1. What is your firm’s recruitment philosophy?
Treat your clients and candidates as you’d like to be treated yourself.
2. Specialist Area (e.g. life / pensions, graduate / senior roles)?
We specialise in all practice areas (life, non-life, pensions and investments) from graduate level right through to senior management and partner. Our specialism is backed up by our actuarial consultants having worked in these areas previously.
3. What sets your firm apart from other recruitment firms in the market?
We are the only actuarial recruitment agency in Ireland run by actuaries.
There are several benefits of this:
- We fully understand the actuarial skills needed to perform every job
- We have numerous actuarial contacts, regularly attend actuarial events and have a network of friends and colleagues in the industry giving us an intimate knowledge of the marketplace.
- A large number of candidates apply solely to us because they like the idea of speaking to an actuary about their career. This factor is effective at all levels but in particular encourages senior actuaries who would not normally contact a recruitment agency.
4. Services provided to candidates?
We are uniquely placed to advise on all actuarial positions, with our team of actuaries having worked in a number of actuarial disciplines. No other recruitment consultancy offers the same depth and diversity of experience. Additional advice services include CV preparation, interview preparation, one-to-one career advice and market salary information.
5. Why should candidates use an actuarial recruitment consultant to find a job rather than their own networks?
A good recruitment consultant can often make the make the difference between a successful & efficient job search or a lot of wasted effort. There are many areas where we add value including –
- Discussing your career plan and what is the right move for you
- Managing the whole recruitment process from start to finish
- Extensive knowledge of the diverse range of actuarial work
- Awareness of all the vacancies available and making you aware of any “hidden” opportunities
- Market Knowledge – company and departmental structures, reporting lines, company cultures etc.
- CV & Interview advice
- Mock Interview practice
- Regular communication: new opportunities, interview arrangements etc.
- Provision of detailed client interview feedback and post-interview review
- Salary and benefits negotiations
Some of these are discussed in more detail in point 10 below.
6. What to look for in your actuarial recruitment consultant?
Service standards vary dramatically and it is important to find an actuarial recruitment agency that you can trust. We suggest that you ask around for personal recommendations or call a few actuarial recruitment agencies up. You should quickly get a good feel for how much knowledge the consultant has, their level of experience and whether they have your best interests at heart.
“My requirements were driven by previous bad experiences with actuarial recruitment agencies.
The number one thing was that I wanted to speak to a trustworthy recruiter – having a friend’s recommendation led to me contacting Acumen Resources.
The key reason was that last time I contacted 4 actuarial recruitment agencies, all promised not to send my CV out and yet 3 copies turned up on a friend’s desk at my current employer the next day. I didn’t want the same to happen again, particularly because any CV in a company gets widely circulated and the actuarial world is too gossipy. So number one was to speak to an actuarial recruitment consultant who would not circulate my CV without my permission.
My second requirement was to speak to someone who understood actuarial work – again last time I got frustrated at speaking to recruiters who clearly had absolutely no idea of the role or experience necessary.
My third requirement was a recruiter who could speak knowledgeably about the various companies and the differences between them is valuable e.g. what the difference is between a consulting role in Willis Towers Watsons and EY for example including culture, hours, what the manager is like etc. ?
My fourth requirement was an actuarial recruitment consultant with good knowledge on salaries. Some recruiters suggested I would struggle to match my current package but actually it was relatively easy to beat it.
My fifth requirement was regular feedback and follow up calls after interviews to check how they have gone. A previous actuarial recruitment agent hadn’t suggested any changes to my CV, did not really know what role I was being interviewed for, did not phone me afterwards and was no help whatsoever in negotiating package, I felt they had not added any value.”
7. Describe the special skills and experience you have that can help candidates find their dream job
Honesty. Apart from the obvious skills and experience our whole firm has (see the preceding paragraphs), there’s nothing more valuable than honesty. A huge percentage of our business comes from personal recommendations. That speaks volumes about how we operate, and the success we’ve had in ensuring people secure their ideal role.
We also follow the old maxim “God gave us two ears and one mouth, we should use them in that proportion” – the skill of listening. We listen and understand what the person wants. Then deliver on it.
8. What are actuarial employers looking for on a CV?
Apart from the obvious relevant skills and experience, some important features are:
Each new role you’ve performed should demonstrate an increasing level of responsibility.
Include what you’ve achieved as opposed to what you’ve done. What differentiates you from others?
Highlight a combination of technical, communication, interpersonal and organisational skills.
Avoid waffle, repetition and non-added value comments.
You’ll have to contact us to get the rest of them!
9. Paul, what was your first job? How and why did you become a recruitment consultant?
My first job was a commission-only dogsbody in my mother’s B&B (i.e. she didn’t pay me). I quickly learned the value of providing a good service to the customers, as it was the only way to earn tips/pocket-money. I’ve brought that experience to all my roles to date – treat your customer right and they’ll keep coming back.
My involvement in actuarial recruitment came about by accident. I used another agency to move actuarial jobs previously and (I have to be careful I don’t libel anyone here) the service was brutal. So I thought to myself “I can do this better”. And it’s been an excellent career choice. I get a lot of client interaction, it’s a very person-focused role, it’s easy to clock up my CPD hours and I work flexible hours (according to the customers’ needs).
Benefits of using an actuarial recruitment consultant rather than your own network:
The best actuarial recruitment consultants have clout with hiring managers and senior level executives – many of us do not. You could send your CV to numerous companies, and post your CV on various job sites to no avail. You still haven’t heard a peep. The best actuarial recruitment consultants have the connections to not only get you in the door, but also get feedback – whether positive or negative – rather quickly. Think of how many others are applying to the same job you are…sometimes tons. Hiring managers and HR personnel simply do not have the time to review every CV. A good actuarial recruitment consultant can guarantee that you won’t be just another CV in a pile but that your CV will be reviewed by the appropriate line manager.
Let’s say you found an actuarial recruitment consultant, you find a job and you are now perfectly content. Come 3-5 years down the line you may decide to try your hands at a new company/role again. Or you may spend the rest of your days in the company you are working for, but may need advice when it comes to remuneration, employee rights, etc. You now have an ally that is there for you to utilise. The better actuarial recruitment consultants are in it for the long haul. They are in the business of building relationships with both candidates and clients, and making sure both parties are equally satisfied. Therefore you not only gain a new role, but you also gain an important ally to guide you through your current and future career path.
Are you underpaid? Overpaid? Are you ready for a senior management role? Are your technical skills up to par? There are a number of questions that can help you make an informed decision when it comes to strategic career planning, and an actuarial recruitment consultant is a great resource to utilise. They can help you find answers and ask questions that will guide you to the right job and the right steps to take in order to advance your career. Best of all, this information is free, unbiased and essential when determining your position and worth in today’s job market.
The Hidden Jobs Market
Actuarial recruitment consultants hold the hidden jewels of the job market, and here they are – undisclosed jobs. Many times, especially with Senior Level positions, companies have confidential roles that are for restricted eyes only. Companies then turn to specialist actuarial recruitment consultants for help with these positions. You cannot find these positions listed on Monster or the various other job sites on the web.
End Game Is The Same
You and your actuarial recruitment consultant have the same goal, and that is to make sure you are putting your best foot forward, meeting the right people, and getting you an ideal role that is a perfect fit for both you and your future employer. They’re on your side.