News from 2017


What If Recruiters Interviewed Themselves?

I’m sure you’re great at recruiting for your own industry sector, but are you sure that you understand the dynamics of when recruiters are recruiting you?

This level of introspection is crucial when you are looking to move on in your recruitment career, but it surprises me how unprepared many recruiters actually are when it comes to searching for their next roles. If they could interview themselves, many recruiters may well be concerned at what they hear.

Much of this is the common-sense advice that they give to their own candidates, which they somehow fail to heed for themselves. When they turn up for an interview at a prospective client, they feel like “one of the gang” and this relaxed attitude sometimes proves costly.

They might sit on the phone with a candidate in their reception area, but doing so while they are waiting for their own job interview is very bad form. The basics of chatting with the PA, accepting a drink if it is offered and mirroring the behaviour of the interviewers is crucial, but I have even heard of recruiters going to an interview and leaving their coats on because it was cold in the room. They are not in charge of the dynamics anymore – they have to seek to fit in.

Some recruiters feel that they can let their billings speak for themselves. They walk into the room, mention that they brought in a huge sum last year and then sit back and wait for a pat on the back. Trust me, this is a mistake. The best recruitment companies are looking for people with business acumen as well as a deep understanding of their industry sector. That is the only way that recruiters will continue to differentiate themselves from the threat of technology. Have a few case studies in your head and get ready to showcase how you got to those fantastic numbers.

There is also a psychological aspect to the recruiter interview. Recruiters are used to controlling the conversation, but when they are being interviewed, it is worth taking a few deep breaths and waiting to be led rather than leading. You potential employers will have their own agenda, so rather than led them through how brilliant you are, let them ask the questions that are relevant to them. They know a good recruiter when they see one.

Another common issue is being as assertive in a salary negotiation with a potential employer as you would be with one of your clients. Persuading a client about the merits of a candidate is very different to persuading a future employer that you are worth a 20% pay rise. By all means, sell yourself at interview, but let them tell you what they think you are worth. Being motivated by money is fine, but if you are seen as unrealistically obsessed by the financial side of things, future employers will see problems on the horizon.

Strange that it might sound, it is almost worth looking at yourself in the mirror before any interviews and asking yourself some difficult questions. How will the answers sound to an interviewer? Do they reflect who you are? Are you able to tell your story in an authentic way? And, the most important question…. Would you give yourself the job?

Written by Julie O'Neill

Posted in General on 8th February 2017

Recruitment Is a Great Industry for Working Abroad.

Working with people is one of the most transferable skills that there is – right?

Putting language and cultural challenges aside at least, recruiting for a Finance Director in London throws up many of the same challenges of recruiting in New York, a banking recruiter in Singapore has a similar role to that in London... The markets may have a slightly different dynamic, the hiring companies might have differing processes and legalities may vary, but as and when those candidates walk into the room, the interviewer is still asking themselves the same questions - irrespective of the skyline outside the window!

It is, of course, a little simplistic to say that if you can recruit in London, you can recruit anywhere - but the huge numbers of people who have “gone there” and “done that” is a testament to the fact that it is more than possible. If you have the personality, the right blend of experience, life situation, drive, desire for a change, ability to fit culturally - then a dream career does not have to remain confined to your daydreams on a packed train commute into London!

At McCall, we have made many introductions abroad – the demand is high and growing hence why we have offices in Singapore (where our manager is Scottish!) and Sydney, and will continue to grow. Demand is especially high for second/third jobbers or management who want to experience a different country and lifestyle. The reasons vary from weather, sport, cost of living - in any case it is fair to say that there are more than a few commonalities regarding what makes a successful placement. Getting on the flight is one thing – staying out there, settling and thriving is something else entirely.

