Audit and Recruitment: the similarities

Three key traits that took me from Audit to Recruitment

Published on 5th November 2018

On the surface, Audit and Recruitment are completely disparate career choices. One is numbers, the other words. One focuses on technical knowledge, the other on soft skills. One is well respected, the other not so well respected. 

However, as ex-auditor who has changed careers and now recruits finance & accounting professionals, I can honestly say that the skills I learnt during my time as an auditor have definitely helped me in my recruitment career, much more than I originally thought.

There are three key personality traits that I developed while working as an Auditor for one of the big four that help me on a daily basis in my career as a recruitment consultant with Ambition. 

1. Discipline

It’s tempting to cut corners in any profession, and it requires discipline to do things the hard way, to put in the work, to delve deeper rather than just accept how things appear on the surface.

It’s a recruiters job to know rather than to assume. This is a mindset I learnt as an auditor and I apply this every day in my role as a recruitment consultant. 

I don’t assume anything about the candidates I speak to, anything about the roles I put them forward for or anything about my clients’ needs. It is necessary for me to speak with them and strive to understand fully what their needs are so that I can best help them with their journey.

2. Strong ethics

Ethics are so important when your work has a tangible impact on peoples lives. As an auditor, you’re working for your stakeholders and you are as a recruiter too, your clients and your candidates.

You have to resist putting things into your own terms or thinking about how it will affect you. It is about how this will affect your clients and candidates and whether they will still be happy in 3 months, 6 months, a year's time. By making sure you put your stakeholders' needs above your own you can start to build working relationships which could last a lifetime.

3. Determination

Having determination is crucial to success in any role, but particularly in audit, hunched over your laptop as the clock strikes midnight during the busy season, you need that desire to keep pushing on.

This is also true of a career in recruitment, getting that job on and finding your candidate their dream role is no easy feat, but remaining determined will eventually lead you to these successes.

You have to take pride in the work that you do on a daily basis and trust that if you consistently approach your work in the right way and with the right mindset then the rewards and recognition will come.

In truth, there are more transferable skills than I envisaged when I transitioned from my role as an Auditor to a Recruiter, and a very similar approach is taken to the way in which you work.

The most palpable difference for me is the satisfaction of helping people to secure their dream job, it really is incredibly satisfying!


If you are currently working in the finance and accounting space, are looking for a change in career and possess the three personality traits above, then a career in recruitment could be for you.

For more information about starting your recruitment journey with Ambition, please feel free to get in touch with Gwen Pham for a confidential discussion or visit our 'Work for us' page.


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