When you are getting into recruitment, you might hear “warm desk” or “cold desk” and be wondering what the difference is and what the pros and cons might be...
Let’s start with what a “desk” is. A desk is a designated sector/function or team within in the recruitment company you work for. You would be responsible for account management and business development for your own portfolio of clients in your sector/function. It might be an Accounting and Finance desk (specialising in Accounting and Finance recruitment for commerce and industry clients such as FMCG, Media, Big4, Telecoms, Digital) or it might be a dual desk where you can do both perm and temp/contract recruitment in your specialised sector. If you are working a “360 desk”, this means you will be responsible for the full recruitment process – business development to gain new clients/accounts, account manage the hiring needs of the new or existing clients – taking the job brief, understanding the “sell “of the job as well as sourcing your own candidates for the job, screening candidates over the phone or in person to make sure they are suitable for the job, prepping candidates for interviews with the client, offer negotiation, reference checking in some cases, confirmation of start date as well as guiding the candidate as to how to resign from their company if needed. As a Recruitment Consultant, you provide support and advice to both the candidate looking for a new job and a client looking to hire the best talent in the job market.
A “warm desk” or “hot desk” is where there are a network of clients and candidates in that sector already available within the company database. Terms of business or PSA (Preferred Supplier Agreement) have been agreed with the client to supply staff to that client at set rates/fees. You will have to do minimal business development to get up and running and start making money!
A “cold desk” or “start up desk” is where there are no clients or candidates in the company database for that sector. You will be starting from scratch. You may be able to leverage and build client relationships from the existing teams (cross-selling) but you may have to do this from scratch. You are likely to have limited candidates and will have to source them on your own using job boards, LinkedIn, headhunting, market mapping etc.
Whichever desk you decide, I wish you a fulfilling and long career in recruitment!