I recently read an article titled “how to get into recruitment”. It was a well written article detailing the ins and outs of how to fight your way through the interview process at a recruitment agency and get a job. The article got me thinking and surely the question shouldn’t be how to get into an agency (the bar is so low that I would be surprised if anyone couldn’t) but should YOU get into recruitment?
When considering a career change you should be considering is the environment and culture right for me? Am I going to be able to keep up with the pace? Or will I be looking for a different career in 2 month’s time once I realise the truth. Recruitment (good recruitment) is difficult! Before I started my career as a recruitment consultant I thought recruitment was simple. You make a few calls, send the CV’s to the right places and get paid for it (I remember saying something like this in my interview and looking back I’m surprised they hired me). What I have found throughout my career is that being a recruiter is more about building relationships and constantly working outside of your comfort zone. You need to be willing to learn new things extremely quickly and the pressure to deliver can be extreme.
So, are you the right type of person for recruitment? What does this person look like? A few of the key traits I have found by working with exceptional recruiters are these:
Hard working: This sounds like an obvious one, but most people hear this and still think a long week is 45hours. When the roles are there to be filled and my client is requesting CV’s then I didn’t go home until it got to the point where it was rude to call candidates (around 9pm). If you get a candidate a last-minute interview and they need to be prepped on the companies’ culture, interview process, dress code etc. then I stayed late. Do not take this lightly! The best recruiters are the ones that are willing to knuckle down and work hard.
Personable: If you are going to be working long hours then you are going to be spending a lot of time with the other people in your office. As well as this, you need to be able to build relationships with candidates, clients and basically everyone you meet. I think this one speaks for itself.
Resilient: Another thing I didn’t consider when getting into recruitment was that people could say no to accepting the role that you had them interviewing for (shock). That’s right, you can spend 2 weeks working with a candidate, prep them for interviews, work late and then at the end of the process they accept another position. I quickly learnt that this is usually because I missed something when speaking with and qualifying the candidate for the role (quick bit of advice to junior recruiters: learn that this is your fault quickly and change your approach). Resilience and the ability to carry on instantly and find another candidate, spend another 2 weeks and deliver is essential.
Organised: When you have 15 candidates interviewing in a single week you must not only remember all of their information, motivations, availability and skill set. You need to know who is calling in for you and when they will be calling in. You essentially need to become your own database of knowledge about your market and your candidates. If you fail to do this, you will find yourself on a call with a hiring manager not knowing anything about a candidate that you are trying to talk to them about or forgetting about an interview that someone has, therefore forgetting to prepare them for the interview. I am no master of excel and different recruiters will have different ways of recording this information. If you are not organised in recruitment, you are setting yourself up to fail.
Commercially Minded: for me, this one came with time. I found that anyone can answer a call and speak about the roles that a company has live now but what about 6 months down the line? What about a year down the line? And what new roles will these current ones create. Every call that you make as a recruiter is about finding out this information and putting together the puzzle that is your market from snippets of a thousand conversations.
Confident: People tend to forget the second part of the job role. “Consultant”. Recruitment is not just a desk job. To build relationships, you will need to meet people face to face, you will need to have coffee with the candidates that you are representing whenever possible and you will have to constantly work outside of your comfort zone when the CEO and COO are sat on the other side of the table asking you questions, you must have answer to all their questions and it must be consultative and helpful. If they are asking you about salaries, you need to know! If they are asking about available candidates, you need to know! When there is something wrong with their interview process, you are the one who will need to tell them and advise on how this can be improved on… Confidence is key within recruitment.
Recruitment has been a dream career for me, but I have seen so many people try and fail in recruitment. Before you start applying for roles; research the industry, speak to a few recruiters. You can drop me a message and I would be happy to answer your questions: Colt@socode.co.uk.