Career progression in San Francisco


Simon Bromwell started his career at Robert Walters in 2003 as an associate consultant in Tokyo. Today he is managing director of our San Francisco office, which he launched in 2012. Simon talks about his personal career story and what it’s like working with some of the most exciting tech start-ups in the Bay area.

“I moved from Tokyo to San Francisco in 2012, to open what is our first office on the West Coast of the US. When we opened the office, we had no clients or candidates and so we had to build the business from the ground up, one relationship at a time. Five years on we’ve grown substantially and now have around 25 staff. So we’ve come a long way and the team has grown with the business.

Fast career progression

We can offer ambitious and hard working people an accelerated career path. In contrast, most recruitment firms in San Francisco tend to be either small local boutiques or national staffing agencies, where the career progression is less clearly defined. Here, it’s a very meritocratic environment. I would rarely hire a manager externally - we prefer to progress people internally.

Long term careers

We look to provide our team with opportunities to further their careers over many years. For example, Julia Horiuchi joined us four years ago with a couple of years prior work experience. During her time with the firm, she’s progressed as the business has grown, been promoted twice, and is one of our highest performing members of the team.

Similarly, Eric Soni started with us three years ago, and went on a similar journey. He had a background in compensation consulting, but no sales or recruitment experience. After three years of hard work he has progressed from consultant to manager.


Team based profit share

We’re unique in that we don’t work on a commission basis but instead operate a system of team profit share. This takes a lot of pressure off our people and helps to foster a sense of team work. I think this approach is rare in the US and our people thrive in this environment. This system also enables us to provide a more long-term approach with the clients and candidates we partner with.

Being a strategic advisor

We’re very privileged to partner with some of the most intelligent and driven entrepreneurs in the world, who are focused on building products and services that aim to have an impact on a global scale. We work with venture capital backed start-ups as well as larger corporates, and so our team has the opportunity to work with founders, as well as other senior business leaders.

Many of the founders we work with are hiring for the first time, and so need our advice about how best to successfully build their teams. So we’re not just filling roles for these companies, but instead acting as their strategic advisors - you just don’t get those opportunities in many other roles.

Vibrant team culture

The San Francisco team is dynamic, sociable and lively. We have a very international and diverse environment, with people from all over the world and all walks of life. As a team, we volunteer in the local community, in youth centres and at the San Marin Food Bank. Above all we enjoy each other’s company and it’s a fun place to work. We do a lot of team events - from off-site training sessions in Napa and Santa Cruz, to ball games and sailing trips on the Bay.

Opportunities in San Francisco

What we can offer here is opportunity, not just in San Francisco, but elsewhere in the US, and internationally. In San Francisco our minimum ambition is to double in size over the next few years, but there will be further opportunities for us to expand the business across other West Coast cities too.

In my time with the company I’ve gone from associate consultant to managing director and have worked all over the world, so I can personally attest to the growth potential on offer. Entrepreneurialism is one of our core values, so the opportunities aren’t just confined to this office.”

What we can offer here is opportunity, not just in San Francisco, but elsewhere in the US, and internationally.

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





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