Recruiters returning home: Anna Kelly

In 2017, Anna Kelly made the decision to return to Ireland. After over 3 years working as a recruiter in Canada, Anna took the chance, hopped on a plane and returned home to the Emerald Isle. She talked to us about what the transition back to Ireland looked like to her, and what advice she would give to recruiters who are thinking of coming home.

Where are you from?

I’m from Rosslare, County Wexford! I have spent a lot of my life in Dublin, and over 3 years’ in Vancouver.

Can you tell us a little about your professional background?

I come from a marketing background & have nearly 4 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, which all began in Vancouver. I started working in the skill trades division, then moved into Finance, Accounting & HR and here I am at Mason Alexander today, starting up the Human Resources desk!

What attracted you to recruitment?

The people! I consider myself to be a ‘real people person’, I’ve always loved socialising & listening to other people’s stories.

Could you explain the kind of firms that you worked with?

I started my career within an international recruitment agency, I then made the move to a boutique agency called Swim Recruiting in Vancouver, consisted of 29 people, and for me it was a family away from home – it is where I learnt all the ropes about the recruitment world. After my last position in Swim, I realised my favourite business was always in the HR industry which is what led me to my role as a HR Consultant in Mason Alexander. To me, it was important to work for an organisation in Dublin with a strong, collaborative culture and I knew I was in the right place from the minute I walked through the doors of Mason Alexander.

How did you find the transition home?

It was a smoother transition than what I initially expected. Ireland is a great place- friendly faces & lots of opportunity. I felt it was easy to slot right back in – with family, friends and in the work place. It’s a scary move to pack up a life that you love to create another, but I am glad I have made it happen.

Any tips for international recruiters who thinking of moving home?

It’s an exciting move, and a great learning curve to experience a new market. Be patient as building a new network takes time, but be persistent, and you can be sure it will be worth it in the end.

What attracted you to MA?

A big catch to me is that the biggest driver at MA is to build quality relationships, and once you do that… the rest will come! The people & culture was another aspect that grabbed my attention – it is a supportive environment where everyone looks out for each other. The team know how to work hard, and have fun while doing it!

What does your typical day/week in MA look like?

No day looks the same for me at MA, and that’s what I love! Some days you are meeting lots of clients, others you are meeting lots of candidates, then there are days I am on endless calls & answering emails, as well as scouting the market for good talent- it’s a good mix and keeps you on your toes from morning to night.

What would you say is the best thing about working in MA?

The culture & support -everyone looks out for each other. I know the recruitment world can be quite cut throat & people can get caught up on just looking at their individual success, but not here at MA – even though we focus on our own divisions, everyone still collaborates & works as a team.



Any tips for people looking for potential jobs?

I recommend job seekers to set aside blocks during the day to apply for jobs as you need to be focused. Make sure you tweak your CV to suit each job – don’t just send your CV out in high volumes & hope for the best, put the time into each application. Lastly I think the key to finding a new role, is networking! Put yourself out there- go to events, invite professionals for a coffee, and be curious!

Biggest turnoff on a CV?

Overkill of information, poor formatting & little structure.

Ideal CV – One page or two?

2 pages! Show off your experience, and don’t forget to highlight your career achievements – as they are what make you stand out.

Which living person do you most admire? Why?

My Dad! When it comes to business & the working world.. he is my go-to!! He is a great business man, and puts 110% into everything he does- he lives every day of his life for others. He’s a wonderful husband, grandad, father to 6 girls and successful hotelier- I really don’t know how he does It all! He has supported me endlessly- believing in me to follow through on what “I” wanted rather than following the trend and doing what I thought “I should be doing”. He has taught me to me make good decisions, to have a laugh and to trust my gut.

Biggest Achievement?

Packing my life up and moving to Vancouver in 2014, a city I knew very little about before I moved. I made the move with my boyfriend, we had no apartment or job set up- it was exciting but very nerve wrecking! There were many road blocks in our way when we arrived, job & apartment rejections being the main ones, but, we were persistent and with time it all fell into place perfectly. What was meant to be a 8month stint turned into a 3.5 year stint. The whole journey really opened my eyes, we all enjoy comfort but crave new experiences. It’s a great feeling when you sit back and realise you have built a new life for yourself, it shows how capable you are of really doing anything once you put your mind to it, and how you can overcome pretty much anything.

What motivates you?

Achievement, Making a difference, Learning & Advancing.

Quote you live by?

Believe you can and you’re halfway there- Theodore Roosevelt


Are you a recruiter thinking of relocating back to Ireland? Or a HR professional looking to make their next move?

Contact Anna today!


 (01) 685 4414