Recruitment Realities: TAP from a fresh grad

Recruitment Realities: TAP from a fresh grad
Article contributed by Jackson McNaughton
Written on 16 August 2017

Recruitment Realities: TAP from a fresh grad


All fresh grads come crashing into the real world, tossed into the archetypal post-graduate millennial concatenation when they face the task of finding their first real job. You apply for a role, but you’re rejected because you don’t have the experience, but you can’t secure a role to gain the experience you need to apply.

Thankfully, I wasn’t in that boat for long, but have thankfully managed to abandon ship, and somehow land in recruitment!?

I majored in psychology and criminology with my degree, and always thought I’d be a criminal profiler, or detective, or work in forensics, yet I found myself applying for a graduate program with The Andersen Partnership (TAP).

I suppose in some ways, recruiters are detectives in their own right, and I still get to have a go at profiling some really unorthodox people, my office is full of them!

So, why recruitment??

People often ask me why I work in recruitment, which is a fair question, and I’m yet to work out the right way to answer this if I’m honest. For some people, it’s the money, or it’s the joy that comes after helping someone find a job, and for some they just love building and managing professional relationships, and being involved in the cycle of the business of people.

No reason is better than the other, but for me - the idea of helping someone find a job resonates better, but ultimately we are a business, so you need to be commercially minded/driven to be a successful consultant.

I’m in the industry to grow and support the business and to create a name for myself. I still obviously have a juicy student loan to repay so the financial rewards that come from doing a good job by my candidates and clients is a key driver.

I was also obviously aware that I was creating my career, and recruitment always appealed as an industry that interested me.

Recruitment as an industry is fast-paced, it is volatile, and it is full of all kinds of peaks and troughs. My first few weeks have taught me so much about the industry, about how hard recruiters work, and I was genuinely surprised at the level of investment recruiters have in their clients and candidates.

The phrase ‘champagne and razor blades’ is always thrown around to describe recruitment, and I have to admit, it’s on the money.

I’m yet to run my own job, but from what I’ve seen - there’s a great deal of frustration that comes with sourcing candidates for a role.

You may have a day chock-full of rejection, then later, you can meet with a stellar candidate (a unicorn, if you will), and have a role open that they would suit, and Bob’s your uncle.

I had a successful referral in my first week for an admin role - which was my own mini champagne moment. I referred my flatmate for the role, and she was successful! It's these small moments that instantly make you forget about your razor-blade experiences - which are far outweighed by the champagne moments.

As well as getting a referral bonus, I admit - it felt really good to assist in the placement. Even though I didn’t get to hear the offer get made, I got to see the excitement when I got home, and that was equally as rewarding as the bonus.

I anticipate some difficulty in maintaining some professionalism when I tell my candidates that they have secured a role.

TAP Academy

Being the first kiwi through the graduate program at TAP has been a really exciting time for me. I've gone from lecture theaters, libraries and labs - to an office in the CBD, with great people who really love their work. There’s always something exciting going on, or some interesting phone call to eavesdrop on.

And thankfully, everyone has been really accommodating of the clueless newbie who doesn’t know what a PSA is, and who (still) doesn’t know how to transfer a call without hanging up on someone.

The TAP academy is well-established now, and I get to learn how to be a recruiter alongside co-workers from New Zealand and Australia, who are in the same boat as me. We all join a video-call twice a week to run through modules designed to make us effective recruiters.

This has been a cool and casual way to get to know the other fresh faces in the business, at the same time as learning valuable information from the experts in TAP. We get to hear the ins-and-outs of recruitment from the directors and managers who know the industry better than anyone, which is priceless info for the new-starters.

The academy has shown me how TAP functions as a global brand, and how each office effectively contributes to building and supporting a business, which has been super interesting to observe.

I’m now 4 weeks in, and loving it! I started out with the Walker branch of TAP, who specialise in financial and commercial recruitment.

I have now found my place with the Stirling division of TAP, who specialise in insurance, wealth, and legal recruitment. I’ve settled on the legal desk with Stirling, working with a senior consultant - Louise Hall-Strutt.

At the moment I’m sourcing candidates, but eventually I will develop my own client base in areas of Auckland that have not yet been explored, which I can’t wait for.

I’m really looking forward to working with people in the legal field, and learning about the different areas of law, and about all the various legal processes.

If you’re interested in recruitment in Auckland, or have any questions about the industry, feel free to drop me a call or flick me an email, I’d be happy to chat.

Or if you know anyone in the legal field that I should be working with, let me know!

Let the games begin.

Jackson McNaughton

09 888 7260

Walker Andersen - It's all about time