Firstly, you have to have an incredibly strong sense of “why.” There are various potential reasons and they have to be both meaningful and deeply felt enough to view the move out there as a medium-term move at least, long-term at best, rather than a short-term holiday. Getting in a long-term mind set and being realistic about exactly what you are giving up (in particular family visits and close friend networks tend to be the hardest) is one of the most important factors. You’ll miss all sorts of silly things about the UK (potentially the number of changes of weather in a day!) Ultimately if that is balanced out by a potentially amazing future in a country where you are more likely to lead the lifestyle you desire with ease (and less stress levels helps!) then you will leave with a beaming smile on your face…and have plenty of visitors!

Secondly, it helps to enjoy being highly social - you have built your UK network up over a number of years, but in many cases, you could be starting from scratch in your new country. You might be moving to a warm desk, but people don’t work with your desk, they work with you. The nuances will be different and it will take time to adjust – so get used to lots of storytelling, lots of listening and hopefully lots of laughs. If you slink back to your lonely flat at the end of the day, having eaten alone, you may not last there for long. You have to suck the marrow out of the experience; typically there are plenty of people who will be more than happy to help you do that, providing you are prepared to really immerse yourself.

Written by Julie O'Neill

Posted in General on 5th May 2017

McCall 25th Anniversary

We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year at McCall. It’s a real achievement – when we started, the concept of rec to rec was totally new - so as the celebrations approach, we reflect upon our successes in the market (an ever-changing sector!) and the development of the business throughout the years.

McCall was established in 1992 as a small organisation and as the years went by the company grew into one of the largest and well established Recruitment–to–Recruitment specialists, part of the global Empresaria Group, with four office locations - London, UK Regions, Singapore and Sydney, Australia.

The 2 Managing Directors have each worked in recruitment for over 25 years, with the team collectively totalling nearly 200 years experience in recruitment overall! Hence McCall’s consultants are highly experienced professionals who are empowered to run their niche recruitment verticals with passion, to achieve the best fits and matches for both their candidates and clients alike. Often we have mapped out careers and placed recruitment personnel 4 times during a career spanning decades… we are always discreet, honest and have a real passion for our work. We genuinely enjoy networking with our peers and other recruitment professionals and suppliers - learning as much as we can about the sector and contributing where it’s valid, because we can recognise our industry evolves and therefore so do we.

As we approach our 25th anniversary of trading, we continue to register actively, and proactively source a wide variety of vacancies daily from Trainees/Grads, Consultants, Business Development and Account Management, through to Senior/Director level and Board Appointments, also well as facilitating joint ventures and acquisitions - thereby offering a thorough selection and choice across a broad remit.

The ethos and culture of McCall is to treat their candidates and clients in the fashion that they themselves would want to be treated and looked after. We love what we do and we are always aware that today’s candidate could be tomorrow’s client, or vice versa – we accept that international is both a huge opportunity and a great challenge for many of our candidates and we advise closely during the interview processes.

So as McCall continues to grow steadily and empower recruiters from across the globe, why not put your career in the hands of the market leaders – either to hire or if you want to generate a move – let’s face it, your future is valuable!

Posted in General on 17th May 2017

Peter Mills will be visiting our UK offices next week!

Peter Mills, our Singapore Country Manager will be visiting our UK offices next week!

If you would like to meet with Peter whilst he is here in the UK, then please contact him on the details below!

Posted in General on 31st May 2017

Our Thoughts After 25 Years as a Recruitment to Recruitment Agency!

25 years sounds like a long time!

When you are in the business of recruiting recruiters, it definitely is! As one of the first Rec to Rec agencies we used to be asked daily about the concept – now it is an integral part of recruitment agency hiring.

When I joined 17 years ago as I started running the Regional team and working on my first director level assignment, I couldn’t have imagined the journey that McCall would take (we went from independent to part of Empresaria - a global staffing AIM listed firm) nor how the market would change (out went the faxes and the landlines, in comes various technology, international placements and offices in Singapore and Sydney, emerging markets and entirely new sectors).

It has been truly fantastic - and it continues!

