My career growth in Brisbane

Sinead Hourigan

Sinead Hourigan started her professional career as a graduate in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. She joined Robert Walters in 2003 where she helped to launch the government accounting team. Within a year she was promoted and has been director of our Brisbane office since 2004. She talks about the culture in our Brisbane office and how her career has developed since joining Robert Walters.


What interested you in recruitment?

"I came to Sydney in 1999 and after a year relocated to Brisbane. It was a completely new market for me so I was keen to understand what sectors were relevant and where the potential career opportunities lay. After doing some research into the recruitment industry, I thought it sounded like it would be a good fit, and I joined a small specialist firm in 2001. After 15 years, I’m still in recruitment and am yet to find a sector that I think offers more challenges or rewards.

How has your career developed at Robert Walters?

I learned a lot in my first recruitment role at a smaller firm, but it soon became apparent that I was better suited to a larger scale corporate environment. What I liked about Robert Walters was that the right infrastructure was in place to allow consultants to focus purely on recruitment. When I joined Robert Walters in 2003 it was to help launch the government accounting team. The team experienced great success and it became one of our most profitable divisions. Within a year I was promoted to director of the Brisbane office. Currently, my focus is on developing strategies to further grow and enhance our business.

Describe the culture of the Brisbane office

We have a diverse range of consultants here in Brisbane from all over the world, including the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. There’s a great atmosphere in the office and we’re very competitive - anything that pits nation against nation gets a really good response! We have a lot of fun as a team and even have our own social club where we get to do lots of new and interesting things from team building events, BBQs in the park and boat cruises on the river.

What opportunities are there in Brisbane?

The local market has started to rebound quite well after a few years of uncertainty with the mining downturn. We are seeing growth across multiple sectors and are looking to bring in consultants across a number of teams. We currently have opportunities within IT and are also looking for consultants within our accounting & finance team to drive our contracting business forward. As we are now in a growth phase, there are a lot of opportunities for career progression.

What’s life like in Brisbane?

Brisbane has the great advantage of being a very affordable city in terms of rent and offers an amazing outdoor lifestyle all year round. It’s an easy distance from Sydney and Melbourne and the beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are less than an hour’s drive away. And the weather is great - even on a winter’s day the average temperature is usually around 21 - 23 degrees.

How does the business support working parents?

Since joining Robert Walters I’ve become a mum with two children under ten and it’s been a very positive journey. I kept in touch with the business whilst I was in maternity leave and came back in staggered hours. Many of the team have young families now and it’s important to not miss the milestones. We make time for sports days and the like – you don’t get that time back.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love having the opportunity to work closely with consultants as well as clients and to engage at a senior level to assist in driving business out to the teams. I’m also very lucky to work with a peer management group across ANZ who are very supportive of each other and who work together in a really collaborative fashion."

Robert Walters has provided me with outstanding opportunities to progress my career and I am proud to be part of a global organisation with such a great reputation.

See how Leoni Simpson went from receptionist to recruitment manager in Sydney.

Interested in a career in recruitment? Please send us an updated CV and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.