I'm building futures
I'm Robert Walters
Back in 2010, I started out in Dublin as a graduate at Robert Walters, before eventually moving to Brisbane as a consultant in 2012. Over the years, I've received lots of development, coaching and mentoring opportunities, all of which have enabled me to grow my career. Before I became the director of the Brisbane office, I spent several years leading the engineering & infrastructure division in Brisbane, which gave me the chance to help shape the success of top firms and professionals in my industry.
Like many who work in recruitment, I fell into it. When I was graduating, I applied to a graduate engineering role that was advertised by Robert Walters — admittedly, I didn’t read the advertisement properly and ended up having a chat with the director. Once I learned a bit more about recruitment, I was really interested; I was never convinced that I was going to make a good engineer and had always been interested in people, so it was a great fit for me to remain in an industry I was interested about.
I'm naturally competitive and passionate about client and candidate experience, so this keeps me motivated each day. I get to know my clients and candidates really well and, as a result, I develop a real interest in the growth of their organisations or careers.
It is fascinating to see the scale and complexity of large infrastructure projects come to life. In my role, I enjoy the fact that I have the opportunity to partner on major infrastructure projects that are driving the Australian economy forward. It's interesting getting to know the people who design and build projects across Australia — whether it's rail or buildings, they all have a story to tell in shaping the future of a city, and it's fun to be a part of that story!
At the moment, the Government has invested a significant amount of budget into infrastructure spending, which has therefore created a lot of roles, but we also have limited talent pools. Candidate mobility has changed significantly as a result of Covid-19, so talent sourcing has been challenging, but it's a challenge we're well placed to meet.
As a recruiter in the infrastructure and engineering sector, I'm in an great position to influence change, and there are a few things I'd like to see change in the industry:
- Building on the use of technology and modern tools to deliver projects more effectively
- Increasing diversity with flexible working arrangements as standard — during the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw A/B teams, splits shifts and working from home (depending on the role), so we know it can work and should be more standardised in the future
- Better recognition of transferable skills and international experience
But when it comes down to it, this job really is all about people. Because we as recruiters make placements all the time, it can be easy to forget the impact a new job can have on a candidate and their family. It is the best feeling to call the candidate and relay the good news that they have been successful in being offered a new role.
So, if you're interested in a career that really makes a difference, come in and have a chat! Other than that, I'd definitely recommend that you do your research and understand how your experience to date may relate to a role in recruitment. Have questions ready for whoever you meet with — we recruit across a wide range of industries and disciplines, so have a think about what might be of interest to you!
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As Associate Director for Tech & Transformation in Sydney, Sharna Barrett is testament to the strength of our industry-leading training and development offering. Sharna shares how she grew her career at Robert Walters.