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A graduate guide to working in recruitment

A graduate guide to working in recruitment

A Graduate’s Guide to Working in Recruitment

Many graduates may dismiss a career in the recruitment industry because a degree is not mandatory to enter the profession. This could mean many graduates are ignoring a field of employment where they could thrive, both financially and professionally. The UK recruitment industry is worth a massive £26 billion, so the idea of forging a career in recruitment should not be discounted. Recruitment is a highly rewarding profession offering many different avenues of progression. In this blog post, I will outline exactly how you can benefit from a career in recruitment following the completion of your degree.

What skills and traits are needed to succeed in the recruitment industry?

The majority of people entering the recruitment industry will initially train to work as a consultant. A recruitment consultant is a varied role requiring specific skills and a good personality in order to succeed. You are likely to thrive in this role if you can demonstrate determination, an entrepreneurial outlook, communication skills and the ability to research and then analyse data concerning your performance.

When you work as a recruitment consultant, your day will be packed with tasks that are both candidate and client focused. For instance, when you begin to discover new opportunities for your ‘pipeline’, you will have to research likely candidate and client opportunities using many different platforms and techniques. You will need to analyse data to ensure you are concentrating on lead-sources that are likely to provide a return. If you lack these essential skills, it’s likely you will not succeed in the recruitment industry. On the other hand, if you possess these skills or if you are able to learn these skills, your career in recruitment will flourish.

Medium-to-large sized recruitment companies will employ New Business Development professionals to keep your pipeline full each week. However, this is not always the case, so you will be tasking in finding your own leads. Looking for business is a client-focused task. You will be faced with many rejections before you finally find a client who is interested in your services. This is why it’s important to possess determination and the ability to accept rejection.

Once you have located new business, the role will then shift to finding candidates to fill the roles. Again, larger recruitment outfits will employ teams of people to fulfil this role. These people are often known as ‘Candidate Resources’. This means the various jobs traditionally undertaken by the same consultant are compartmentalised across different teams of people. If you are tasked with finding candidates, you will need to learn about different platforms for attracting suitable candidates. This will include getting to know the job boards, social media channels, different newspapers and trade-specific publications where you can advertise job openings on behalf of your clients.

Once you’ve located suitable candidates, you will then be tasked with screening the candidates to move the process forward. You may be able to discount candidates by reviewing their CVs. Once you’ve located quality candidates, you will then need to interview them in person or, if they are not available, over the telephone. Once your interviews have been conducted so you can then compile a shortlist to present to the client.

During interviewing, you will need to demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You will also need to good time management skills to ensure the interviews do not take longer than is necessary; planning an interview structure will help you keep meetings on track. If you get this process right the client is more likely to offer one of your candidates the position.

Before your client makes a decision, you will need to manage the interview feedback process. This is when you get feedback from both the client and the candidate. If this process is positive, you will may need to present an offer of employment to the candidate. This will include issues such as contractual notice periods and maybe salary negotiations. You will be the point of contact for both the candidate and the client.

One of your candidates is hired, you will need to demonstrate composure and patience. If you make a mistake that results in a delay or termination, all of your hard work up to this point will be for nothing.

What challenges will you face in the recruitment industry?

Whilst the recruitment industry is highly rewarding, it can also be challenging at times. For instance, you will most likely carry a heavy workload from the start of your career. Transitioning from student to full-time recruitment consultant can be very abrupt. You may wish to undertake an internship to get to know the industry and discover whether working as a recruitment consultant truly is for you. You will be expected to juggle multiple assignments and meet tight deadlines. You will also be expected to keep in regular contact with both clients and candidates that are under your management.

During your studies at University, you may have become accustomed to studying many different subjects at the same time. When you begin to work as a recruitment consultant, you can call upon this experience to give your career the best possible start. The key is to develop confidence and to have belief in your ability to succeed.

If you lack determination then a career in recruitment is not for you. It’s essential to remain undeterred when you experience setbacks. This is particularly the case when you have invested many hours into a candidate you feel is ideal for the role but the decision does not go in your favour. Sometimes, your best efforts will not be good enough, and you need to process this in ways that do not impact your performance. When you are unsuccessful, you need to learn from the experience by analysing what went wrong and determine what you could have done differently.

What rewards can you expect from recruitment?

If you are willing to work hard, there are many rewards you can expect from working in recruitment. If you are successful at placing candidates, you can to earn a good amount commission. If you are consistent in meeting your targets, you could be earning around £44,000 per annum within the first few years of working within the industry.

Working in recruitment is also highly rewarding in terms of the amount of responsibility you will be given early on. You will be given the opportunity to take real ownership of client accounts. This compares favourably to other industries such as law and engineering where you are expected to act as an assistant for the first few years of your career. If you value responsibility, you will enjoy a career in recruitment.

How can you enter the recruitment industry?

If you wish to begin your career in recruitment, I advise you to think about the specific industries you wish to recruit within. Once you’ve determined the industries you would like to specialise in, you then need to research the recruitment companies that cater for these industries. When considering which industries you would like to recruit for, it’s important to consider those industries that interest you, or to choose industries that relate to your degree or current employment. The more knowledge on the sector the better. Demonstrating a high-level interest and enthusiasm to succeed will help you as a candidate yourself when approaching recruitment companies. Many recruitment companies offer dedicated graduate programmes.

Good luck!


Provided by Amanda Wright Recruitment

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