From Olympic talent to talent acquisition: How Conrad went from Rio to Recruitment

Margot Moore

A unique background

Conrad Rapp’s background in Sports Science enabled him to build a successful career in coaching professional athletes through the Rio and Beijing Olympics. So how, then, did he end up recruiting some of the brightest minds into Macquarie’s European offices? As you’ll learn, Conrad’s most utilised skills were more synonymous between coaching and recruitment than you may think.

After spending five years working with Olympic and professional athletes as a Sports Physiologist and Strength Conditioning Coach, Conrad was ready to transition into a career that would give him more work-life balance and structure.

Conrad as a coach
Conrad coached athletes through the Rio and Beijing Olympics
Conrad rowing with his dog.
Conrad still enjoys getting out on the water!

“I was getting phone calls from coaches at 11 o’clock at night for 5:30am morning sessions, as well as there being a lot of travel involved. I wanted the ability to continue to do that on the side but really try to transition into a little bit more of a corporate environment,” explains Conrad.

A friend initially introduced Conrad to the world of Recruitment and Hudson RPO. With an open mind and curious demeanour, Conrad decided to give recruitment a go, and joined our Edinburgh centre of excellence as a Sourcing Specialist. The Edinburgh office is considered the engine room of our EMEA region, and where those new to recruitment are given the opportunity to accelerate their learning and hit the ground running.

“I started at the bottom of the barrel, but I found that a lot of aspects like sourcing and the technical components of recruitment came naturally from my research and sports science background. So, I took it on pretty quickly in that sense, and just began to soak up as much as I possibly could,” Conrad says. 

Conrad's house from drone
A drone shot from above Conrad’s home

From grassroots to Macquarie Group

Within just a year, Conrad was given an opportunity to join the onsite team with our largest global client, Macquarie Group, as a Sourcing Specialist to work with hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates across a range of financial services teams. From a grassroots Sourcer, to practicing as one of the most Talent Sourcing Specialist in the Macquarie Group London team, is a clear indication of Conrad’s ability and a testament to his open-minded approach.

“When I joined Macquarie – it was all new to me. To be honest, I’m not really a big finance type of person, but there are a lot of incredible individuals that work at Macquarie so that was one attractive component,” he says.

Conrad works with hiring managers across the EMEA region; from Luxemburg to London and 21 other Macquarie Group offices across the region, which has given him the chance to work with a highly diverse group of people.

“I come from a diverse background, and I’ve always enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds. And I feel like that’s a big part of my experience – it’s this big international melting pot. You hear numerous languages and experience different cultures and it’s just an interesting environment. You’re in a very tight-knit community but you’re working on a pretty vast global platform,” says Conrad.

And when considering the juxtaposition of Olympic coaching and working for a global financial services organisation, one might question the appeal for Conrad.

“I find the environment to be very dynamic and fast paced. It doesn’t really feel corporate or large which is quite nice. And I think one of the most attractive elements is the people I interact with – they are incredibly talented and very skilled at what they do,” explains Conrad.

Surprisingly transferable skills

Conrad’s theoretical training in research has lent itself perfectly to talent sourcing, but it wasn’t just his technical skills that he has leveraged in his recruitment career.  When asked if there were any similarities between coaching and recruitment, Conrad explains that it comes down to the human aspects.

“In coaching, for instance, we tend to think it has a lot to do with the physical components, but the reality is you’re working with an individual to understand their needs and trying to create an environment to fill those needs. You’re always working towards a goal which is human-centered. Recruitment and coaching are all about being able to understand how individuals work and what their needs are; for individuals, hiring managers and teams,” explains Conrad.

He goes on, “Then there is the cultural fit, understanding what they’re looking for and translating that into finding a role for them. Another aspect I see overlap is when I do project work, you have your eyes on something and you’re always working towards a goal.”

What it comes down to for Conrad, is working with talented people – regardless of the industry. Both his previous role in coaching and now in recruitment gives Conrad the chance to operate in a highly strategic way to achieve optimal outcomes. 

“I thought there’d be a pretty interesting fit. I liked the idea that you’re creating these win-win type of scenarios with individuals and an organisation,” he says.                         

Conrad home office
Conrad now works in a fully remote position. Here he is pictured in his home office.

Contributing to the greater purpose

Working for the Macquarie Recruitment team, also means that Conrad gets involved with a broad range of project work outside of BAU recruitment, adding to the job satisfaction and giving Conrad a sense of fulfilment.

“I take on any project work that I can. One of the great exposures that I’ve had with Macquarie was working with the Green Investment Group. I had the chance to work with the newly established solar division, which led to my involvement in building up a new company to house their global offshore wind endeavours,” says Conrad.

Working with the Green Investment Group gave Conrad the chance to see how broad and far-reaching ‘finance’ can be.

“I wasn’t just focusing on finance roles. I was working with Engineers, the CFO, the Head of HR and across technical roles too. It was the chance to work on a variety of roles in order to create a company and get it up and running! There was almost a pressure that came with it and that’s also enjoyable. I mean, it’s good stress, because we could see something ahead of us and it was the chance to get involved in the creation of something big,” he explains.

The highly strategic and collaborative partnership between Macquarie and the Hudson RPO Macquarie Recruitment team gives our specialists the scope to contribute to the organisation’s greater mission. For Conrad, the exposure to Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has been impactful.

“These components of sustainability and renewability and the impact that you’re actually having is personally very important to me. It’s rewarding and fulfilling and the aspect of being able to have a say in creating these teams, ideally means I’m making a positive impact on the world from an environment standpoint. It’s attractive in that sense,” Conrad explains of his project work with the Green Investment Group.

“There’s kind of bigger picture deadlines, and we’re all working towards a bigger goal,” he says.

Finding the right work-life balance

In addition to finding a genuinely fulfilling role within the Macquarie onsite recruitment team, Conrad has also found the balance and flexibility he was searching for.

“I’m actually based in Galway now, in a fully remote position. We’re based out in the sticks, about six kilometres down a single-track road which leads to a causeway that brings you on to an island where we live in an old, thatched cottage!” says Conrad.

Originally growing up in the United States, Conrad takes advantage of Hudson RPO’s global presence and still visits the London and Edinburgh offices a few times a year which keeps him physically connected to his colleagues from both Hudson RPO and Macquarie.

“It’s kind of funny how I ended up back in the remote scenario! But I definitely still enjoy getting back to the Edinburgh office a couple of times a year. And I try to do the same thing for the London office on the Macquarie side of things,” he says.

Finding the right flexibility arrangements for our onsite teams is always prioritised, so we get the most of our client partnerships and our people get the most out of their careers.

“It’s certainly something that Hudson RPO and Macquarie have been very accommodating with which is great,” says Conrad.

Conrad with his partner, Annika.
Conrad with his partner, Annika, at their thatched home in Galway.

Like in Conrad’s journey, joining the Macquarie Recruitment team can open myriad opportunities – and there is undeniably no linear path to get here. Our internal careers team are always open to having a conversation to understand your career aspirations and potentially find you the right role within the Macquarie Recruitment team.

Are you interested in a career in RPO? Click here to read more about life at Hudson RPO or find all our open roles here.

Margot Moore

Global Brand Manager

Margot has worked across recruitment, employer branding and marketing for over 10 years. In her current role, Margot is responsible for the Hudson RPO brand and works closely with the global marketing team to ensure the consistency and quality of our brand.

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