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Top 5 Qualities to Make It in Recruitment

Want a job in recruitment? Whether you're looking for your first or next recruitment role here's five top qualities you'll find in the best recruitment consultants.

Hands up if you were considering a career in recruitment when you were filling out your CAO form? Recruitment can be frustrating, thankless and not everyone who enters the industry lasts beyond a few years. Now don’t let that previous statement scare you, trust me it’s worthwhile once you are in it.

Traditionally recruitment is sales-orientated. For us here in Morgan McKinley we approach it as professional business partnering with our clients and working with them in servicing their hiring requirements in a consultative manner. For me this is hugely rewarding from a personal and professional perspective as you get to advise key business leaders on the most precious commodity for their business, people!

This is also quite lucrative if you are good at it and apply yourself appropriately to it. Here's the following personality traits being key for someone considering a career as a recruitment consultant:

1. People Person

In recruitment you have to be able to relate to your product (people). The skill of listening and interpretation is perhaps the most important for this business. Building trust, providing sound advice and being upfront (whether good or bad news) are the traits that our candidates and clients respect the most. It may be clichéd but while people may not remember what you said or did but they will never forget how you made them feel.

2. Strong Work Ethic

This role is very much like running your own business and thus requires resilience, good energy and a positive outlook. The hours are not necessarily long but when you are working you are working at full pace in order to deliver. You need to be focused with your efforts and manage your time religiously while at the same time servicing those in the hiring market that may require business further down the line.

3. Quick Thinker

No two days are the same in recruitment and waking up each day and embracing that is important. As a recruiter you have to have the ability to accept this and handle the situations as they occur. You have to be brave, creative, commercial and think on your feet. You should get a genuine buzz out of working in this kind of dynamic environment.

4. Ability to Adapt

There are rarely right or wrong answers in this business as you are dealing with people, who invariably change expectations when you least expect it. Imagine that candidate has accepted a great role through you and has now contacted you to say they are accepting another job. Do you get annoyed with them or try and rationally discuss it out?

Your ability to handle those situations that don’t always go the way you think they will determines your level of success. Playing the longer game pays off rather than looking for quick wins through questionable methods.

5. Professional Persistence

This industry does require “professional persistence”, not the pushy sales approach. What that means is you need to be able to push back when a client wants to say no or when they are ignoring you (happens more than you think) but in a professional manner.

Every time you interact with a client you leave an impression on your reputation and in this business your reputation is sacred, so retain your professional integrity at all times.

Morgan McKinley is a great company to work for. The support and training are second to none, the rapport with our clients and candidates is special and the rewards are substantial. But it doesn’t just happen to everyone and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and a lot of dedication to the craft. But if you are willing to put in that work and have what it takes then it is a great company to be in.

If you wish to discuss a career in recruitment with Morgan McKinley in any discipline then please don’t hesitate to contact Michael Morrissey. I can be reached at

  • Jan 18, 2017
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