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Working in the Recruitment Industry: A Graduate Guide


A job within the Recruitment industry doesn’t require a specific degree, hence why it isn’t the most obvious career path for a lot of graduates. However the UK’s Recruitment industry is worth over £26 billion and offers a range of various roles to those looking for entry-level jobs in the sector.

For instance, I myself work within Marketing for STEM Graduates, whilst we have a dedicated Outreach Co-Ordinator whose tasks are closer to those typically found within the PR industry.

Building upon this, our team of Recruitment Consultants is made up of graduates from a mix of Technology, Psychology and Humanities backgrounds. Nearly all of which were recruited themselves at graduate-level and can attest to the challenging, fast-paced and rewarding nature of their respective jobs.

And testament to the resilience and rewards of the industry, the UK Recruitment sector has over 100,000 people employed within it and actually grew during the most recent recession.

What type of skills and personality traits are required?

If we concentrate purely on the role of a Recruitment Consultant we can explore how the nature of the job itself requires a blend of entrepreneurial spark, determination, interpersonal skills, research ability and an analytical approach:

A typical day’s work will involve a dynamic range of duties that will be both client and candidate orientated, so to give an outline it’s probably best to start where everything begins for a Recruitment Consultant: New Business.

First of all you’ll have to be on the ball with your research and interpersonal skills to source companies that would look to take on your services. After find the correct point of contact within an organisation, you’ll then have to make initial telephone contact to introduce yourself before potentially meeting clients to discuss their needs.

Many Recruitment companies will have dedicated New Business Developers who take initial responsibility for this process, though in a full 360 Consultant role you will be expected to develop and maintain your New Business individually.

After you’ve established your New Business you’re then onto the candidate side of the job. Many companies will have someone dedicated to attracting your job adverts and social media output to attract relevant candidate and others will also have Candidate Resourcers tasked with specifically searching for the right type of candidates for your roles, though within many Recruitment companies you will be expected to take ownership of these tasks yourself.

You’ll then have to initially screen candidates before usually interviewing the strongest in your pool with a view to introducing them to your client. This is where your interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and analytical approach will be most important as this process is time consuming and you’ll want the best chance of making a placement if you’re able to secure interviews for your candidates.

Moving on, Recruitment Consultants will then manage interview feedback on both the client and candidate sides of the coin before managing the offer process, assisting in any required salary negotiations whilst offering consultancy and advice throughout. Patience is an important asset to have at this point, as Consultants will have to remain composed whilst their hard work lies tantalisingly close to coming to fruition.

What are the biggest challenges of the role?

The ability to effectively manage a heavy workload is imperative to the role of a Recruitment Consultant. The Recruitment process is long and has a number of any given hurdles to clear and Consultants will have to manage a multitude of assignments whilst establishing New Business and keeping in regular contact with managed clients and candidates.

Remaining undeterred when you’re not able to make a placement is equally challenging, a lot of work goes into making a placement and there will be times when your work will come to nothing. The key is to learn from your disappoint and build upon it, analyse what you might have done differently and move onto the next assignment.

What are the rewards of the role?

The sky is the limit financially for a Recruitment Consultant who is dedicated to their job and enthusiastic about constantly improving within it. The commission on offer within Recruitment compares favourably in comparison to many entry-level routes on offer to graduates and if you’re able to consistently meet your set targets then the industry offers a high earning potential (with an average salary of £44k pa within Recruitment).

The job also offers graduates a chance to take ownership of a project and see it through from start to finish. This responsibility will enable graduates to thrive as they follow a steep learning trajectory which simply isn’t on offer within industries that required a specific degrees to secure an entry-level job in. Knowing that you’ve made the most of a blend of abilities to find the right person for an organisation is equally rewarding and graduates within the industry are given the chance to hit the ground running in this sense.

How to get into the recruitment industry?

Graduates looking to launch their career within the Recruitment industry have a number of options open to them.

It’s worth doing your research on companies that specialise in a particular area of work you find interesting or an area that relates to your degree and introduce yourself with a speculative cover letter. Additionally, most of the large Recruitment companies will advertise dedicated graduate schemes – so find out what you can about the culture of a given organisation and take time to decide if they’re right for you.

Ultimately however, if you’re looking at a career in Recruitment it’s a case of getting your name out there and introducing yourself – if you can demonstrate the skills required to succeed in the industry then you’ll find that Recruitment companies will be keen to give you a chance.


Mark Bradford, Marketing Executive, Graduates Logo



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