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My Career Journey – Crystal Gonzalez│Frank Recruitment Group

Ever wondered what it’s like to be an Account Executive in recruitment? We’ve got you covered!  

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing a series of interviews with Account Executives who work for us at Frank Recruitment Group, full of everything you could possibly need to know about the role. From their typical day-to-day activities to their best advice for anyone wanting to work in recruitment themselves, our guests leave no stone unturned.   

Our first guest is  Crystal Gonzalez, an Associate Vice President for our brand Jefferson Frank who started off as a trainee recruiter and now manages our AWS contract team in Chicago.  

What does someone need to succeed in a career in recruitment? 

For Crystal, her strong communication skills were a contributing factor to her success, stemming from her background before her role in recruitment, which spanned insurance sales, brand promotion, and marketing. One thing Crystal had in excess was confidence, “probably a little bit too much… at the very beginning” she admitted. “Recruitment just hit me really hard. I figured out how difficult it really was, but [over time] I’ve got that confidence back through the help and support of my team who were always there to answer any question, big or small.” She also noted her strong networking and relationship building skills and their further growth since being at Frank Recruitment Group. 

How can Frank Recruitment Group support you in your role?  

For Crystal, the road to recruitment wasn’t a smooth one: “At the beginning, it was very tough for me. I honestly didn’t know what recruitment entailed. I was on a 360 desk, so a lot of my days were spent juggling client queries in the candidate side of the business.”  

If you can take anything away from our talk with Crystal, it is that perseverance and hard work can get you anywhere. “It took me six months [to get my first deal across],” she recalls. Now, Crystal is a recently promoted AVP in control of her own team, “never in a million years did I think as a TRC that I would be in this position,” she admits. 

 “It’s insane to think about,” she admitted, “it was just us working from home suddenly, and me not being used to it whatsoever.” For Crystal, having a four-year-old to look after due to the closing of schools didn’t help the situation either. She admitted it was “all a little chaotic. When I did come into the office again, it was a blessing.”  

One of the biggest things that she believes led her to where she is today is the support provided by Frank Recruitment Group, whether that be the unlimited number of resources at her disposal or simply the support of her colleagues and managers. 

What can recruitment offer you? 

It’s no secret that the recruitment sector is fast-paced and driven by results, but for Crystal, it’s that hard work that makes the job so rewarding.  

“It is hard, it's challenging, but that's what makes it exciting. It's very fast-paced, but I think being rewarded financially for my hard work isn't too bad either. When I started this job a lot of people told me that you have to make your own work, but I've found that it’s really worth it when you do. You have got to be quite self-motivated. But if you put the hard work in, you will excel.”

Crystal Gonzalez

What does a typical working day look like?

Naturally, with changes in role, the responsibilities that come with that change too. That’s something Crystal herself noticed. “When it was just me, and I wasn’t managing a team, I was speaking with companies on how to improve their business and kind of strategically helping them figure out their hiring plans. And then, along the way, building my relationship with them.” 

“Recently, a lot of my day-to-day has changed. Not only am I still doing that, but I’m also helping my team figure that out for themselves in their business. It’s been really exciting.”

What can be the best parts of the role – and what can be the toughest?

One of the main things for Crystal was being able to make an impact, something she couldn’t do as a TRC: “One of the reasons that I agreed to [this position] is because I’ve always experienced a lot of turnovers, and I was never really able to directly impact it whatsoever. I just accepted it and went with it. But now I think it’s amazing that I’m able to directly impact the people that work around me and get them to stay with the company, develop their skills, and help them along the way.”  

“The best part is being able to help the people around me be successful and develop their skills.”

But with this, there is also the caveat of the often-rocky journey to success. “The toughest part is watching people get so discouraged because I went through that, too. I went through the struggles and the challenges. And so, when things don’t go your way, or when things go completely wrong—as they sometimes can do in recruitment—I think that’s probably the worst part. You can say all the right things and try to make people feel better, but they won’t know it until they experience those wins or those little victories.”  

What makes Frank Recruitment Group a good employer?  

Perhaps one of the most important things every business should ensure is that employees feel safe and encouraged in their working environment. For Crystal, this stands out in her job at Frank Recruitment Group. “Ever since I started at Jefferson Frank, everyone has been recognized for working hard, and they have always been rewarded with opportunities to grow even further. But not only that, they were celebrated for their achievements, no matter how small they were. It’s great that we’re able to not only work hard, but everybody celebrates their co-workers and their colleagues in the office and celebrate all of their achievements.”  

“When I was trying to get my first deal, I was like, I’m going to hurry up and get my first deal, so I can pick my song and walk up there and ring the gong! It’s a little celebration we have in the office whenever we make a new deal – it makes all the hard work worth it when everyone celebrates together.”  

What does someone looking to work in recruitment need to know?  

For those wanting to find their way in recruitment, Crystal believes some of the best advice is to “listen more than you talk,” something she learnt the hard way. She also continued to say how having confidence when talking not only to clients but also to colleagues can push you forward that extra mile. “A lot of time, I think we don’t have confidence in what we’re selling, and we don’t have confidence in ourselves to speak to these people in higher positions than us, such as Chief Technology Officers, and it makes you a little bit nervous, naturally,” she admitted. Having belief in yourself and the product that you are selling is crucial, so that “they believe you and [most importantly] that you believe in yourself.”  

Crystal’s experience within the recruitment sector, and her incredible progression, offer a perfect snapshot of exactly what it’s like to be an Account Executive at Frank Recruitment Group, with valuable advice for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps. 

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