According to statistics on career changers, 78% of workers under the age of 40 say the pandemic has caused them to reconsider what they want to do for a living (Elementsgs, 2021). Remote working options, job satisfaction/fulfilment and pay are the main motivators for candidates when starting a search. As recruiters, we often focus on candidates’ transferable experience and to “hire for attitude, train for skills”. Glen Scheiner joined Fastnet The Talent Group in September 2021 after a long and successful career with Aer Lingus. Below he explains his experience of changing career during a pandemic and what he has learned along the way.
Tell us a little bit about your career before joining Fastnet
Prior to joining Fastnet I spent nearly 20 years working as cabin crew. During this time, I was lucky to be able to work on projects outside my core role such as onboard training and recruitment. This is what sparked my interest in moving to a full-time recruitment role. I have a strong customer service ethos and I have always believed you should “think of yourself as the customer” and how you would like to be treated. Fastnet really appealed to me as we have the same values and believe in partnering with all stakeholders to optimise outcomes for all.
Was it a hard decision for you to choose to pursue a new career?
Like anyone who has spent a long time working in the same job, the thoughts of changing direction are very frightening. You question your ability and think because you’ve done the same thing for so long there is no way you can do anything else. But when I sought the help of a career guidance expert, they quickly helped me to identify the many skills and abilities I had gained and developed over the course of my career. I also had spent some time during the pandemic upskilling myself and I completed an ICDL computer course and a Diploma in HR Management. This was the first time I studied outside of my airline skill set which was very daunting, but I achieved a good result and this helped me gain the confident to start seeking a role in recruitment
Why did you decide to pursue a career in recruitment?
My interest in recruitment began when I spent time working on seasonal cabin crew recruitment campaigns. I really enjoyed meeting candidates from all different backgrounds and with such varied experiences. Having recruited several candidates and seeing them develop in their careers, it was nice to know that I had been part of helping them make their career aspirations come true. I feel recruitment is about helping people to plan for the future as the role you help them to achieve now will give the skills and experiences to advance in their career.
What skills from your previous work do you feel translate the most to recruitment?
The skills I feel translate from my previous role into recruitment is a customer focused mindset. You need to be able to ensure the candidate and the client have an excellent experience from start to finish. Communication is definitely key, ensuring that the correct information is captured and passed on at all times. Team work is definitely a transferable skill, being part of the overall team performance, but also working independently is crucial as is using your own initiative. Finally, organisation and time management are very important factors which are similar in both roles. It’s only when you sit down and think about them that you realise how much experience you have gained over the years.
What challenges did you have in your first few months and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge in my first few months was getting used to the work from home element of the role. Going from being surrounded by people all the time to working from home on a daily basis. Also, getting used to using IT systems was new to me. I would have only used computers for a very limited amount of time in my previous role. The way I found to overcome this was to set a routine into my day, previously I had set SOPs to follow on a daily basis, so learning to organise myself took some time to get used to. I found asking colleagues for help with IT systems helped, most of the time I was asking them a question they had had to ask in the past and eventually I realised that this was an ongoing learning. Using any tools available like YouTube and google also helped, especially for the times when you’re at home and you can’t ask the person at the desk beside you. Luckily for me though, I only ever had to ask and someone was always willing to help.
12 months into the role, what is the biggest lesson you have learned?
Having been in the role for 12 months now, the biggest lesson I have learned is to trust your intuition. Having had experience with a lot of processes at this stage, it becomes second nature to know when something is right or wrong. Most of the time when you have a feeling about something, you’re right.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career change?
My advice to anyone who is thinking of a change in career is to take the leap and try something new. It’s amazing what you will learn in short space of time. Nothing is ever lost, only experience is gained.
Fastnet The Talent Group are looking to speak to candidates with excellent customer service skills; a natural curiosity; eagerness to learn and who work well in a goal orientated environment in relation to a number of open Talent Consultant positions. If you would like to learn more please reach out to Therese Keohane via the details below.
Associate Director of Operations
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