Working in recruitment can be fast-paced, fun and varied, with clear opportunities for career progression and fantastic earning potential. Here, Rebecca Cooper, HR GO’s Talent and Development Manager, discusses some of these reasons to work in the sector.
Starting out in any sector it’s helpful to have a defined path to follow, with clearly-marked steps laid out ahead of you showing your way up the career ladder. This is definitely true for recruitment. And if you can work hard you’ll progress up the ladder quickly.
At HR GO, you’d generally start as a trainee consultant or a resourcer. That's someone whose job it is to find new potential candidates. Once you have between 6 to 12 months' recruitment experience and have shown you’re able to contribute to billing and client growth, the next step is to a recruitment consultant role.
Options to progress can be either as a manager, with responsibility for managing a team or running a branch. Or, if you’d prefer to act as a mentor rather than directly manage, you may be better suited to move up to a senior consultant role. This would give you the autonomy and freedom to concentrate on what you do best: recruiting.
Stepping up again, you could then be promoted to Regional Manager and then Regional Director. As an example of how you could progress through the ranks, my Managing Director, Cindy Hare, started out as a Branch Manager for HR GO recruitment. She now leads the business. Meanwhile, I entered HR GO as a Managing Consultant and now work as the group’s Talent and Development Manager.
Many recruitment agencies set great store in training and developing staff and HR GO is no exception. All our new consultants are given a thorough 12 session training programme in their first six months at the company. The aim is to give our colleagues a solid grounding in the full recruitment cycle. This starts with building a candidate and client base, then interviewing candidates, running client meetings and negotiating rates. We also break down what we expect them to know and who will be able to show them.
Lucy Jacobs, a consultant at the HR GO Dartford branch, recently went through this training plan. You you can read about the many things she got out of it from our blog: My typical day as a recruitment consultant.
Once you’re fully up and running as a recruitment consultant, and have got to know your market, your candidates and the types of businesses you’re recruiting for, you could earn more than twice your base salary in commission.
There are lots of other incentives available if you do well. For example, last year the highest achieving consultants enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to Dubai and New York. We also run incentives throughout the year to reward hard work and success, including a trip to Ascot.
While managing a recruitment process is about finding great candidates and placing them in your clients’ roles, there’s so much more to it than that. You’ll learn how to understand clients’ needs and wants to be able to identify issues and provide solutions. And you’ll be acting as your client’s ambassador, selling their company as well as their role to a candidate. Why should a candidate change jobs to work for your client? What marks your client’s company out from its competitors?
Gaining this solid understanding of how businesses work will help you immensely throughout your whole career.
Enjoying a stellar career in recruitment isn’t dependent on having good GCSEs. There are 12-month apprenticeships available. At the end of these you get an NVQ in Recruitment (Level 2 for a resourcer role and a Level 3 for a consultant role). This provides you with the possibility of a successful and fulfiling career. It’s based on the ability to sell, work hard, having credibility and building rapport with your clients, candidates and peers.
The traditional image of a recruitment consultant may be someone who’s the loudest person in the room. But banish all thoughts of the TV show The Apprentice. While you’ll need great communication skills and an engaging personality to succeed in this sector, what also counts is authority and credibility. That's particularly true in a business-to-business market. Other non-negotiables are stamina to work in a fast-paced role, and grit to help you see past the repeated ‘Nos’ you’ll encounter.
Recruitment is, above all, a human business, and if you enjoying speaking to people - whether clients or candidates - and building long-term relationships as you help them succeed, there’s no better job.