Lucy Jacobs is 22 and has worked as a permanent recruitment consultant for six months. Based at HR GO’s Dartford branch in Kent, she’s also taking the company’s in-house training programme - a 12-session introduction to recruitment for colleagues at the start of their career.
Here she talks us through a typical day at work.
The first thing I do when I get in at 8.30am is check my email to see if I’ve had any responses to job adverts. My areas are administration, customer service, office management and marketing.
Among the responses is an application for a particular admin role, but I feel that the candidate would be more suitable for a customer service job we’re also looking to fill. I give them a call to discuss their experience and to arrange a time to come and meet me.
Time for a quick team catch up. There are four of us in total at the Dartford branch so we’re all aware of what each other is doing.
Although I had some recruitment experience when I arrived six months ago, it’s only since I joined HR GO that I’ve felt I’ve got off to a proper start in recruitment. The team’s so friendly, and I feel really supported by my manager and peers.
My training programme’s proving to be invaluable too. There are six of us in total, all from different branches, and we meet every fortnight with HR GO’s Talent Development Manager. It’s giving me a solid grounding in all aspects of recruitment plus the tools to develop my skills and build my career.
Another bonus of the training is being able to mix with others in the same stage of our careers. In fact, since our last meeting a few of us have called each other for advice, and even to swap roles and candidates.
I get emails about new jobs that have come onto the market overnight in my areas. Immediately a marketing role jumps out - I know a candidate who’d be perfect for it and call them for a chat.
It’s easy to cross reference roles and candidates with our database software, Broadbean, which acts as a central hub. We can make notes on candidates and it keeps track of when they were last contacted so there’s no confusion. Broadbean also manages the responses we get and tracks the entire application process for us.
I’ve written an advert for a new role and will put it on the main job boards - but I also make a list of suitable candidates to contact directly. I’ll also put in some time on the phone, chasing clients for interview feedback and decisions, then passing on their feedback to the candidate (good or bad).
Sales and business development is important, too, and I’ll speak to some existing clients if they have any plans to recruit or if they are looking to grow any of their teams. Plus, I’ll connect with new clients and try to arrange meetings for the afternoon or next day. Although we use plenty of technology at HR GO, we’re still all about communicating with people - and that’s mostly on the phone.
I’ve always enjoyed talking to people, and my first job after leaving sixth form college was in telesales. Recruitment definitely suits if you’re a people person. According to my school reports, I’ve always been quite a chatterbox!
Someone who’s looking to register with us comes to meet me in the office. We talk through their CV to find out what type of role they’re looking for.
Meeting is vital, because we can see what type of person they are - plus they’re more likely to be honest about their CVs and experience if you’ve already chatted face to face.
Time to check in on LinkedIn. As I’m still fairly new at HR GO I’m currently identifying companies and candidates I can work with, and building some key relationships.
Obviously LinkedIn is great for connecting with new people - potential clients as well as candidates - but it’s brilliant for keeping in touch with old contacts too. In fact, a client from my last recruitment job recently got in touch via the platform to ask me to help him fill a new position.
Time for a lunch break. As I’m sitting down for much of the day I take the chance to nip into town and stretch my legs.
After lunch I grab a few minutes to review my notes from my latest HR GO training and see if I have any outstanding action points for the next session.
Last time, I wanted to learn more about negotiating rates with clients, so asked our Talent Development Manager if she could explain more. I really appreciate the fact that the training’s so personalised and we’re encouraged to make suggestions about extra topics.
As I’m on a basic salary plus commission, it’s in my interests to be able to agree rates that work for both clients and HR GO.
Part of my role is going out and meeting clients, so I try and get out at least two afternoons a week. This might be a client meeting or popping into offices to try and catch the recruitment manager.
One of my clients phones to say they want to offer one of our candidates a job. They interviewed them this morning and feel they’ll be perfect for the team.
Hearing this - then calling the candidate to pass on the good news - is definitely the best part of working in recruitment. I’ve even had people scream with joy down the phone when they’re told they’ve landed the role!
Before leaving work I write a to-do list for tomorrow which includes anything I haven’t completed today.
Although my role changes every day and some days may be more reactive than others, having this to-do list helps me stay as organised as possible – and will get the new day off to a flying start in the morning.