Josie - Supply Chain Recruitment

What attracted you to a career in recruitment?
Money

How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
A lot of canvassing, a lot of training and learning and set up one interview.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
I love the feeling of building something. I am building my own market so it is like running a mini business within a business

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
Building my own market from scratch after a previously failed market. The market now has five others working on it.

How would you describe your working environment?
Relaxed but very focused.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
Don't let horror stories put you off (competivity, hard sales). All kind of different people succeed in recruitment.


Chris - Specialist Recruitment Agency

What attracted you to a career in recruitment?
Like most graduates, I was unsure what career path I was looking to go down. I was initially looking to go into sales when a conversation with GRB introduced me to recruitment. The idea of effectively running my own desk, the opportunity to progress quickly and the earning potential really appealed to me and I knew that if I made the phone calls, put in the hours and worked hard I could quite quickly reap the rewards.

How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
In my first week I was required to get used to the database and start qualifying candidates for various roles. The other trainees and I then went on an induction training course to teach us the tricks of the trade and although it was a little daunting at first, it was a very steep learning curve but before too long I was booking in interviews with the Consultants.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
Unlike some other jobs, I knew that recruitment was going to be a meritocratic environment and if I worked hard I could climb the career ladder very quickly and maximize my earning potential. I also enjoy the thrill of closing a deal - not just because you know that it has put a bit of money in your pocket, but because it is exciting! The fact that you have won the business, found a candidate, taken them through the interview process and they have accepted the job gives you enormous satisfaction. 

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
I have made quite a few placements in recruitment but my biggest achievement was being invited out to dinner by our MD to the 'Extra Milers' dinner, which was for the members of staff who had exceeded the company?s expectations. Having hit over 400% of my target the fancy meal was recognition for all the hard work I had put in that year.

How would you describe your working environment?
The environment is extremely fast-paced, dynamic and certainly not for everyone. You may have to pick up the phone and speak to an MD of a Company and everyone in the office can here you- and you cannot be fazed by it. If you are shy and get embarrassed easily then you won't enjoy recruitment. However, if you like working in a vibrant, target driven atmosphere and have a confident personality then I would recommend a career in recruitment.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
If you are competitive, money motivated and are prepared to work hard to progress quickly then recruitment will offer you are career that you will enjoy. Its hard work, the hours can be long and it can be frustrating at times, but nothing beats the thrill of placing a candidate in a job they wanted, the client is happy they have secured their services and you can walk away with a hefty commission in your pocket! 


Leonie - Pharmaceutical Recruitment

What attracted you to a career in recruitment?
The money! I'm a sales person and I love the challenge that recruitment gives you in negotiating, Business Development and closing.

How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
I was useless! I was scared on the phone and didnt like the fact I had to be pushy at times. I was so polite and innocent I suppose but that soon changed.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
I love dealing with people, negotiating, closing, Business Development, client meetings, presentations. My job is different every day. I might think I will spend the day doing Business Development but then I get in and I have something in my inbox that requires me to take action on. So then my day is completely different. I like the fact I am always busy.

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
My biggest success I would say was making my first deal. I was so proud and it gives you such a rush you just want to do it again and again. I also billed £175k in my first year, which was higher than people that had been in the company for many years.

How would you describe your working environment?
Busy, lively, loud, fun, exciting, friendly, motivated, innovative, strong and determined.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
I would say, you will know if you will last in recruitment within the first year. If you have doubts after that get out! Its not for everyone but I would say that if your right for it you will never leave it.
I couldnt see myself doing anything else. I love my job!


Joy - Executive Search

What attracted you to a career in executive search?
I was attracted to executive search because it promised to allow me to develop and use the skills I value most. 

How would you describe the beginning of your career in executive search ? What did you do in the first few weeks?
I found the first few weeks challenging and varied in both the tasks I was completing and the people I was speaking to.  In the first few weeks I had direct contact with some of the most influential people in Higher Education in the UK at the same time as speaking to some of the people who have significantly impacted the retail sector and changed the way high street shops looks.
 My career really kick started and I was given responsibility from day one.  I never felt constrained and although I was being trained by someone with a lot of experience I was always made to feel independent and allowed to express my own views.  I found that my levels of responsibility and autonomy came much quicker than friends of mine who had pursued a different type of career.

What do you enjoy about your executive search job?
Executive Search is something I knew very little about when I came for interview but is now something I care passionately about.  I enjoy the daily challenge of interacting with people who influence and change the society that we live in.  I am challenged intellectually every day and have had some fantastic debates with some of the leading minds in the world.  I enjoy the constant interaction and opportunity to broaden my mind.  On a day to day basis I enjoy the challenge of finding individuals and the chance to speak to them but on a wider bigger picture I enjoy that knowledge that in a very small way I am helping our clients and perhaps even society develop and change as a result of appointing people into roles who really make a difference.

What has been your biggest success to date in executive search?
I am not sure how to pick one example of success in my role as it is very different from recruitment.  Success is sometimes placing someone fantastic into a role but it can also be speaking to someone no-one else has managed to connect with, or finding someone who is untraceable or just knowing that you have delivered a quality piece of work for a client and have spoken to everybody who could potentially fulfill the role and make a success of it.  At times knowing that I have become an expert on an area that I knew nothing about previously is something I regard as a real success.  The  best thng about executive search is that success can mean so many different things that I feel proud and like I am achieving every day.

