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The Hard Truths of Recruitment

Have you ever wondered what it is like to work in recruitment? Is it as hard as everyone says? Can you really earn £100k in your first year? Well, this blog is written for those who are curious to know the truth.

Stephen Tarrant, our guest blogger and Associate Director for Finance shares his experience. 

Let's pretend, for narrative purposes, that you have just accepted a new job as a trainee recruitment consultant. What would that be like?

Well, firstly, congratulations! You are about to join one of the world’s most exciting and rewarding professions. There will be dizzying highs, and terrible lows. However, before we get into the many rewards,it is important to be aware of the challenges that are likely to arise:

  • Prepare for hard work

This is a job that demands hard work. It is impossible to be even moderately successful in recruitment without genuine effort. There is no other career that so quickly highlights if you take your foot off the gas. If you are someone who values long tea breaks, who likes the odd daydream, and thinks nothing of an hour and a half lunch break, then recruitment is probably not for you. Even worse, if you are a genuine slacker, you will be found out quicker than if you didn't show up at all. But not because people will be watching your every move. They don't need to. How hard you have been working is written in black on your weekly KPI and phone report.

  • Expect rejection

Even the very best recruiters are rejected on an almost daily basis. It could be someone refusing to take your call, a candidate turning down your role, or even a client telling you point blank they don't want to work with you. Daily knock backs are almost guaranteed.

  • Appreciate a lot of your time will be wasted

Recruitment is an almost uniquely hard job because it is the only business where the product on sale can change its mind! We can do everything right, and the deal still doesn't come off. We pick up the job, take a detailed brief, meet the client, spend weeks scouring the market, meeting candidates, controlling the process.....and then at the final moment, the candidate backs out, for reasons unknown and certainly uncommunicated. So it's back to the beginning, with potentially months of time wasted.

So how are we motivated to carry on?
  • If done well, recruitment is a win win for everyone involved

When the heaven and the stars align, and you make that long desired placement, you will be everyone's best friend...and there is no better feeling. You will have helped someone with their career, possibly one of the most important areas of their life, and almost certainly one that directly impacts them and their family's happiness and future security. You will also have forever changed and impacted your client’s business, hopefully for the better. And you will have made yourself wealthy in the process. Because, if you are good (and in the current market, you have to be very good) you can make the very large sums of money, sums that are simply not possible in 99% of other careers.

  • We add value

This is not a role where if you don't turn up, things happen anyway. You are crucial to the process. And with the modern skills shortage being oh so real, the process is an important one. Our knowledge based economy simply does not function without the right people in the right jobs. Ignore anyone who tells you different, recruitment matters.

  • Interaction with multiple businesses in various sectors

I have worked in recruitment for eight years. While I have only been employed by two businesses during that time, I have gained an in-depth understanding of hundreds of different companies. When you recruit for a business, you have to understand that business inside and out - your client's culture, structure, politics, strategy, strengths and weaknesses. It is all there for you to discover.

  • It is fun

If every day has the capacity to disappoint, then equally every day has the potential to delight. Even something as simple as finding a potential new candidate for a client can leave you with a sense of euphoria. And any job that can do that is worth its weight in gold. So, yes, recruitment can be very difficult but it is also very rewarding. Personally, I love it!

  • Sep 17, 2014
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Anna Maher

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