Any service-based business that has grown over such a period will have lived through all the typical business clichés, and I won’t bore you with any of them here, but I would like to pen a blog dedicated to the people (past and present) who have accompanied me on the journey. They form our DNA here at McCall - and we would be nothing without them.

At the last count, we have over 250 years of experience in the industry, but we all understand that often we are judged as only as good as your last placement! Advances in technology and social media are transforming the industry, but at the heart of recruitment remains a passion to help others fulfill their career dreams. As the years have gone by, we have grown with the people we have placed, and now many of those first graduate/grad caliber trainee placements are running or heading their own recruitment businesses! After all, when you focus on service, candidates tend to become clients.

As well as supporting our external partners, I would like to think that we are pretty good at supporting each other. The economy has experienced some knocks over the years, and it would have been all that bit harder without the banter and positivity of the team to help each other get through it. On the other hand, in the good times, I’d like to think that there aren’t many better people at celebrating success – indeed our 25th anniversary conference next week will be another great celebration!

One of the key attributes that I have always valued in my colleagues is an ability to listen and not to pass judgement. Career contentment in recruitment is about far more than commission, everyone is looking for a slightly different challenge – but we all know that ultimately a good placement is helping someone obtain a better job and be happier! Being trusted with someone’s dreams is a hugely privileged position that we don’t take lightly; and we have become so established over the past 25 years because we have taken to time to try and understand each client, candidate and colleague as an individual.

Internally our team is varied (we employ apprentices, highly experienced billers, resourcing, part-time staff…) but we all have a true understanding and a real passion for the business, our recruitment sector overall and a real enjoyment of our job in common!

Rather than speak further on their behalf, I’d like to hand over to a member of my team to talk about how they have flourished in the last few years. But the thanks goes to all the team. You’re all amazing.

Alex Evans (formerly Apprentice and Administrator, Resourcer, Consultant) “I believe the key to success lies within all of us if we truly want to achieve and excel at something we love; my attitude, resilience, willingness to listen, learn and teach others what I’ve learnt – to share and ensure that my successors benefit from my knowledge. The opportunity to carve my own career path, to truly understand the route I wish to take however is not an option everyone is afforded, so for this, I am thankful. Having a focus gave me the drive to work hard and I had the necessary determination to achieve my goals and do my job very well.”

Here’s to plenty more anniversaries to celebrate!

Written by Julie O'Neill 

To read more of Julie's blogs, please Click here - do remember to like and share!

Posted in General on 31st May 2017

25 years, my story, congratulations!

I believe the key to success is me. My attitude, my resilience, willingness to listen, learn and teach others what I’ve learnt – to share and ensure my successors benefit from my knowledge. The opportunity to carve my own career path, to truly understand the route I wish to take is not an option everyone is given, so for this I am thankful. Having a focus gave me the drive to work hard and I had the necessary determination to achieve my goals. I don’t wish to bore you with my story, but as McCall celebrate 25 successful years in recruitment to recruitment, I sit here and reflect on my 4 years with them.

A path that has not been easy, but well worth it. From an Admin Apprentice, to a Resourcer, Trainer and today a Billing Consultant – with I’m sure, more ahead to learn and master. I have learnt so much; built soli, fruitful relationships with colleagues, clients and candidates - I am part of a genuinely knowledgeable team and I love what I do!

Here’s to the future, more opportunity, further progression and growth!!

Happy Anniversary McCall! 

Written by Alex Evans 

Posted in General on 1st June 2017

McCall Celebrates their 25th Anniversary this month!

McCall celebrated our 25th anniversary last week - with a company conference, then a champagne reception followed by a cocktail making class and then dinner in the City (great fun was had by all!) We were pleased to have Peter Mills, our Singapore Country Manager, join us in the UK for the week and our colleagues in Sydney, Australia were with us in spirit!

