Life in Barden...

Barden’s people partner, Kate Flanagan caught up with Dale Amond, Barden’s first Graduate Associate, as he shares his experience of recruitment so far. Dale joined the team over 3 months ago and to say he has been busy is an understatement!

So Dale, as a recent graduate, tell us a little about your background before joining the team?

Originally from Carlow, I studied French and Politics for my undergraduate in UCD, which included a year abroad in Lyon, France. Following this, I headed to NUI Galway to undertake a Masters in International Management before making the move back to the Big Smoke (!) to begin my career.

How did you end up in recruitment?

Ending up in recruitment was a bit of a twisty road, even for someone whose professional career began in May of this year! In the space of three months, I went from marketing insulation in Finland, to selling whiskey in Ireland to eventually joining Barden as a Graduate Associate who specialises in Accountancy, Finance and Tax recruitment – and I couldn’t be any happier!

Talk us through your interview experience and decision-making process

When I first applied for the position in Barden, I wasn’t sure if financial recruitment was a route I wanted to take. After all, I was the guy who had intentionally avoided as many finance modules as possible throughout my undergrad and masters! However, once I met with the Partners here, my opinion changed.

I came to the interview at 10am on a Wednesday in August knowing that I had a job offer from another recruitment agency. After our meeting, I left the building, and all I could think was “that was a game changer”. It wasn’t like any interview I had ever done before – the guys in Barden weren’t fixated on my financial or accountancy knowledge (or lack of!); they wanted to get to know me as a person, not just what I represented on paper. I had never experienced an interview like it before, and attending it was the best professional decision I have ever made.

So, what makes Barden different in the world of recruitment?

Firstly, the training provided here is second to none. From day one, I wasn’t thrown in the deep, handed a phone and told to “go recruit!”, as can too often happen in this industry. Rather, I was taught about the world of finance, accounting and tax (this may sound boring, but trust me, it’s far from!). I was shown how to properly advise professionals in their careers, from those who are just entering the sector to CFO’s of firms valued in the billions. This is vital because, as recruiters, we have a huge influence over people’s careers which, in turn, affects their lives. This is not something that should be taken lightly, and the people in Barden certainly consider the roles they play in guiding careers very seriously.

Secondly, the responsibility and autonomy I am given in my role is more than I originally expected. Coming from a family of business owners, this is something I truly value; it not only enables me to learn on the job, but I can also take lessons from both my mistakes and my successes. That said, the support I am offered is also more than I could have envisaged. Whether I need to ask for help on how to approach a situation, how to manage a process or whether what I am doing is correct, I know that I am literally a stone’s throw from our Managing Directors, Partners and experienced colleagues.

Finally, and best of all, the most unique thing about Barden is that no one was ever assigned to me as a mentor; I consider every single person who I work with day-to-day as my mentor. No matter what situation I may find myself in, I know I can freely ask anyone on the team for their advice and help, and they are always more than happy to share their knowledge.

How would you sum up recruitment so far?

People often comment that recruitment just involves matching CV’s to jobs and that we are essentially “middle men”. They’re 100% correct, recruitment does involve these elements. However, to think that this is all we do is fundamentally incorrect. For example, I have sat across from the VP’s of multi-billion euro organisations, who have asked me for advice and, thanks to the training I have been undergoing, I was actually able to confidentially offer it! Yes, we are gate keepers and we are the ones who put in the hard work to find the right person. However, in Barden we do so much more.

What advice would you give to other graduates, or indeed non-graduates, who are considering recruitment and/or joining Barden?

As graduates, our first move into the working world is crucial. This is when our experiences are shaped, our skills are developed, and our careers paths begin to form. It is a very daunting decision to make. However, from someone who has been in this situation, I can confidently say that joining Barden has been the best decision I have made.

It is often said that you should surround yourself by those who you would like to become. By joining Barden, you will be surrounding yourself with industry experts who have years of experience in recruitment. Not only that, but you will also be joining a team who genuinely want you to be successful.

In recruitment, the highs are high, and the lows are low. I have experienced both in my short stint so far, and the support I have received during these times has shown me that Barden is the place for me. While this career is not for everyone, if you are resilient, driven and want to succeed, if you have a passion for dealing with people and genuinely care about making a difference in their lives, it just may be the perfect opportunity!

If you want to become part of growing and exciting company, then get in contact with Kate Flanagan at, and discover what Life In Barden is all about.

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