Read how former RAN engineer, Kevin Rafferty, used his technical expertise and transitioned to a recruitment specialist.
What attracted you to a career in telecoms?
I wanted to utilize the skills in Telecom that I learned while in the Army in the civilian sector. I really enjoyed the technical aspects of the industry. Also, during my early career it was the advent of Mobile Networks and this made it easy to find work globally.
What were the reasons for leaving telecoms?
During my career I always had a yearning to move away from project work and the stress that comes with it. The decision was made easier to leave telecoms when I parted ways with Ericsson during the COVID pandemic as there was not many vacancies available in Telecoms.
What appealed to you about a career in telecoms recruitment with First Point Group?
During my career I’ve worked both as an Engineer as well as being a Line Manager that hired contractors. Through this time, I’ve had a lot of interaction with telecom recruitment agencies and always felt intrigued by the role they perform for the industry. First Point Group became an attraction as I knew people within the company and that they were focusing on attracting people that have had careers in the telecoms.
Has working in the recruitment industry been different to what you expected?
Yes, even though I had been involved with hiring on the client side, I had an idea of the process. What surprised me most is the amount of effort that goes into finding the right candidate and the process involved making sure they get hired. On the client side, I was a little surprised with the level of effort required to break down barriers in order to get to the stage of being brought on as a new supplier.
How did you find the transition from working in telecoms to working in recruitment?
It was a challenge that certainly wasn’t helped by the COVID pandemic. I’ve had to work extra hard in finding new clients, due to the pandemic there were also a limited number of vacancies to service with our existing clients. Another challenge I found were clients were increasingly wanting people to work in an office environment towards the later stages of the pandemic. Some candidates were nervous in moving or working in an office environment and wanted to continue working remotely, so balancing the requirements of clients and desires of candidates has been challenging.
How has having a technical background helped your career in recruitment?
Having a technical background has helped me immensely by having a greater understanding of our clients’ needs for their roles and translating that into finding the right candidates. This allows me to filter the candidates first thus ensuring my clients can focus on the good candidates instead of having to filter through many.
What’s your advice to a telecoms professional who may be interested in making a similar move to you?
Be ready to work hard through the transition period as it will take some time to adjust to the ways of working. The role can be challenging at times, however, stick with it, focus on your end goals and the hard work will pay off in the end. All in all, I would say that it can be great opportunity for the right person, as well as being a change of pace. The opportunity to keep yourself tied to the industry whilst not actually working in it is a bonus and will ensure you don’t lose the connection to it.