From London to San Francisco

Bethan James

Last year, Bethan James relocated from our London office to join our team in San Francisco. She shares why she made the move, what it's like working in our London and San Francisco offices and how she’s adapted to working in a new market.

How did you hear about Robert Walters?

My cousin is an accountant in London and had a pleasant experience working with Robert Walters during her job search. I was working at a bank in Wales and had wanted to make a career change for a while, and had been considering roles in sales and recruitment. She told me about Robert Walters and I applied for a role posted on LinkedIn. I got a call the next day.

What led you to relocate to San Francisco with Robert Walters?

The United States has always been a country of interest to me. The managing director in San Francisco, reached out to me when he heard I was in the US visiting family. He asked me if I would be interested in continuing my career in the sales and marketing discipline at Robert Walters in a new market: San Francisco. I flew out and met the team and I loved it. Not to mention, the office view was so beautiful I would have been crazy to pass up the opportunity to see that everyday!

How did Robert Walters support your move abroad? What was the process like?

Surprisingly enough, it was completely pain free. Everything was covered, from the immigration lawyer and the visa application process to securing me accommodation when I first relocated.  Everyone was also so welcoming when I first arrived, and colleagues soon became friends. They even taught me Bay Area slang so I could blend in like a local - despite my Welsh accent!

How would you describe the office cultures in London and San Francisco?

They’re very different, but one similarity is that the people in both offices are great. London is much more corporate and working within the global HQ is great exposure to the business. San Francisco is more casual, as our clients are tech start-ups, so we adapt to their laid-back style. San Francisco is also a much smaller office, so it’s very tight-knit and collaborative, almost operating as our own little boutique. But, it really comes down to the people, and that’s why I’ve loved working at Robert Walters in both locations thus far.

How did you find adapting to working in a different market?

Adapting to the tech market in San Francisco has probably been the biggest challenge in my professional career so far, but it has also been incredibly interesting. I used to think of tech as just Google and Facebook, but being here has opened my eyes to how big this industry actually is. I get to work with some of the most innovative start-ups in the Bay Area as well as a number of very successful founders and entrepreneurs. If I had any advice for anyone entering a new market, I would say to do a lot of reading, keep up to date with the latest news, and attend relevant networking events so you can meet with people in the industry.

What’s unique about working for Robert Walters?

The team environment – everyone truly wants success for each other which is one of the things that makes the company so unique. Sales can be very competitive, and while it definitely is here at Robert Walters, the team ethic is what makes it enjoyable and exciting. Personally, the global opportunities within the company were a big attraction for me as well. I always dreamed about working abroad and I am so grateful for the opportunity to further my career here in San Francisco.

What qualities do you think are essential to succeeding as a recruiter at Robert Walters?

A positive attitude is key. If you maintain a positive attitude with the work you do and the service you provide, you will go far. I also think it’s important to take pride in the work you do on behalf of your candidates and clients. You have the chance to be a key resource for people in advancing their professional careers, as well as playing a huge part in the future success of a business by providing top talent. You need to be self-motivated and able to manage your time, as only you can be truly accountable for the results of your work. But of course, having an incredibly motivating team helping push you along the way is a huge part of your success too.

Interested in a career in recruitment? Please send an up-to-date resume to Liz Boston at or call +1 415 815 3797.