The whole McCall team is passionate about recruitment and we enjoy working with good candidates that feel the same way; finding them the next challenging position is our absolute key focus. It’s a highly rewarding sector to work in and we thank all our candidates, clients, suppliers and peers for their support and loyalty.

The rec2rec market has changed hugely since it’s inception. There are roles in emerging markets that didn’t exist even a few years ago! When McCall was launched, we used to be asked regularly what rec2rec was - and pertinently why a recruitment agency would even need to use one!

We as a team collectively supply candidates across the various disciplines and many locations including internationally. We work with many loyal long term established clients and newer high growth clients – many of our candidates in recruitment started as trainees placed by the McCall Academy and are still contributing within the sector, many years on.

Posted in General on 19th June 2017

​How Do You Air Your Dirty Linen at Interview?

Dirty linen

How Do You Air Your Dirty Linen at Interview?

We all have moments in our lives that we would rather forget – some even extend into our careers…

I’m not sure that I will ever write about mine, but as I am lucky enough to run my own recruitment agency, hopefully I’ll never to have to divulge the unfortunate details to a potential employer! I might be exaggerating a little, but we have all been there, or uncomfortably close to being there... Something definitely didn’t go to plan… You failed to pay attention at a crucial moment… You chose to do something against someone’s wishes or even your own better judgement… disastrous consequences…

I am of the belief that such errors can be the hallmark of someone who is pushing their ability to the limits. Stories of calamities and near misses are to be expected in any interview – after all, we in recruitment work with people, not products!

Why, therefore, do we hear so few candidates talk about what didn’t go so well? (Or if they do, they don’t explain very well…)

The strongest people welcome mistakes as a learning experience, we all know of successful entrepreneurs who have tried repetitively with persistence and perseverance . They genuinely seek out an opportunity to test their boundaries - and when the boundaries bite back, they have a unique chance to adapt their behaviour for the future. Someone who simply plays it safe and stays within the prescribed groove is not someone who is likely to take their employer’s business to the next level.

Candidates haven’t necessarily had dealings with their recruiter before. Not all recruiters can possibly have worked with a particular hiring manager. The stakes are high and the pressure to find the right person for the role is on. When such new-born relationships are put under such strain, breakages are inevitable. However, for me, the mark of the great recruiter is not the calamity itself - but how they deal with the issues and dramas that arise – is it dealt with professionally, fairly, honestly – or are further holes being dug?

I’m delighted to hear about good (even massive!) billing figures, impressive business development skills and client wins - but I’d much rather hear about how they negotiated the hidden obstacles along the way. Hearing a story about something that went horribly wrong and how they brought it back from the brink to demonstrate real success and a strong long-term relationship is going to impress more than a squeaky clean record of excellence. Being strong, and fair, in the difficult times is what we all want to see!

Basically, I am suggesting that candidates should be more honest in their interviews – talking about the “bad” stuff won’t necessarily reflect negatively on them, if positioned correctly.

Of course, there are certain issues that are slightly more sensitive. Naturally it is always better to attract the interest of a potential employer with the sound sensible stuff before you wheel out the skeletons from the closet! As recruiters, we help to advise about the more sensitive issues. We definitely recommend honesty from the start - it is better to be open about certain things at the right time - rather than create stumbling blocks at the end of the process. No client will be impressed to hear of issues at final meeting, or even at point of references (which has happened). If you have an issue that could affect a visa and you are interviewing for jobs internationally, let us know. Don’t change a CV; if you haven’t included all the companies on the CV – why not? It will be found out and you will feel and look worse then. If you haven’t really earned X don’t embellish and don’t say that you have – OTE isn’t the same as a P60!

Every candidate should, of course, give the best account of themselves at interview, but their mistakes are part and parcel of how they have grown as an individual and as a recruiter, so they could form part of the story too.

Be genuine, be sincere and you should have every chance of getting the job.

Written by Julie O'Neill

Posted in General on 28th June 2017

What Makes a Good Recruitment Blog?

