My #FrazerJonesJourney – Alfredo Lira
Graduating from political sociology into recruitment
Like many, I began my career in recruitment through an unexpected route.
I was born in the United States, raised by Mexican parents, and moved to the Netherlands at 12 after living in Dallas for ten years. Politics was the route I had envisaged for myself. I graduated with a degree in political sociology then embarked on an internship at the US embassy.
To pursue political sociology, I would have had to work for the United Nations, European parliament or become an academic and fluent Dutch was required.
At this crossroads, I spotted the graduate AIESEC programme advertised by Frazer Jones. It seemed different and exciting, so I leapt into a new adventure. Now here I am one year later at Frazer Jones; somewhere I didn’t expect to be but truly enjoy.
“It seemed different and exciting, so I decided to take on a new adventure.”
Human connection leads to progression
My studies mostly involved voting behaviour, political trends and why political parties emerged. These themes don’t seem to have obvious links with what I do now, but they taught me transferable skills such as critical thinking that I use when finding the best ways to support candidates and clients.
Starting out, I didn’t know much about recruitment. I even asked my manager what an organisational chart was and had no idea what HRBPs (HR Business Partners) were, let alone what ‘reward’ meant. The graduate programme taught me how to operate on the candidate side and I learnt more by shadowing managers and other consultants. This enabled me to contribute my knowledge about our skills and industry trends when connecting with clients.
Human connection led me to progress within my role – all these conversations shaped my career. Frazer Jones recognised my progress in April 2022 by promoting me from a graduate position to Recruitment Consultant. I am grateful for how quickly I progressed, thanks to the support from my manager Wessel Staal, all the consultants in the office and how approachable people are. If you voice your interest in getting involved in a project, they’re very quick to support you.
‘’If you voice your interest in getting involved in a project, they’re very quick to support you.’’
The smaller the team, the mightier
I focus on reward, payroll and anything number orientated for The Netherlands and Belgium markets. I split senior and executive roles with Wessel, helping me tap into specific markets and become a specialist in my field. Frazer Jones deals specifically with HR, providing a focal point for everyone. Within, you can expand like I do.
Working in the Amsterdam office in a small team of 15 encourages me to connect on a deeper level with my colleagues. For example, we all enjoy team-building activities. On Fridays, we have drinks in the garden and celebrate the small wins. Our most recent activity was an Indonesian cooking class – I love the positive energy.
I also love the open culture; how non-hierarchal and flat the structure is. As someone who started as a graduate, I can easily talk to a Partner and feel equal. If I have questions, I receive great advice and can joke around with my peers after. We have fun on the weekends but still come in on Monday morning and grind. There’s no pressure with timing; here, we enjoy a flexible working policy because our people are trusted to work in a format that suits them. If you’re hardworking, focused and enthusiastic that’s all that matters – the rest follows.
“If you’re hardworking, focused and enthusiastic that’s all that matters – the rest follows.”
The sky isn’t the limit
The international mobility scheme at Frazer Jones enables employees to move around globally, broadening their experience and expertise. We have 14 international offices worldwide, hosting our four specialist brands that all sit under The SR Group.
The company creates a progressive future where we can thrive. For example, we recently welcomed someone in our office from our legal recruitment brand, Taylor Root, who relocated from Singapore. Others have relocated elsewhere such as Mark Woodhouse and James Casey.
At some point, I’m very keen to work in London, New York or another big city. If you’re thinking of living and working in Amsterdam – do it! It’s a great place to work. Our beautiful office is right next to the canal. Statistically, it’s the best non-native English-speaking city in the world, especially in the Randstad area.
‘’The company creates a progressive future where we can thrive.’’
Recruitment provides constant feedback
Recruitment isn’t easy, especially in agencies where you do the full 360. If you want to succeed, you must persevere and stick with it. It took me nine months to make my first placement but now I’m doing well. Starting from scratch when building a network takes time, so have patience and trust yourself.
It’s different from sales jobs because your product talks back to you. There’s an extra layer of dynamism making it more interesting. Don’t get discouraged at the first rejection or the first time someone hangs up the phone on you because it will happen. They may call you back a week later saying, ‘oh actually I do need to talk to you.’
You never hear a teenager say, ‘I want to go into recruitment’ – it’s a job that people come across in a huge variety of ways. If you’re like me, you’ll love it – and if you’re still in recruitment after a couple of years, you’re probably in it forever because you’ve found how fulfilling it can be.
‘’It’s different from sales jobs because your product talks back to you.’’