Getting into recruitment by Elle Stephenson

I have been dealing with several candidates recently who are looking to start their career in recruitment and it took me back to when I was starting my search and the advice I received. In all honesty, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for but, thank God I love it.

So I wanted to give a bit of an overview of what your first year in recruitment/expectations could be like for someone just starting out. It can be hard to wrap your head around how the industry works and, let’s face it, the first year is always the hardest. I can almost guarantee that you will wonder if you have made the right move but whatever you do, don’t give up!

The question we frequently hear, is – “What is recruitment?” – so to answer that, I wanted to write a blog explaining exactly what the role typically involves as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant in your first year and what to expect – the good, the bad and the ugly!

What is the role of a Trainee Recruitment Consultant?
You will be taught how to become a 360 (full cycle) Recruitment Consultant. This will involve being taught how to build your own database of clients (businesses/companies) and candidates (job seekers) – the most exciting thing about this is it’s like running your own business within a business. You will be building your knowledge within a specialist market sector (I will put below the different sectors we recruit into) and become a specialist within that industry.

What sectors can you recruit into?
The most confusing thing about starting your career in recruitment is, where do you start? What sectors do what? Am I going to be able to understand certain terminologies? The answer is yes! It takes perseverance but, the key is to know you are never going to be an expert entirely but to understand the basics of the roles you recruit for and be confident. Over time you will build your knowledge up!

Sectors in Recruitment (this is what you will be recruiting for);
The sectors you could be recruiting into are so diverse… there’s a niche for practically every industry and sector you could imagine… including, but not limited to:

  • Animal Health
  • Architecture
  • Buildings
  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Executive Search
  • Finance & Accountancy
  • Healthcare (NHS and Private)
  • Industrial
  • IT
  • Manufacturing

What do agencies look for in candidates with NO recruitment experience?

  • Motivation – are you motivated by money? Nice holidays? Lifestyle?
  • Do you have a need or a want to work and make money? If so, why?
  • A background either in telesales (B2B OR B2C), any kind of sales, estate agency, recent graduates, retail etc…
  • Can you elaborate on why you want to work in recruitment? What drives you as an individual?
  • Ambition – Do you want to manage a team? Do you want to earn big numbers?
  • Confidence is KEY – Recruitment is all about building relationships and being knowledgeable on your market sector and to do all of this requires the ability to pick the phone up and speak to people, most of the time who are MDs or managers of large businesses.
  • Able to demonstrate you are competitive – whether this is sales-related or sports outside of work or just anything that can evidence you have a competitive streak
  • Can you evidence working to targets in your previous role or just general life?
  • Clients love candidates that put effort and thought into their search – a LinkedIn profile would be a great start with a blurb on why you want to get into recruitment! Detail is key!

Key responsibilities of a Recruitment Consultant/Trainee Recruitment Consultant;

  • Research on new clients – You will spend 90% of your time on the phone, cold calling and introducing your specialisms to businesses.
  • Being pro-active in the first year – this means researching and understanding your client base. Working S.M.A.R.T and turning leads and cold clients into repeat business and active clients.
  • Resourcing your own candidates for different job roles. This will be on the job boards, LinkedIn, through your own network (which you will build over time), vetting job seekers over the phone etc…
  • Writing adverts to attract talent
  • Recruitment isn’t a 9-5 job. It takes determination, hard work and persistence. It takes time and trust. Over time it does get easier as you build your client and candidates base, and your reputation in the market.

Lastly, a little tip from me – let your personality shine through. I always used to worry when I first started that people wouldn’t take me seriously unless I spoke a certain way or said certain things; whereas the reality is, people buy from people. 90% of my candidates and clients (I hope) know where they stand and trust I will do a good job for them. Make sure you call people when you say you will, have an honest approach and people, no matter the level, will really appreciate and respect you as a consultant in the industry.

If you are someone reading this and intrigued to understand who is hiring in your local area, Harrison Sands recruit through the whole of the UK. Call me on 07788363857 for a chat! 😊

Elle Stephenson

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