Blog image 2 700x300

I want to consider what is interesting to our recruitment network – what helps others in the network who seek guidance and knowledge – what gets views, hits, shares, likes? I am interested to hear from you, the reader – what do you expect to read about and would you chose to read about, what topics interest you most?

Recruiters are in business to offer a service – as with most services, some are great at giving it, some are maybe not so great, but we certainly all strive for one thing: putting the best candidates in touch with the most suitable employers.

If this was a simple exercise, the robots would have taken over long ago – how often have we heard that technology is taking over... but we still need the human touch? It is a journey of discovery for every candidate and client, and the potential scenarios along the way are often utterly unpredictable. People don’t change jobs too often, and no one job search is the same, and the market, economy and environment changes constantly too... As a recruiter, you have to bring your absolute best efforts to each and every transaction so that no stone is left unturned. People’s lives are at stake, and it is our duty to hold their hands.

For me, I am starting to understand that this is where recruitment content might come into play. If you are fairly new to the content space, the plus to know is that I already see that my blogs have touched more people than I could have reached otherwise. Recruiters are notoriously time-poor individuals – we may enjoy having an in-depth chat to anyone who calls, but the reality of our role is that we have to prioritise - and dedicate the majority of our time to those live searches, current clients and candidates…

Coming up with useful content lets all the other potential candidates, and our network, know that we are still there for them. But - here comes the big question, what exactly is “useful content?”

Many blogs out there are self-serving attempts to win business and/or gain visibility. This strategy will work to a point of course, but unless there is a long-term desire to genuinely help people, an audience will see through this approach pretty quickly. In my view, it doesn’t matter too much how well a blog is written – what is most important is that it touches a nerve and elicits an acknowledgement or even better a response!

It could ask a question to make someone think. It could share some personal stories to make someone feel. The picture and title alone is often enough to make someone pause…

You are spending time to put something out into the world to make an impact on other peoples lives. Every word that we say to our candidates is intended to help them move that little bit closer to their dream job, so in my mind, the blogs should be written in a similar vein. How can this blog help (just one) person move closer to signing that new contract? It isn’t about massive viral numbers, and it isn’t about endless debates (nor Facebook material being shared on business social media!) Indeed, the people who need it most may not even engage with the blogs because they don’t want their current employers to know that they are looking. If I can make a difference to just a few of those readers, it will be worthwhile. After all, I probably wouldn’t have reached them otherwise. So when people talk about content-shock and question the ROI of marketing in general, I turn this argument on its head. Why wouldn’t we want to use the channel to help our candidates – so please do respond and let me know what I should write about next! 

Written by Julie O'Neill 

Posted in General on 19th July 2017

Our most recent senior jobs in the Recruitment Sector

Most recent roles

Posted in General on 26th July 2017

Longevity in Recruitment is About Reinventing Yourself

Reinvent yourself

Longevity in Recruitment is About Reinventing Yourself

I think most of us would agree, it is very feasible to sit on the same warm IT perm desk for many years and earn a decent living. You will develop close and hopefully profitable relationships with both clients and candidates, your boss will love your dependable commission stream. Hitting your targets every month is an undeniable sign of success, (even when it rises over the years!) but is it enough to guarantee you an on-going career in recruitment? Not necessarily.

There are all sorts of events which could “shake” the status quo. The market may change significantly – world events that we can’t control - take 9/11 as an example… You might chose to move abroad with your partner - but not settle in that region or market and then find it hard to return. Maybe you want to take some time off for maternity or paternity leave – kids can change everything – I took 2 maternity leaves (in those days, very brief) in my 20’s when I worked at Select (pre-Randstad) and when I returned my area offices had changed. Or you could fall victim to the inevitable economic downturn – there is nothing like a recession to disrupt comfortable relationships.

