I'm there when you need me

I'm Robert Walters

I started my career as a management consultant at one of the “Big 4” companies in Dublin where I became a professionally certified Chartered Accountant (ACA) and Tax Advisor (CTA). After about four years of continued progression, I moved into a business development role where I realised how much I enjoyed being client-facing and how much I thrived on people interaction. I also wanted to work abroad – I chose Hong Kong as it’s one of the strongest financial services cities that could offer great growth opportunities for me.

I remember I had a chance to speak to the regional director of Robert Walters, seeking his guidance on my career options and potential opportunities that I could find in Hong Kong. When I told him I was looking for a role that allowed me to stay in touch with my qualification and experience in financial services, but also that I loved having the client interaction, he suggested trying out recruitment. I was a little hesitant as I was slightly nervous to enter a completely new industry and potentially undo the career progression I had made so far. However, he assured me that I could cross-apply my developed skills and enjoy the people-centric role that recruitment offered, whilst still being in a culture that promotes individual growth. It was at this point that I jumped at the opportunity and the rest, they say, is history. It’s been five years and it’s exciting to see how far I have come – from having no recruitment experience to now leading a high performing and vibrant team of five.

High performance teams

I believe a lot goes into structuring and leading a team that is constantly motivated and driven towards success. A high performing team is a by-product of efforts not only from management, but also team managers and members combined, which is only possible in an environment that is conducive enough and allows each person to thrive.

Connecting with my team as a manager

I believe there is a difference between leading a regular team and leading a high performing team. For the latter, one cannot just sit at the head of the table and deliver a speech and expect the team to achieve. It’s important to establish a rapport which opens up a two-way communication and feedback channel. It is only on this basis that you can truly and successfully guide and lead each person. To be a dependent leader, it’s also incredibly important to practice and develop your own emotional intelligence as the work of a team manager doesn’t simply begin and end with delegating and reviewing tasks – it involves ensuring your team know you are a continuous pillar of support and that you are constantly caring for the team.

Tailored approach to motivation

Gone are the days when the quintessential straight jacket motivators worked for everyone. Some people are motivated by stability, some by growth and others by appreciation. We can no longer assume a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Instead, as a manager, you need to understand what drives each individual – what really makes them tick. It’s important for me to understand exactly what each member of my team feels their purpose is and be able to provide an environment to help them feel empowered and enjoy the work they are doing.

Collaboration and cooperation

At Robert Walters, collaboration between disciplines runs deep and it’s quite impressive to not only see how this permeates across teams, but also through to our clients and candidates too. Every client or candidate is treated as a partner and our job doesn’t simply end at closing the loop at placements. We go beyond this, taking the time to truly understand a client or candidate’s full recruitment needs and be a partner in continuously offering comprehensive solutions as they need.

Similarly, each team member is a partner in growing the Robert Walters business. On a typical day we interact, share successes, tackle challenges and work together to find better solutions. New joiners feel an immediate sense of comfort knowing they have the support of their team to help, share feedback and grow the business together.

Management style and personal growth

At Robert Walters, one thing our leaders take very seriously is defining a work culture that helps you progress. Management constantly encourage empowerment, autonomy and do not promote micro-managing. This way, each member of the team has a personal opportunity to contribute to the business whilst remaining true to themselves and their unique way of executing their day-to-day role.

I have seen an immense personal growth over the last five years. My emotional quotient (EQ) has heightened, and I know how to step back and evaluate the bigger picture, but most importantly, I understand when and how to put my team first and be more selfless when it comes to them. When I see my teammates blossom, achieving the goals they’ve set for themselves, and when I can sense that they are happy, I know I am doing my job right. 

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