Finding a place to grow
Minh Tran, Senior Consultant – Consumer Goods
Finding a place to grow
Minh Tran, Senior Consultant – Consumer Goods
When thinking of places to study in Japan major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka come to mind. But there’s a small city in Kyushu commonly known for its hot springs (onsen) that has set out to attract foreign students. Minh was one them.
“Beppu was nice – at least for the first year. After that it got a bit boring. Life was very slow. I am also not a big onsen fan. I guess Beppu wasn’t the right fit for me (laughs). But the community was great. I made a lot of wonderful friends.”
Her friends and general interest in Japanese culture convinced Minh to stay in Japan even after she had graduated from university.
To find a job, Minh moved from rural Beppu to Tokyo.
“My career is short and sweet. First, I started as a Researcher in the IT & tech team of a big, global recruitment firm. The research job itself wasn’t that exciting but watching the Consultants around me made me interested in becoming a Consultant myself.
The internship was limited to 3 months, so I after that needed to look for a full-time position.
Back then, I hadn’t heard about Boyd & Moore Executive Search (BMES). A friend of mine who had had done some research on Executive Search companies suggested I should apply.”
And that’s what Minh did. She applied. Directly to the Management.
“I looked Tony (BMES Managing Director & Founder) up on LinkedIn and send him a message (laughs). To my surprise he came back to me shortly after and informed me that he had forwarded my application to the HR manager. 2 interviews later I had the offer.
To be honest, my image of recruiting companies wasn’t the best. But interviewing at BMES changed my mind. My hiring manager, Victor (VP & Director – Consumer Goods & Professional Services), laid out a clear agenda about what he wanted me to train on. He also talked about the outcome he expected from this training. He seemed like a very good manager – somebody who would help me grow and become the consultant I strived to be.”
Although Minh trusted her hiring manager to help her build a successful career there was one thing about BMES she wasn’t that confident about.
“Again, I didn’t really know anything about the company or about the different search types (I hope I don’t get fired for this – laughs).
Before joining I was actually quite sceptic about BMES’ business model. During the interviews my hiring manager Victor explained his preferred model called ‘retained search’ to me. When I heard that people were supposed to pay upfront for our services it didn’t make much sense to me coming from a pure contingency background. I thought it would be too tough to convince clients to give us money without immediate results.”
But things started to make more sense once Minh had joined the company.
“From the very first day I learned a lot. I watched Victor and other senior Consultants closely. I started to understand the value we provide to our clients and that there is a lot of work that goes into a retainer: thorough market mapping, candidate management, employer branding, weekly client updates and so on and so forth. We are fully committed to not only provide guaranteed results but also to deliver the best experience possible along the way for both our clients and candidates.”
At the beginning, Minh helped her manager do research and take care of candidates for his search. But although she was only an Associate Consultant who was supposed to focus on the candidate side of the business, Victor involved her into his business development activities, including client calls and meetings early on.
“I got to see the whole process. After a while I took over more and more parts of the consulting cycle and made my own placements. That gave me confidence that I could deliver results on my own. Victor always encouraged me to develop clients and take ownership of my own business. At the end of the second quarter I had billed enough to become a Consultant and then shortly after Senior Consultant – at 24! I think that’s really fast. But at the same time, I never felt overwhelmed or that I didn’t have the support I needed.
Recently, I won a retainer completely by myself. I had the client company developed from scratch a while ago but back then they didn’t have any positions I could work on. I kept in touch and a while ago they asked me for help and signed a retainer. It’s a big achievement – A lot of work, but also a big achievement (laughs).”
Having more clients approach her for help is Minh’s goal for the future.
“Many of our Consultants are well known in the industry. Clients come to them to ask for their support. They don’t even need to do business development anymore. Their reputation does the job for them.
So far two clients have proactively reached out to me for help with their hiring. It was a great feeling. It shows that they trust me to deliver results. Now that I have a little bit of experience and the confidence that I can do the job, I want to invest more in building my reputation in the market so that more and more clients approach me directly.”
For younger Consultants who are just about to start their career in the industry, Minh has one important advice:
“Even though business models differ from company to company, what we as consultants do is very similar. We help companies connect with the talent they need. It’s quite straightforward.
So, if you’re looking to join this industry, instead of going after the size or reputation of the company, try to find a great manager. Somebody who’s invested in helping you grow, develop your skills and get you up and running quickly. It’s all about great people you can trust and enjoy working with.”
Our Executive Search teams are always looking for raw diamonds who are excited to tackle hiring challenges together with them. If you’re interested, check out our open positions.
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