Nathalie Delebois

What’s on my desk: Awards, travel dreams and a single tangerine

Nathalie Delebois of DO Recruitment Advisors poses with one of her many snacks. Photo: Romain Gamba

Nathalie Delebois of DO Recruitment Advisors poses with one of her many snacks. Photo: Romain Gamba

Nathalie Delebois of DO Recruitment Advisors invites us to sit down with her in this instalment of “What’s on my desk”, the Delano series where a financial sector executive or employee shares some of the workspace objects that are important to them for professional or personal reasons.

“Chocolate! Do you want some?” Nathalie Delebois points to a glass vase overflowing with treats and one redeeming tangerine. “We love food, both myself and Sinead [O’Donnell, Delebois’ business partner and co-founder of DO Recruitment Advisors].” Recruiting for Luxembourg financial services is certainly a high-energy job and the calorific snacks reflect this. Delebois oversees nine consultants who spend much of their time on the phone and in person placing talented candidates in coveted financial services roles in and around Luxembourg City. “It’s my passion,” says Delebois. “I love my work.”

Fruit and chocolate

Fuel for recruiting. Photo: Romain Gamba

Fuel for recruiting. Photo: Romain Gamba

Delebois’ desk is not alone with its cargo of snacks. A central table at the light-filled office is loaded with patisserie, fruit, and yes, more chocolate. Much of it comes as a present from clients happy with their most recent hire, but food also plays another, vital role. “We eat to celebrate, but we also eat to commiserate,” says Delebois. “We’re together through the ups and the downs.”

It’s been an interesting 18 months in financial services recruitment. Many face-to-face meetings have shifted onto the telephone ,which has made it more difficult to get that critical ‘feel’ for clients and candidates. “We didn’t get to see the client’s workspaces, to absorb the atmosphere. Nor could we shake the candidates’ hand, see if they are nervous, that kind of thing,” says Delebois. “Now that we’re back to face-to-face meetings, we still have to remind candidates that they need to be just as prepared when it’s a video call. The right clothes, the right setting!”


Team memories. Photo: Romain Gamba

Team memories. Photo: Romain Gamba

A few years ago, Delebois and the team at DO Recruitment Advisors took a trip to New York. A photo of them at the top of the Rockefeller Centre at dusk, the Empire State Building in the background, sits on her desk now. “We all went together--just to be there together as a team.” Over the years, the team at DO Recruitment Advisors has been to St Petersburg, New York, Vienna and London. “There’s no targets to join the trip. Everyone is included.”

In the same display are a set of polaroid pictures of a much more personal occasion. “It was my birthday and my colleagues told me to be at the airport at 5am. They’d planned a surprise trip to Milan as a present. It rained the entire weekend, but we ate cake, did cookery classes. It was wonderful.”

Nathalie Delebois’s daughter customised this business card. Photo: Romain Gamba

Nathalie Delebois’s daughter customised this business card. Photo: Romain Gamba

Delebois also displays some drawings that her 12 year-old daughter (then five years old) did of Delebois and O’Donnell when they started the company. She also customised a DO Recruitment Advisors business card in neon. “We’re still considering her propositions,” Delebois says of her daughter’s company rebranding. Proud of her family and her two children, Charline and Nicolas, Delebois points to a photo of DO Recruitment Advisors’ happiness officer, the family dog, Shiny. “He’s named after the first letters of both my children’s names.”

Code of Conduct

“The Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman and a copy of the Federation for Recruitment, Search & Selection’s code of ethics. Photo: Romain Gamba

“The Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman and a copy of the Federation for Recruitment, Search & Selection’s code of ethics. Photo: Romain Gamba

Underscoring Delebois’ passion for her job is her seriousness about ethics in recruitment, both in how to treat clients and how to deal with candidates. In 2016, these ethical considerations led her to set up the Federation for Recruitment, Search & Selection with a group of recruitment market participants to represent, advise, defend and collaborate on the industry. One of the fruits of this labour has been the Code of Conduct, developed with legal entities, to set out the right way to treat clients and candidates. “One example is that we won’t approach prospective candidates if they already work for a company we have as a client or want to have as a client,” says Delebois. “I’m very strict with my consultants on these ethics too. It’s my bible. Whenever I have a dilemma I turn to it.”

The Personal MBA

Although Luxembourg boasts more than 200,000 higher education graduates (that’s almost two-thirds of the population), Delebois believes that people can be successful without degrees. “I’m in favour of the autodidact in that respect” The book “The Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman reflects this philosophy, but Delebois likes to also apply it in her work, advocating for candidates who may not fit the job descriptions education checklist but are otherwise more than capable of doing the job. “Sometimes I can persuade clients to consider candidates differently.”


DO Recruitment Advisors was named best recruitment firm in 2017. Photo: Romain Gamba

DO Recruitment Advisors was named best recruitment firm in 2017. Photo: Romain Gamba

With this much passion it’s not surprising that the odd award graces Delebois’ desk. The firm has been the recipient of six awards since it was set up, including Luxembourg HR Awards’ Best Recruitment Firm 2017, the last time this award was made. However, a 2009 award is missing. Delebois explains. “A prospective intern accidentally knocked over the award (probably when reaching for chocolate) and smashed it. It was at the end of an interview she ran off, never to be seen again!” Although Delebois tried on a few occasions to piece the broken glass together she had to give up and the physical award is gone. Instead, DO Recruitment Advisors hope to enter the 2021 Awards for best recruitment firm once they come live again to populate the desk with fresh trophies.