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Andrew Holden - Recruitment Manager

Andrew Holden, Finance and Commercial Recruitment Manager at McArthur

Andrew originally hails from the UK and is now an Australian Citizen. He spent the first 10 years of his life living in Kuwait, South Africa, Indonesia and South Africa. He played a lot of sport at school and university and starting working in hospitality from an early age to earn extra pocket money.

Andrew's worked in recruitment for over 14 years and says career highlight is where he is right now, as Finance and Commercial Recruitment Manager, leading a successful team. Outside of McArthur HQ he likes to run, play squash, read and write. 

What organisation are you currently working for?

McArthur - McArthur is one of Australia’s most respected recruitment and HR Consulting specialists. With over 48 years’ experience and achievement, they employ over 120 highly focused recruitment specialists across 5 states and have a growing presence overseas. They are also an active member of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA).

What did you study and what are the steps you took to be where you are today?

Graduated in 1999 with BA (Hons) Humanities from Nottingham Trent University and subsequently joined British Gas within their Finance Function for two years. In 2003, moved to Australia and since then have focused on recruitment consulting within the Finance, Commercial & Strategy space, with some of Australia's leading recruitment firms.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A fisherman. And if I couldn’t be a fisherman I wanted to be an astronaut!

What was your first job?

Kitchen hand in a restaurant. Drying dishes, making apple crumble and peeling potatoes. I was 12 and was a given an ice cream break at 3pm every day. On my last day of the summer job, I bought all of the employees in the kitchen a pint of beer with the help of one of the waitresses from the restaurant bar to say thank you. Subsequently, I was invited back for three more summers!

When did you first know you wanted to take this career path?

When I was working at British Gas. I was quickly promoted to a leadership role within the finance team and had to hire lots of contractors. As I dealt with the recruiter who supplied all the contractors, I thought that seems like a really good career! A mix of recruiting, HR, marketing and sales. So I transitioned into Agency Recruitment and have never looked back!

Explain a typical day at work

I like to get to the office just after 6:30am. Read the Australian Financial Review or Economist, check the to-do list and go through emails and reminders. By 8am myself and the team are ready to review the ‘Work in Progress’ essentially the assignments we are running for our clients which include commercial businesses, not for profit organisations and State Government & Local Government Departments, our client base is quite diverse which makes it really interesting.
Three times a week I spend an hour in the morning working with one of the team on their Diploma of Business. I am very supportive of education and training. The rest of the day is spent speaking with or meeting clients, interviewing candidates, searching for candidates on LinkedIn and working with the team to ensure they have everything they need.
I try to run across or under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at lunchtime if I can. The team and I also watch TED talks every week as well as write Blogs for LinkedIn. We have a number of individual, team and personal goals that we are all working towards and we are constantly reflecting on the progress of these goals. And most of all we try and make it fun and we seem to laugh a lot! 

What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?

Moving to McArthur and being trusted to start an Accounting & Finance Division which has developed into having a broader commercial focus. We have only hired ‘rookie’ consultants and provided some great entry-level opportunities to some amazing people. That’s not only interesting but very satisfying.

Name the best and worst parts of your job

The best parts of the job are finding candidates their perfect job, finding solutions for our clients and seeing the McArthur team’s continued development. There are always challenging parts to the job, however, we always try to find a positive in every knockback or challenge.

What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?

Don’t focus on results, focus on performance. If you consistently put in the performance, the results will follow.

What do you look for when recruiting?

The right behaviours. If an individual has the right behaviours – wants to learn, wants to do a good job, will be honest with themselves and they want to be the best person they can be; then they will succeed given the right environment.

What do you wish someone had told you before starting in this industry?

Nothing really. I can’t think of anything that has been a disappointment about this industry.

Where do people have to start to get into recruitment and what is the standard salary?

There are lots of entry-level and graduate roles in agency recruitment. You just need to ensure you find an agency with a culture and leader that suits you. And make sure they are going to invest in you from a training and mentoring perspective. The entry level salary ranges from $45K to $55K. However high performers will very quickly double that salary figure. That’s one of the exciting elements of this industry!

Name a career highlight

My career highlight is where I am right now. I am very lucky to have an amazing and successful team that meets all their goals and also knows how to have fun doing it. We have some great clients that we partner with and we also have a ‘Plan’ to ensure a successful future. The future at McArthur is looking very bright!

Think recruitment is the right career path for you? Start with a course in Human Resources

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