Alexis Motuz

Recruitment Consultant (English, MA)

Alexis Motuz, Sun Life Financial

Alexis began working at Sun Life Financial as a recruiting consultant in September 2015. Alexis had never imagined working in recruiting but her past experiences, as well as her skills and interests, allowed her to attain this position. Alexis did her Bachelor’s Degree at McMaster University in the Arts and Science program and then went on to complete her Master’s Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in English. She is now in the process of completing her PhD at Laurier.

Alexis’ career path has been greatly influenced by different people throughout her life. She had never known exactly what career she wanted to pursue but through utilizing her network she found her current position at Sun Life Financial. Her neighbour who was working at Sun Life as a graphic designer thought Alexis’ skills would suit the position well and recommended she apply for the position. Alexis has enjoyed working at Sun Life and believes it has been a great experience thus far. Alexis’ boss has allowed her to grow her skills and has encouraged her learning by giving her responsibility and asking for her ideas. Moreover, at Sun Life, there is a lot of opportunity for learning and growing through working with many teams and being able to observe other people’s roles in the company.

Although Alexis did not have any direct experience in recruiting, she focused on leveraging her most relevant transferable skills to get her position. These skills included customer service, communication, organization and time management. Alexis had not known she wanted to work in recruiting but from working at the Writing Centre while at Laurier, she realized she had a passion for working one-on-one with people. Her position at Sun Life allows her to build those close relationships with people and utilize her ability to do so. She works as part of the recruiting team for the career sales force at Sun Life. This team focuses on recruiting financial advisors for the company. Another experience that led Alexis to her current position was her role as a volunteer coordinator for Canada World Youth. This was a summer position in Montreal that was entirely in French. This position gave her the confidence to be able to help a variety of people while speaking both English and French and the opportunity to organize events.

The main goal for Alexis’ position and the recruiting team is to promote Sun Life to get people interested in wanting to work there. They are responsible for showing people what it is like to work as a financial advisor and to spark that interest. Some of the main tasks Alexis is responsible for in her position include managing new leads, running reports on campaigns, coordinating with sponsorship partners, attending weekly meetings and always working towards developing new marketing materials.

Some of the aspects that Alexis likes best about her job include the flexibility and the need for problem-solving since things are always coming up last minute, which requires a lot of troubleshooting. Alexis really likes what Sun Life refers to as an ‘ecological workplace,’ which refers to a work environment that provides its employees with opportunities to work with different teams across the company and exposes them to people with diverse skills. Alexis had never worked in this type of environment before but appreciates that it allows her to work with people she may have not been able to work with otherwise.

One of the challenges of working as a recruiting consultant at Sun Life is the compliance issues when creating marketing material. All of the advertisements created have to go through a process to ensure legal compliance. This can be difficult when an ad gets posted before going through the process and must get pulled down. They always have to ensure they are using proper wording that is legally acceptable. An example of when wording can get tricky is that for many of the finance roles they recruit for are contracts, therefore their recruiting advertisements are bound by very strict legal wordings and definitions. For some of the campaigns being run, there is also the difficulty of finding images that resonate with people across all of the provinces and for local and urban populations. For instance, for one of their campaigns it took some time to figure out an appropriate ad that would work for Quebec and the rest of Canada. It is important for them to try and keep the Sun Life brand somewhat uniform throughout the provinces.

Alexis’ position is an entry level position that allows for a lot of room to grow. To attain this type of recruiting support role, there are no specific certifications needed; what is most important is the skills the person has. As well, there is no previous recruiting experience that is necessary, which makes this position a great place to begin a person’s career. Alexis believes that Sun Life is a great starting point for a lot of people and has witnessed many students hired at the company right after graduating from Laurier. There are many opportunities for advancement within Sun Life and in the recruiting field. Sun Life tries to hire internally first for open roles, which allows for growth within the company. A lot of networking happens within the company through the opportunity to work with different teams. This has allowed Alexis to be offered other recruiting roles in the company; however, she is happy with her current role.

For someone interested in becoming a recruiting consultant, it is important to focus on developing specific skills. Alexis’ advice for anyone interested in the field would be to focus on relationship-building, customer service, and your communication skills. To be successful in the position, a person should have a strong interest in business, working with people and creative problem solving. It is important to partake in networking, job-shadowing, conduct informational interviews, and try to ‘find an in’. According to Alexis, “it is amazing how people are connected to each other, so reach out and talk to people.” A digital newsletter that Alexis follows that she has found useful and interesting is the undercover recruiter. It has many helpful articles relating to topics such as job interviews and gaining better quality candidates. It may be of interest to someone thinking of pursuing a career in recruitment.