Life in recruitment - Benefits of a financial background

Dale Owen

Senior Manager in Reading, Thames Valley

As a former accountant, Dale shares his experiences as a career changer at Robert Half. Explore what he found challenging, how finance has helped him develop contacts with FTSE-listed companies, and what advice he has for anyone considering a career in recruitment.

Why did you decide to change careers?

I worked for EY on their graduate scheme for just over a year and got to the second stage of the ACA qualification exams. I really didn’t enjoy accounting (and wasn’t great at it either) and I really wanted to work in a fast paced, people driven environment where I could use my finance knowledge. I still wanted to have the opportunity of a career path within a corporate environment though so pleased to find all of that with Robert Half. 


What existing skills from your previous role has contributed to your success in this role?

My finance knowledge helped massively as there is a lot of terminology and skills that aren’t commonly known. This helped me with my credibility early on with clients and candidates. I was able to identify problems which a temporary or interim resource would be able to solve. The graduate scheme at EY also built up my resilience and got me used to working to targets and deadlines, a critical part of recruitment.


What’s your current position?  How long have you been in this position?  Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?

I am currently the senior manager of the temporary services team covering the Thames Valley. I’ve been in this role for 18 months and manage a team of seven recruitment consultants, while also personally recruiting for senior interim staff. We work with a range of clients across the Thames Valley from FTSE 100s through to small owner-managed businesses.


What support or training did you receive when you started at Robert Half?

I’ve had all sorts of formal and informal training across my 5+ years with Robert Half. From my initial candidate and client focused training programme as a new consultant I progressed to a six-month divisional manager programme to prepare me for managing and mentoring a small team. I then completed an advanced leadership programme including psychometric analysis when I took on my senior manager role. Even now I am being mentored by one of our senior director group to improve and develop my business leadership and decision making. All of this has been in addition to on the job training day to day by my own direct managers over the years. 

The training has really helped me to develop my business and management skills. It’s really made me feel that Robert Half wants to invest in my career to make it as successful as possible. Beyond the structured programmes though it’s great to simply have the help of senior leadership whenever I need it and know that I can call the likes of the UK Director, Regional Director or UK Training Director anytime to discuss a better way of doing things or to discuss a challenge I’m having.


What was the biggest surprise about working in recruitment?

How no two days are ever the same! It really is the only job I’ve ever had where every day flies past at 100 mile per hour without fail.


Interested in finding out more about working for Robert Half? Send your questions through to our internal recruitment team today.