Pardon the gloom. But in every case, you know that you want to stay within recruitment after every disruption, but you also know that you definitely need to adapt your success formula if you want to remain successful and relevant – and top of your game. Look at Madonna! The best recruiters are surely those who absolutely spot when it is time to change - and can genuinely be a chameleon. The point is, in the world we live in, if you do what you always have done - you will almost certainly not get the same outcome. Yet this still comes as a shock to some recruiters, who seem to only be able to work with one style – comfort zone perhaps?

There comes a point when some successful billing recruiters might look to get into management and often (but it shouldn’t be always) this is a natural progression – however it is a whole new skillset to learn. Truly successful billers really don’t always make the best managers. Others might want to go it alone and launch in a niche or emerging market that isn’t well served by the big boys – this can be tougher than first imagined. I have introduced and got backing to launch many recruitment joint ventures – I sometimes see that those from a brand often find it harder than they think – to balance the day job, do the back office, hire without a big banner behind them, find the time to do all the necessary workload… .

If you have the drive, the opportunities for change are there, but not always in abundance. Some clients want the skillset less important is the sector knowledge, there are agencies abroad (in many pleasant locations) who love to hire from the UK and get the experience and training on board that we enjoy here - that’s why we have offices in Singapore and Sydney, there are good careers to be had by working in high demand sectors (some of which weren’t even heard of just a few years ago – our market moves so fast!) or growing and building high performing, strong teams. By working through an acquisition the options can broaden hugely, by being fortune enough to have shares the financial benefits can be significant, occasionally life changing.

Why, therefore do some recruiters stay so long in the same role? It just doesn’t happen much anymore. The old career path of trainee/resource, consultant, team leader, manager, area/associate in the same agency, is rare. Often our skillsets are broadened faster outside – also the mind set of the next generation is to have more jobs than the previous – job for life isn’t the culture in 2017!

As Rec to Rec providers, we spend much of our time helping recruitment personnel work out their next move, plus advising clients on how to attract the right key hires. We know not all candidates move straight away, often they want to really look at the market, or wait for their dream role – similarly a client doesn’t always have an immediate need it can be an ‘as and when’ opportunity. We realise that a successful recruitment career will more often than not mean a varied recruitment career. Planning ahead and gaining experience before it is required is a key part of the learning process. By all means sit at your desk and enjoy the commission rolling in (that, in itself, is not always an easy task) - but it certainly pays to have an eye on what the future might bring.

When we strive to change, we encourage those around us to change with us.

What is your next reinvention going to bring?

Written by Julie O'Neill

Posted in General on 13th September 2017

​What is the Point of Social Media for Recruiters?

Download (4) As the archetypal middle men (and of course women) in a transaction, by the very nature of what we recruiters do for a living, you could wonder how much candidates and clients care about what recruiters have to say for themselves.

Clients care about the candidates and vice-versa - but as long as recruiters have facilitated the right match, how many second thoughts are they spared, after the initial matches of CVs have been made. Does anyone want to see pictures of their office dog, latest big-biller trip or whatever else they see fit to share? As a long-term recruiter (we won’t say how many years…!) I have many loyal clients and candidates thankfully, so birthdays, anniversaries etc. are often noted – but is that the norm? Or is the view more likely to be, you are a recruiter, you have a job to do, get on with it….

The thing is that recruitment is rarely as easy as just sending a CV over and waiting for the commission to roll in. As technology takes over the more mundane aspects of the profession, recruiters are fast becoming proficient relationship managers - ambassadors for their clients and advisors for their candidates and a real fount of all knowledge.

We generally accept that most people understand that getting to know the recruiter properly ensures that clients hire and retain only the most suitable people. Confiding in a recruiter guarantees that a candidate’s best interests are being properly represented, but, in both cases, social media can play a crucial role.

