My career in Singapore

Joanne Chua

Joanne joined Robert Walters as a consultant in the HR recruitment division in 2006 and helped to grow the business - which at the time was a relatively new discipline for the office.

The team expanded and she was promoted to senior consultant in July 2007, made manager of the HR division in January 2008, and in 2011 became an associate director. She is now the regional client development director for Southeast Asia & Greater China.

“Eight years ago I sent my resume to Robert Walters - more in hope than expectation as although I had a commercial background, I didn’t have experience at a multinational firm.

I’d had offers from smaller recruitment players but I wanted to join an industry leader. Two hours after I clicked the “Send” button, I received a call from the head of the business and she became my boss for the next eight years. She saw my potential and that’s typical of Robert Walters - we hire people who have passion and a desire to succeed.

In my first quarter at Robert Walters, I billed a record amount and in my second quarter I qualified for the Group’s Annual Incentive Weekend trip to Hawaii. The opportunity to interact with people from different global offices was priceless. In my second year with the company, I qualified again - this time we went to South Africa. By 2011, I was asked to take on the supply chain and procurement division - as well as the business support team, with the aim of growing those businesses, very much like I’d done with HR. I’m now a director within the Singapore business.


Focused on the future

The Robert Walters strategy has always been to think long-term. When the market’s tough we band together and go the extra mile to help everyone else out. That camaraderie is something I really value. Frankly, this is a challenging job. Fortunately, Robert Walters understands how to support its staff. This stems from the top management - they run the business with transparency and give us room for autonomy which allows us to grow both personally and professionally.

The team-based approach and non-commission policy is a mechanism that drives positive behaviour. The way we reward people produces a consultative approach rather than a ‘hard-selling’ stance towards clients or candidates. People are a lot more open to sharing information.

Developing an entrepreneurial spirit

Besides formal consultant, management and director training the key to my growth has been having the freedom to learn on the job and make decisions - and that’s suited me perfectly. We are also encouraged to meet up regionally, for example in Hong Kong and Japan to learn from other teams in other countries.

It’s definitely not all work at Robert Walters - there’s room for plenty of fun too. Besides monthly ‘wraps’ where we share success with the whole business, we also have regular updates, drinks and social networking among the teams and office. Having that sense of being ‘in it together’ makes all the difference - every one of us wants to go the extra mile to support clients and candidates and I think that gives us the edge.”

The key to my growth has been having the freedom to learn on the job and make decisions and that’s suited me perfectly.

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