What is your background?

Well, I was into all sorts of things when I was younger and I went to drama school. I knew that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go career-wise, but it did help me realise that I needed to do something involving people, which I guess matches recruitment perfectly!

I grew up in Dublin where I also did a Degree in English and Sociology before travelling for a year. I then spent a few years working in London as a project manager recruiting doctors to the UK, and I spent a lot of time travelling to Dubai and India. Luckily, I did get some free time, so I got to see the Taj Mahal and continue to satisfy my travelling days.

After that, I spent three years at Frazer Jones recruiting HR roles into professional and financial services. I’ve been with Totum for six years and worked in all areas of the business, now specialising in HR.

What career advice would you give your younger self? 

Don’t take things personally (I am still taking that advice). Be honest: from a work perspective if you can’t fill a client’s needs and won’t be able to deliver, say so, the same with a candidate. Oh yes, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Relationship matters

 

Tell me about your favourite clients

I have worked with lots of great clients. I particularly like smaller firms where you are dealing with the COO directly and get to deal with stakeholders. I like firms that are innovative and entrepreneurial, and one step ahead of the crowd, which means you also have to attract candidates who share the same ethos. There is one firm I’m particularly thinking of – you’ll know who you are if you’re reading this!

Who are your favourite candidates?

Ones who know what they want. They are clear about their objectives but are also open to new ideas and opportunities. Someone who trusts me – who knows that once I’ve met them, I’ll have a good idea of what will make a good match with the right client, but that also understands I will be honest if I don’t think a particular job/firm will work for them. The other is a candidate who commits to looking for a job, so makes themselves available for interviews, coffees and conversations, rather than just dipping their toe in.

What do you think will be the next new role?

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) roles. It’s an area that is becoming a bigger priority for all firms. We have many examples of where firms have launched their first ever dedicated D&I role. And as it’s a relatively new function, many firms are looking outside the sector for talent, so it really is giving candidates an opportunity to make a difference in the legal sector.

What are your top tips for candidates?

If you really want to find a new job, commit to it. Don’t just test the water. It doesn’t give a good impression to either the client or recruiter. And research. Do your research on the role, company and your interviewers. Be interested!

Wider world

 

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I went travelling for a year and had some interesting jobs including picking grapes (those fire ants weren’t happy at being disturbed at 5am) and promoting Lady GaGa’s first album in Sydney.

More recently, I volunteer for Age UK ‘Befriend in the Community’ to provide companionship. It is one hour a week and your role is to talk and spend time with an older person to combat loneliness, which is a massive issue in the UK. All my grandparents have now passed away and I really enjoyed spending time with them, so although I volunteer for a great cause, it is also because I get something back:  I really enjoy talking to older people, their experiences and insights are invaluable.

If you would like to find out more about Totum's HR function or chat through recruitment opportunities with Roisin, she can be contacted at roisin.ashmore@totumpartners.com.

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