From the U.S. to Japan and back again
After joining Resource Solutions, our recruitment process outsourcing business, as a recruitment coordinator in New York, Maria Iwamoto took the opportunity to work with one of our banking clients in Tokyo on a nine-month assignment. Now back in New York, Maria has taken on a new challenge, working as a recruitment partner on-site with a different global banking client. We caught up with Maria to discuss her international career journey and the opportunities available at Resource Solutions.
Tell us about your background and how you got into recruitment
While studying for my degree, I decided to major in HR and at the time my goal was to get into Diversity and Inclusion. But when I graduated, I secured a job with Resource Solutions which worked out to be a fantastic career choice.
I joined Resource Solutions as a recruitment coordinator working on-site for one of our banking clients in New York. I really enjoyed the role and within 18 months I was promoted to recruitment partner on the contract team. My day to day job involved managing the end-to-end recruitment cycle for a number of areas, including operations, treasury and finance. As part of this role I also facilitated the onboarding process for my hires which allowed me to familiarize myself with the U.S. laws and regulations. I eventually took on permanent recruitment as well which was another learning curve for me.
What I really enjoyed about the role was that no two days were the same. There was always something different, something new happening and it was a good opportunity to learn and grow.
Tell us about the variety of opportunities you’ve had at Resource Solutions?
In 2016, we began managing recruitment for our client’s credit card business and I was asked to help with the implementation. It was an exciting time as I had the opportunity to travel to the client’s locations all over the US including Delaware, Ohio and Nevada. During that time my role was to train Resource Solutions’ new joiners on processes, policies and client and stakeholder engagement, on top of my regular recruitment management responsibilities.
After that I was asked to take on a nine month assignment for the same client in Tokyo. I’m Japanese and fluent in the language so I jumped at the chance to live and work in the vibrant, bustling city of Tokyo.
My role was a stand-alone operation to implement and standardize the recruitment process, adhering to the local regulations and practices. This was a huge change because I went from being part of a large team in New York to being the only recruitment partner on-site. I was supported by an account manager based in Singapore.
Although I was born in Japan, I hadn’t worked there before, so I had to learn all about the local laws and regulations to ensure our processes were in line with them. It was a steep learning curve but I really enjoyed the opportunity to change the recruitment processes and realign what had previously been done to the Resource Solutions’ way. I also learned about how to work in Japan. For example, everyone has a business card regardless of their title and there is a certain order and way to exchange them – I researched this before my first day in the office to make sure I didn’t accidentally offend anyone!
It was also a chance for me to grow on a personal level. I’m a very introverted person and for me to be in a situation where I’m taking the lead, going out to meet with MD-level clients on a regular basis and explaining our recruitment process, was completely out of my comfort zone. By the end of the assignment, I was confident in what I had accomplished and was appreciative of the opportunity.
What did you do after Tokyo?
Once the assignment came to an end I went to work for a different banking client in New York as a recruitment partner in the Risk division. It’s essentially a client facing role so I’m partnering with the Risk business to meet their recruitment needs. It’s quite a niche area so I also work with external staffing agencies as well as our own direct recruiters to find the right candidates.
What are the benefits of working at Resource Solutions?
There are so many opportunities to grow your career! It’s not just the variety of roles available in the U.S. and internationally, it’s the opportunities you have on a day to day basis. For example, if I want to I can volunteer to take on a project and I’ll be supported by management to do so. They will train me and help me to develop new skills.
What does it take to succeed in recruitment process outsourcing?
You need to have the drive to succeed. It’s great if you can do the work but in order to progress you need to be passionate and motivated. My advice is to put yourself forward and go for new challenges. I think it also helps to be process-driven and detail-oriented. We agree on a recruitment process with the client and then we need to ensure we follow it.
How would you describe the culture at Resource Solutions?
It’s very much like a family. In New York, we gather together regularly, regardless of which client we work for, so there’s a genuine sense of camaraderie. You also feel connected to the wider, global business through the regular internal newsletters and videos. It makes you feel part of something bigger.