My #FrazerJonesJourney – Isabel Guerresi

Author Isabel Guerresi
July 4, 2023

The picture that became reality 

I was born and raised in Mexico until the age of 13 then moved to The Netherlands. During my formative years, I was educated in a French-speaking school. Being trilingual in French, English and Spanish opened doors to an international career and nourished my global outlook.

After my bachelor’s degree in hotel management, I realised the field was not for me. So, I ventured into sales, got married and moved to Canada for six years, then moved to London where I spent a decade there. Looking back, I moved around multiple places and never settled in just one.

“I became a melting pot, soaking up tremendous cultures and values.”

I believe living abroad enhances creativity, reduces bias and helps you see the world differently. I also think it helps create a clear sense of self. I became a melting pot, soaking up tremendous cultures and values. This has always been fulfilling. 

I pictured myself as a realtor and that’s exactly what I did. Before joining the role, I was asked what kind of experience I had in real estate, so I was honest with my response “I love it, I have seen every real estate TV show and I know I’ll be good at it!” The company gave me a shot, then for nine years, I remained in sales working in central London’s real estate market.

The power of networking

For over three years, I managed a team in London and was scoping out new members. I decided to reach out to an in-house recruiter who later moved on to The SR Group during Covid. We connected on LinkedIn and one day I came across a post to work at The SR Group, where she added the Amsterdam hashtag. After reaching out to see how things were going on her end, she successfully pitched me my current role. 

Michael Illert was heading up Europe at the time I joined and sold me the role. I appreciated how driven he was with all things diversity, equity and inclusion (a passion of mine). He empathised on how many women are at the top, the flexibility within the role and the company’s values.

“I was delighted by the positive energy that resonated throughout The SR Group.”

As I was used to working for a UK employer, maintaining that connection for a UK-based company with a global reach appealed to me. Michael Illert was so easy going and everyone I met was relaxed – even down to their attire compared to what I was used to.

Being interviewed at Frazer Jones by Michael felt more like a conversation. I was delighted by the positive energy that resonated throughout The SR Group.

Working for a unique brand with global reach

Frazer Jones is unique. In the Netherlands, we operate like a boutique firm and have specialised desks for more niche searches within HR. 95% of people who I have conversed with know who we are. I love being part of a multinational brand and being part of a renowned business brings great advantages when speaking to professionals in the industry.

“They provide us with all the tools we need and our beautiful offices provide a safe, comfortable space to thrive in.”

Working at Frazer Jones means being part of an international team. There is also a sense of freedom in our working pattern. As the hybrid system is here to stay – we get to work from home a few days a week and equally from the office.

They provide us with all the tools we need and our beautiful offices provide a safe, comfortable space to thrive in. Part of the role involves meeting people, also across different continents and forming bonds. We are encouraged to visit our colleagues overseas, which is what I did in June at the London office.

“We collaborate, bounce ideas off each other and celebrate one another’s wins.”

My path into recruitment was well-chosen. Before joining, those around me were shocked that I was starting a new career, but it is never too late and it is never from scratch. I love to learn, which is what I do every day. I learn from candidates and clients by engaging in conversations.

I always get something constructive out of a conversation, particularly from HR. Being from a sales background, I can’t help but seek and enjoy that exciting adrenaline kick. When I was in real estate this came when a property offer was accepted. Here, it is when I fill a role for a client or help an individual land the role.

Teamwork makes the dream work

I enjoy working with my teammates as there is so much diversity. We are all very different – different ages, nationalities and walks of life. At the same time, there is true synergy. We collaborate, bounce ideas off each other and celebrate one another’s wins.

We have Frazer Jones, Brewer Morris and Taylor Root in the same office which creates a sense of belonging. Although we aren’t all from the same brand, there isn’t a division. It is a cosy office, so you can ask questions simply by walking up to someone’s desk or private messaging.

Once a month, we host a morning meeting where duos choose a topic to present to the team. This meeting allows us to learn something new and recruitment related. For the last meeting where I joined forces with my colleague, we covered the psychology behind sales.

DEI is very important to me. The SR Group have an active DEI committee which I am part of as a DEI ambassador. I’m involved in various projects including LGBT history month, zero discrimination day – and many others. I believe diversity has a huge impact on inclusion – I am proud to be part of a company that strives for all three.

A piece of advice

My former boss always told me I loved running before crawling. I am stimulated by learning so my best advice is learn, learn learn! Embrace ideas and suggestions from others and don’t be afraid to bounce off your teammates for ideas.

“Knowledge will give you the confidence and boost you in your career.”

I believe understanding empowers individuals, knowledge gives you confidence and can lead you to boost you in your career. Always be yourself and have fun along the way. Having that know-how shows real professionalism and will help you during any conversation.

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