Chat with Manu – an HR consultant influencer-to-be for Digital Jobs

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Welcome the very first guest I met in person for the Interview, Manu :D. Despite a short period of knowing each other, we have had many interesting convos recently. That’s why I would love to share with you his story from France to Vietnam and what his current role covers. 

1. Could you introduce more about yourself to the readers?

Hi everyone, I am Emmanuel L’Hénoret, call me Manu. I have been in Vietnam for four years. I am originally from Lorient, North-Western France. After High school, I moved to a bigger city to study. At 18, I was out of the hometown. I used to pursue Entrepreneurship/Supply Chain back at the University. This University gave me a precious opportunity to join an exchange program in another country for one year. After contemplating various criteria, I decided to choose Hanoi, Vietnam.

Well, Vietnam was not as ubiquitous as other countries like Thailand or Indonesia. I love the sunshine here, so it was a perfect option for me. I am now working as a Senior Recruitment Consultant | Digital regarding E-commerce & Technology – Sales & Marketing field at The Robert Walters Group.

I would love to describe myself as a sporty, people-oriented, and ambitious person. When I am not busy at work, you properly find me at either gym, swimming pool, or back to the gym (laugh). I am big on high beats music. I like its vibrant and lively vibe. Just like who I am. 

What is interesting about me? Oh well, I used to join a very controversial show in Vietnam, which is “Nguoi Ay La Ai?”. Despite its dramas, I had so much fun along the journey. Also, I have got some requests to be a model (laugh). As it is not my priority, I only did photo shooting twice. 

2. You studied in France, then done your Master both in France and Vietnam. After that, you’ve landed your career in HR consulting from Manufacture/Trading to Digital-related jobs. Why did you choose this unconventional path, which many may dream of but only small number of people make it till the end.

Back in France, my father was a maintenance technician, while my mother was an accountant. You could see I was born in a french middle class family with both Mom and Dad having decent jobs. Hence, my school decision was safe of studying Supply chain management. It was not very competitive and pretty promising with good job opportunities in the long term. 

I, later, was not happy. I felt that something was missing. After much reflection, I considered myself as a more human-oriented person. I decided to change my direction instead of following the path I learned in Uni. With a background in the supply chain, I started as a Recruitment Consultant for Furniture Manufacturing/Sourcing/Trading field at The Robert Walters Group

With the fruitful performance, I got promoted to a Senior position after more than a year. Still, I wanted to pursue something more dynamic and ever-growing, and thus I switched to recruit people in digital fields. The new path was actually more challenging. But that was what I have chosen. I was also excited about the cumulative learnings along the way. There are too many things to learn and explore for digital-related jobs. I aim to be more successful in my current role. 

3. How do you define being successful in your career, by the way? 

I can define success as Doing less but generating more. To do so, you are supposed to be well-managed in the day-to-day process, ensure to execute the list of tasks flawlessly, but more importantly, build value-added connections for both client and candidate prospects. 

Different roads lead to success like they said. Some of my colleagues have a genuine ability to do the above jobs. They are likely born for this role. However, they may face challenges when scaling and maximizing the natural talking style to adapt to different candidates. Sometimes they are stuck at what they are good at. 

I have worked very hard to set up the framework in advance and build the network from scratch from various approaches like one-on-one or one-to-a-group. As I am doing it differently, it costs me more time. However, the results are more rewarding as I can deliver high-quality work for the long-run. 

4. Now we shall discuss further about your current role. Which were the key factors that led to your decision to work in your current role as Senior Recruitment Consultant | Digital, E-commerce & Technology – Sales & Marketing at Robert Walters? 

As mentioned above, my decision to my current role is all about its long-term growth, my passion for a people-oriented job, and digital-related connection and learnings. 

Following-up Question: What does your role cover and who will be suitable to follow the paths?

People call what I am doing is 360-degree cycle recruitment. Yes, A-Z recruitment. Let me tell you in detail.

  1. Firstly, I have to find a new client by either contacting companies or getting referrals. Next, we shall have a meeting where I brief them about our service. We shall discuss their current recruitment needs & its requirements. 
  2. The next phase is finding suitable candidates by posting the job online, approaching prospective candidates, briefing the jobs, and interviewing the candidate (if they are interested). 
  3. We shall arrange the interview between both the employer and the candidate. If they suit each other, then congratulation! We usually take an X-month-salary of the candidate after all. If the candidate leaves any time soon in three months, we will find another candidate for free. 

For those who want to pursue this role, some highlighted criteria are people-oriented, confident to reach out to the high level, well-organized for multiple tasks, and sales-driven to achieve sales performance. 

5. What are the challenges or opportunities of your current positions?

My biggest challenge is to adapt to the new recruitment field. It means that I have to build a new network in digital-related candidates and employers while keeping my record-high performance. People working in the digital role are much tech-savvy and very proactive. They apply for many job opportunities at the same time and are actively reaching out to the company recruiters. What I have done to tackle this obstacle is taking time to seek high-quality candidates, and take actions very quickly in discussion between both client and candidate side to gain the competitive advantage. The approach that I have done may differ from other competitors who provide clients with many CVs, very fast, but some might be unqualified. 

Another difficulty that I am facing is being unorganized and undisciplined (laugh). I am still struggling to deal with this stuff. As my job nature requires a well-structured organization ability to handle so many tasks at once, plus a sales-related role looks for someone very high motivated his/herself. It is always uneasy. I am still troublesome, learning to overcome these things. For now, I have learned that if I am in this disorganized and undisciplined state, I am not giving up on myself, giving myself some time, and going back to the basics. I have a list of questions to ask myself and gain motivation back. 

Yes, opportunities are also abundant. I have seen the long-term journey in Vietnam, where I develop my career by increasing the income and building a future career in recruitment. Then, I would love to have my family here and create my reputation in Vietnam. I am in love with the lifestyle and weather here. Saigon community is very cool. 

6. What are the key turning points/the key milestone/memory which you are most proud/happiest about your career? 

Well, it must be creating the first Furniture Networking Event in Vietnam with 50 attendees among Furniture leaders. I was the first person recruiting candidates from Manufacture/Furniture field. Though I had my company behind, I almost started from scratch. Through much learning and network, I gathered a strong community of leaders and candidates in the field. It was not exaggerated if said that those people came to the networking event because of me. 

More than that, I could see my ability to support both employers and prospective candidates at a larger scale and add more value to their companies and careers. Also, I can prove the impacts in the first recruitment industry I took charge of and delivered a high-performance job. Some clients in Manufacture/Furniture are still contacting me now when they need candidates.

I am still far from being successful as defined, but those achievements are a source of encouragement to cope with future challenges. 

7. Are you working on any side-project along with your current work? What are your aspirations to work on that project? 

I am now helping candidates find new jobs by coaching or mentoring them. I aim to create some online training or conferences to share my knowledge and leverage my practical experience to help young people find the most optimal opportunities. I do not focus on 1-on-1 meetings, but being an influencer of recruitment field. I have started with group discussions and sharing and looked forward to scaling this sharing to reach a more targeted audience very soon. 

8. What would you wanna share with others besides your work, especially young people who have multiple questions regarding career growth?

Finding a job that you feel belonged to and look forward to long-term growth, especially when considering changing your career. Asking yourself what your long-term career is, how you see yourself in the next 2-3 years, or even five years with the opportunity you take. Those questions may help to opt-in for a more optimal career choice.

Thanks Manu for your detailed sharing. Wish you all best for your chosen career and stay safe!

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