Ever wondered what working for a global telecommunication recruitment agency is like? Or if you are a recruitment consultant, do you want to know the secrets to successfully recruiting a colleague in a different country to you?
We sat down with Rebecca Macmillan (Senior Account Director) and Laura Jones (Senior Account Manager) from our Toronto and Dallas offices respectively to talk about recruiting together cross country, the challenges they face, and their top tips for working together as a successful recruitment partnership despite being 1,500 miles apart!
Rebecca MacMillan leads the team in First Point Group’s Toronto office. She largely focuses on the telecoms and tech sales market across Canada but still has US clients as well (Rebecca previously worked in our Dallas office)
Laura Jones focuses mainly on telecoms & tech sales; however, she does recruit for technical telecoms jobs in Dallas and the US. As part of her role, Laura partners with Rebecca using her candidate network to assist her with specific roles that she’s working on.
When and why did you start recruiting together on roles?
LJ: We started working on deals together in September 2021, the very first deal that I made with Rebecca was a month into me starting at First Point Group. I was originally hired to be a contract recruiter and work with the team in the Dallas office, but because I had the ability to be flexible in my areas of recruitment, Rebecca asked for assistance on a role she was recruiting for… I jumped at the chance.
RM: It happened quite organically, in the sense that I had a lot of work on due to me recruiting within two different locations (Canada and the US), so I needed to collaborate with the team and I am lucky enough to have some really experienced colleagues across the two offices. My roles often are senior placements thus and it can be quite daunting to work on as they are both personality fit, and skill set driven. When I asked for support, Laura wasn’t shy in offering her services. It was the start of a great partnership as Laura has really strong candidate relationship skills and it became a big help during those lengthy negotiation periods and even at the offer stage.
Since your first deal you now regularly work as a pair, how do you both manage to work so well together?
LJ: Our different skill sets really play a role in this, along with my strong candidate relationship skills. Rebecca always maintained open lines of communication with the client, so it became a fluid process that functioned well. Rebecca and I communicate regularly therefore any changes or additions to the search are always highlighted and we are both in sync. We have daily calls to eliminate any potential issues or problems that arise, and then work together to create a strategy. It’s not often that you find people in a recruitment team who works so well together overseas. When clients see this, it makes them confident in letting us get on with recruiting for them - they see the effectiveness in our communication to each other.
RM: For me, it brings a ‘girl power’ element to this as there can sometimes be a stigma about female recruiters not being able to work well together. I like that Laura and I can showcase that two women can work successfully together, and we can become a powerhouse in the telecommunications and network technology recruitment market. As Laura said, we communicate daily so there’s never any miscommunication or confusion and the clients see that. The time zones also work in our favour as when I log off for the day, Laura still has a few hours of hers left, so if there were anything to arise from clients or candidates, I know she’ll be on it straight away, and in that way, we cover most of the day together.
What advice do you have for people in recruitment also working with colleagues overseas?
LJ: When I joined First Point Group and started working with Rebecca, she always included me on client and candidate calls, not so much to talk and be involved, but to listen and ask questions. When information comes through to us, Rebecca is very thorough in what she writes down so that when she updates me on it, there’s no gaps and I understand it completely. The client calls are always useful to join as I get to hear first-hand what their recruitment needs and challenges are, and then be able to demonstrate First Point Group’s recruitment capability.
We always keep each other informed with the latest information on any roles we are working on. Doing that especially helps with candidate management as you’re then able to keep the candidate up-to-date and engaged through the recruitment process. The last thing would be to build trust with your colleague. You need to be able to trust the person you’re working on a role with to take a co-ownership of all communication and if needed, to take the lead on it. We both have a common goal, finding the right candidates, and delivering the best quality to the clients. Openness and transparency enable a consistent and effective approach.
RM: I agree with Laura, remembering that you both have a common goal is key, especially in the beginning. You both want the best for the client and candidate, and that’s why they’ve chosen to work with us. Being able to trust the person you’re working with allows you to work effectively, and in the end, can bring in more business for the company.
How do you both manage to keep up with the changes in the telecommunications industry, while also maintaining a transparent line of communication with the clients you work with?
RM: The telecommunications market across the US and Canada is very busy right now, there has been an increase in telecoms recruitment and tech sales recruitment, particularly as there have been so many advancements in technology and the 5G rollouts. With so many roles to choose from, both contract and permanent roles, it is a quite candidate-driven market.
When I speak to candidates I really like to dive into the tech and into their processes, from this I really get to understand what equipment and products they are working with and what are the real trends and technology driving change. I speak to a lot of candidates, so they are continuously training me in a way, which is something I love as every conversation is an opportunity to learn.
As for keeping clients engaged, we have two sets of clients, our candidates, and our “clients. It’s about fostering a true relationship between the two, a relationship that should be built on trust that is grown throughout an interview process. I work with my clients to ensure their processes are as good as they can be to retain the best candidates throughout their process, and to ensure when we come to the offer stage everything is clear as to expectations on both sides. There will always be challenges, but by being open and transparent to all, by fostering communication that befits both sides, I aim to offer a true service, a service above our competition as we can do more than just finding candidates, we can power our clients to grow and really do change our candidate's lives.