One perk of joining our global organisation is the opportunity to advance your recruitment career within our expansive network, and Nick Louca is a good example of this. In just seven short years, he has quickly climbed the ranks, and now manages a successful team of seven recruitment consultants. Nick relocated from our Brisbane office to New York to oversee the commerce division in January of 2012. We talk to him about his reasons for the move and how living and working in New York City has compared to his expectations.
How has your career grown since you joined Robert Walters?
“I joined Robert Walters as a consultant in Brisbane in 2008 recruiting accountants into permanent roles within commercial businesses. In 2010 I was promoted to senior consultant and three months later promoted again to manager. I managed the team for about 1.5 years before I transferred to the New York office to manage the commerce division there. Six months after my move to New York, I added legal to my remit. Two years later, in July 2014, I was promoted to associate director where I currently oversee finance and accounting, sales and marketing and legal recruitment.
What steps did you take to make the move?
I had worked in recruitment in London before joining the Robert Walters team. After gaining industry experience in London and Brisbane I was ready for a new challenge. So, I began the conversation with my director about pursuing new opportunities with the Robert Walters network. That’s when I was put in touch with Kurt Kraeger, the managing director in New York. He was looking for a commerce manager and it was really just perfect timing. And who doesn’t want to live in New York City?
Why were you interested in New York?
I had eight years of recruitment experience in the UK and Australia, and wanted to tackle another competitive market. I had the impression that New York City was about as big a challenge and competitive market as there was. I was also really interested in making the move to a large, international city and the adventures and travel opportunities that a move to the United States could offer.
How have your expectations compared to reality?
Prior to my move, I had the impression that the NY office was purely focused on banking and financial services recruitment. While that is still certainly a staple of the NY business today, I was not aware of the other opportunities. I was also sceptical in the beginning because I had heard rumours that all recruitment in New York was commission based and that the market was so competitive that making money would be extremely difficult.
Since moving to New York, my whole idea of the business here has changed. There is so much potential in some of the other markets (aside from the financial services world) that had not previously been a focus for the business. We have seen that there can be a lot of money to make, especially when specialising within markets. My team has tripled in size since I came over and we are just coming off of the office’s highest revenue generating month ever. I have also seen first-hand that utilising the Robert Walters training and structure gives a huge competitive advantage over the methods of traditional US recruitment firms.
Have you enjoyed working in New York? What's it like living there?
I have been very happy both personally and professionally in New York. It was a bit overwhelming at first to think about moving to such a big and busy place, especially from Brisbane. But, it has exceeded my expectations. Professionally I have been given the tools and support to progress my career quickly.
Living in New York City is amazing, and working smack in the middle of Times Square is pretty cool. There is always something happening and something to see. There are so many amazing restaurants and bars that you will literally never get to them all. In such a big place, it was nice to see such a close knit team and culture in the office. And, there is a big expat community that made meeting people really easy.
I have seen first-hand that utilising the Robert Walters training and structure gives a huge competitive advantage over the methods of traditional US recruitment firms.
Did the Group support the move?
The Group was incredibly supportive and helped with the introductions to Kurt, the MD in New York. I had lots of questions about the moving process, legal issues, work permits and logistical problems that they were able to help me work through.
What advice would you give to others looking to move overseas?
My advice would be to be incredibly motivated to build your own piece of the business in a market that may be unexplored. Capitalise on the Robert Walters methods to have an advantage over other recruiters. Also, save up before you move! The sky is the limit in terms of the money you can make. As with any other international move, I would recommend having a bit of cash saved up to cover moving costs and rent during your initial transition period.”
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