How my industry experience powered my recruitment career

Danai Mongkollak

Danai Mongkollak worked for one of the world’s largest car manufacturers for ten years before joining Robert Walters Thailand as a recruitment consultant. Hear why Danai decided to make the switch to recruitment and how his experience in the automotive industry has helped him succeed as a recruitment consultant.

How did you get into recruitment?

I had my first taste of recruitment in my previous role as a production control manager. I was involved in interviewing new members for my team and I enjoyed the process, especially meeting new people and hearing their stories.

After nearly ten years working in the automotive industry, I was ready for a new career challenge. Whilst exploring new possibilities, I saw an open position at Robert Walters Thailand and thought, “Why not?” I applied for the job, met with several managers and my interest took off from there.

What do you like best about your role?

I’ve always enjoyed meeting people, building connections and learning from them. This role allows me to do exactly that. I meet and speak with professionals from various industries daily, including food and beverage, fast-moving consumer goods and electronics companies.

I also like that my previous experience in the automotive industry hasn’t gone to waste – in fact, it has been really beneficial to my role as a recruitment consultant. I am able to speak the same language as the clients and candidates I meet, and I’ve found that my industry experience means I able to understand and address their needs and concerns more effectively.

For example, when clients tell me about a position they are recruiting for, we are able to dive straight into details such as the specific experience and characteristics they are looking for in a candidate, instead of spending time going through the general requirements of a role. This applies to candidates as well. When candidates tell me about themselves, I can identify areas that will be of interest or value to employers – and help highlight those to the client.

How did the company help you transition into a recruitment role?

The company not only provided me with the training I needed to transition into a recruitment role, but has supported me and helped me to grow my potential at every step of my career. For example, after being promoted to senior consultant, I found that I was no longer in charge of just my own work – I had taken on a new challenge, helping two consultants with their work as well. I underwent an internal “Train the Trainer” session that empowered me with the knowledge and skills to transition into this new role.

What kind of opportunities do you see in your market?

Thailand’s economy has seen so much growth in the past few years and I believe it will continue to flourish, giving excellent potential for us to grow our business. In particular, the supply chain and procurement sector, which I specialise in, is set to grow. The Eastern Economic Corridor Act was passed earlier this year and this will likely attract greater foreign investment and more job opportunities in the industrial sector.

How would you describe the culture at Robert Walters Thailand?

The whole office is like a huge family. We’ve grown from 30 to 60 people within three years, but continue to work hard and play hard together. Teamwork is really central to everything we do – we collaborate both within our core team and work together cross-functionally too. We share clients, discuss ways of sourcing candidates and bounce ideas off each other.

What advice would you give to someone considering a move into recruitment?

There’s no doubt that a career switch is a challenge, particularly if, like me, you’ve never worked in a client-facing position. It’s a life changing decision, and working in recruitment requires a lot of discipline, drive and ambition to succeed.

This said, it was the right decision for me. I enjoy the work that I’m doing, and I have found myself a second family – it was hard work coming into a sales-driven environment, but I had support along the way and all the effort I have put in has most certainly paid off. I’m glad I made the career switch and I hope to see more industry professionals taking up the challenge as they have a lot of transferable skills and knowledge that are invaluable to a recruitment career.

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