While Facebook, like wedding/celebration pictures might rack up the likes from well-wishers, the truly valuable content can lie at a level deeper. When someone is interested in developing a meaningful relationship with a recruiter, they may chose to spend ten minutes reading a couple of blogs. They are putting their trust in this individual or this company, so why would they not want to dig a little deeper. Granted, as illustrated above, such an attitude is not so common, but for the people who do want to get to know their recruiters well, a meaningful social media presence can help.

Recruiters don’t have so much time to dedicate on a one-to-one basis to such interested parties, but it is very easy to give a flavour of what they are all about with a targeted update or blog every now and again. Putting that content out there shows that a recruiter is making an effort to add value for those people who want to read further and appreciate time spent. I know that this is certainly my aim.

The common complaint is that it is so hard to measure. All I would say is this:

How can you measure the impact of an extra five minutes spent with a candidate on the phone going over their smallest concerns? They would probably get the job anyway, but you want to do all that you can to help their cause.

I do believe that assuming recruiters believe in doing everything in their power to getting closer to their candidates and clients, then a meaningful social media presence is essential and adds real value. Of course it’s not a daily bulletin (and definitely not a rant when someone or something is annoying!) otherwise I would see it as a living and breathing extension of a website – if I want to talk about something, it is so easy to do. There will be people out there who want to listen – it doesn’t have to be a huge amount (this isn’t about quantity necessarily!) but, they will be out there and for those it’s a service they like . I read and enjoy other peoples’ blogs after all!

If I remain silent on social media, I am letting down those valuable people who do want to read blogs and may care about some of the topics I cover.   

Written by Julie O'Neill 

Posted in General on 18th October 2017

​Why Don’t More Recruiters Move Abroad?

1200px  sydneyoperahouseThere are a few things in life that we feel are for “others,” but not for ourselves.

Owning a Porsche, food shopping in Harrods or taking every Friday and Monday off could be examples; but there are a good few other instances that are less out of reach than they seem. Having a stint working abroad could be one of those!

Where skills and knowledge are transferable, and language is not a barrier, taking a role abroad can broaden horizons and provide unique experiences that would never have come to fruition at home. Recruitment is an industry that lends itself well to international moves, and UK recruiters are some of the best qualified in the business plus they come from a mature market…there are many benefits to be enjoyed for those who take the plunge.

However, there are many more who don’t even consider it.

On a business trip last month to our offices in Singapore and Sydney, it struck me that their candidate shortages can be alleviated in a way that a UK candidate shortage cannot. Recruitment businesses in these regions need to market themselves more actively to the UK recruiter base. We need to make candidates in the UK more open to an international move – and to demonstrate to them what they could enjoy.

For a UK candidate with a decent record of billing and a solid knowledge of their market, if their personal circumstances allow for a couple of years abroad – or longer, it strikes me as a no-brainer. Many more senior candidates travel with families (although school fees can be prohibitive) and a fair few younger ones actually stay and put down roots – of course if one travels and finds job, new life, new relationship, new everything! The UK market is becoming squeezed at both ends by technology that enables companies to recruit more effectively for themselves and a tsunami of solopreneur recruiters working in ever smaller micro-niches. Working abroad simultaneously relieves this pressure and also gives you a unique life experience.

Of course, there has to be a significant amount of commitment from both sides. The recruiter has to feel that their future employer believes in them and will support them in the transition (sometimes financially and definitely in terms of guidance re where to live, what paperwork and medical checks are needed) and in return the employer has to be assured that the individual is worth the investment and will make the transition. Having said this, despite the geographical distance, securing an international role is not always so much more complicated that a local one. The level of bureaucracy is higher with visa and tax implications, but once that has been dealt with, the considerations are much the same as any other move.

Except you can chose to be moving to Sydney instead of Leeds! You can have weekends away in different locations – not return to Blackpool and Devon (much as you might like those beaches too!)

Choosing where to work is far from easy and I hope that we are able to offer some sage advice in this area. Sydney is a different beast to Brisbane, and Singapore is a whole world again, but with hundreds of placements under our belts we have a feel for where you might thrive. Often a candidate has family and friends abroad too which is a draw – maybe they’ve visited before and liked it.

It is true to say that it always makes sense to have a back-up plan just in case you want to return. Keeping in contact with your old network is crucial and will help to smooth your journey back home – the activities of many “expat” recruiters online help to maintain their visibility and make those initial enquires that little bit easier. Making the move back isn’t always the easiest sell, but in my view the transferrable skills and varied experiences are worth their weight in gold.

It might not be forever, and if it is well that’s fine too - however a few years abroad can definitely give you a real sense of accomplishment, joy and that added extra dimension!

Written by Julie O'Neill 

Posted in General on 23rd November 2017

​★★Recruitment Opportunities in US and Canada★★

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Julie O'Neill is currently working on several roles in the US for an established brand in growth mode; her client is looking to attract well-trained, successful staff that have been trained and tutored in the UK and have a good track record within Accounting and Finance, Sales and Marketing or Technical, who now want to move to America – several locations available! The roles are from consultant and billing levels (for those with a longevous career history) through to director level roles at c$120-$150k US. These are attractive opportunities for those who want to experience life internationally - but are also prepared to work hard and maximise the business opportunities because it’s an intense market in the US, and you will need to be able to handle that.

If interested and want to learn more about these opportunities, please contact Julie O'Neill on ✆ 07713 643761 or ✉

Posted in General on 23rd November 2017

One Year On...

F5 nwn bu nety4hvp xue kmn1r tExactly a year ago today, I accepted my offer here in the Cayman Islands, having completed an interview process with McCall, and began the process of relocating to the other side of the world. A year on, it feels like a distant memory and at the time, I just really didn’t know what to expect. If I’m honest, I don’t think you’re ever 100% certain things are going to work out or even if you’re making the right decision, but it’s been a fantastic move for my wife and I - I’d recommend it to anyone!

I started with a firm called SteppingStones in the Cayman Islands, and they just couldn’t have been better. I wasn’t unhappy in my previous role but was ready for a change and they have been really helpful. Moving in recruitment is a daunting experience but when you work with the right rec to rec agency and pick the right firm and have the right support, it’s much easier than you might think!

It takes a while to build a desk of course but I’m really starting to do well and enjoying every minute. The recruitment market here is very different to what I’m used to and it’s been both fun and a challenge adapting. We work on such a variety of roles as well so it’s been interesting learning new markets and skills. You never want to pigeon-hole yourself and this change has really helped ensure I keep my CV diverse as well as continuing my learning and developing. If I’m honest, I was probably suffering from a bit of ‘burn-out’ in my last role and this move has really helped that and I’ve a spring in my step again. I’ve even been on the radio on 3 separate occasions advertising new roles which was a great experience – even though I did need to heavily tone down my Scottish accent!

Outside work, living in Grand Cayman has been amazing. The lifestyle is incredible and it’s been so easy to settle in and adapt. The weather is great year round and I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to have constant sunshine and nice weather. As it’s a small location, it’s also very easy to meet people and the networking opportunities are immense, so I’ve made some great friends and business contacts since my arrival.

One of the things I really enjoy is the diversity, you meet people from all over the world, so it’s very multi-cultural; there’s something nice about a social group made up of people from all over the globe.

Being away from family can be tricky and you will miss things from home but the good honestly far out weighs the bad. We’ve already had family out visiting - and they are already planning their next trip. All in all, it really couldn’t have been better and my only regret is not doing it sooner!

If you are a recruitment professional, wanting to re-locate internationally please contact the following at McCall:

Peter Mills – McCall – Singapore and Asia


☏ T +65 62366370 M +65 93582668

Lisa Norris – McCall Norris - Australia


☏ +61 411 182 024

Julie O’Neill – other International locations in particular Dubai.


☏ T +44 7713 643761 M +44 1992 643884

Written by Alistair Mills 

Posted in General on 28th November 2017


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