How would you describe your working environment?
My work environment is friendly and supportive with an underlying emphasis on hard work.  I am surrounded by like-minded individuals who know how to work hard and constantly challenge, excite, enthuse and motivate me to get better at what I do.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in executive search ? 
Executive search is not a career that was publicised very much at university and therefore if you do not hear about it through advertisements or word of mouth you are unlikely to think about pursuing a career in it.  If you are motivated by people, interested in being intellectually challenged and learning in your career at the same time as using and developing your communication skills then I would strongly recommend pursuing a career in executive search.  If you are thinking about this as a career option I would strongly suggest you think about why this appeals to you as opposed to recruitment and how it would give you a different experience.  It is worth talking to people who work in this area already but also to people who have been headhunted in the past.  They will certainly have views of what it takes to be a good headhunter.


Max - Australia Based Recruiter

What attracted you to a career in recruitment? 
I had friends that were working in the industry and they sold it to me from the fact that you get a lot of autonomy, work hard play hard.  Being a sales role there is a real opportunity to see your hard work pay off, the harder you work the higher your bonus and the more money you earn.

How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
The first few weeks are tough, its a steep learning curve and there are times when you're going to get frustrated.  There is so much to learn and you are in a fast paced sales environment and can see everyone around you doing the job well and billing and you just want to get to that point as soon as you can.  I learnt the candidate side first, shortlisting, interviewing, candidate care before moving on to the client side once I was confident at that.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
The variety and the interaction with people is great, I enjoy the opportunity to meet with managers, CFOs and CIOs.  Once you have built yourself a client base and a reputation you become a trusted advisor and an integral part of their recruitment strategy.

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
I wouldn't say I have anything that stands out as 1 major event.  I do feel good when I get referrals though either from candidates or clients - its a sign that you are doing your job well.  You will only succeed in this business with repeat customers.

How would you describe your working environment?
Boisterous, fun, focused.  There are times when the office is flying and times when you need some big characters to get everything going again.  Recruitment is all about momentum and motivation.  You need to be self motivated and have no fear.  You have to pick up the phone and make the calls because no one is going to do it for you.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment? 
You must be determined.  Recruitment can be like a rollercoaster, it sounds corny but it's true.  There are times when you have the Midas touch and times when you have to bust a gut to find new work or candidates.  Give it a fair go and LISTEN to your experienced colleagues.  Recruitment is not a difficult job, it is relatively simple to become an average consultant for most educated people.  The difference between good recruiters and great recruiters is the drive, passion and self determination.  You have to instil this in your daily routines and push yourself. 


Olivia - International Telecommunications Recruiter

What attracted you to a career in recruitment?
I was looking for a career that used my best skills which I felt were my personal skills. I was also looking for something that allowed me to deal with people and gave me a chance to earn money on my own terms.

How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
It is a very steep learning curve, everyone goes through the same thing, thinking that they aren?t doing it right and never feeling like they are finding the right cvs. This isn?t the case but it takes time to get the skills to see what makes a good candidate and a good client.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
The chance to work with some brilliant people and to speak to some of the most interesting people in the world of work. The satisfaction and buzz from getting a deal, earning the commission and knowing that you have started someone on a new career path is fantastic.

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
Going to the Czech Republic and doing face to face meetings with the CEO?s and senior Directors of the world?s largest mobile company and winning the business and working it successfully and gain a great reference from the CEO personally. It felt brilliant to be able to achieve at this level.

How would you describe your working environment?
The world of recruitment is hectic and busy, the people you work with will normally all be big characters and good fun to work with.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
Be aware that it is hard work and you really do get in what you get out, you can coast in this industry but you will make no money for you or your company. It is also a rollercoaster ride with big highs and big lows so you have to keep your own motivation up at the times when deals are falling through to keep picking up the phone and finding new business.


Amanda - Executive Search

What attracted you to a career in executive search?
I have to be honest, I never set out to take up a career in recruitment - as many people will say, I simply 'fell' into it. I have always been a people person and this job allows you to deal with people on a daily basis.

How would you describe the beginning of your career in executive search? What did you do in the first few weeks?
The company I work for are terribly welcoming, so I got taken out for a number of introductory lunches, had a week's training program (that was incredibly organised) and I got to shadow a number of people, so that I could learn  how to pick up the phone and approach people.

What do you enjoy about your executive search job?
I love being able to speak to such intelligent, senior people; I enjoy finding the right person the perfect opportunitiy; and as I get better at what I do, I thrive at specialising in a particular sector.

What has been your biggest success to date in executive search?
A number of very good placements for a global firm, who were impressed with our speed, dedication and quality of candidates.

How would you describe your working environment?
My company is a friendly place to work and we are what you would describe as classic headhunters. Although it is a sales-driven business, there are no horrible sales targets that must be hit, or a pressurised working environment. People encourage, help and support you in an adult working environment, where you can manage your own time as long as results are achieved.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
Depending on what type of recruitment you go into, you need to be dedicated and willing to see a project right through to the very end. A word that is often used is 'tenacity?'because some positions can be hard to fill and you need to have the drive to preserve even when you feel like you are making no progress!


Anthony - Marketing Recruitment

What attracted you to a career in recruitment?
The money! And the environment - the idea of a fast paced office, working with lots of different types of people and clients. Working on consumer brands was the really appealing factor.

How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
We were on graduate rotation for the first 4 weeks, before being assigned a team. It was a great way to see how all the different parts of the business worked, and let me learn the general processes of recruitment. Sourcing, business development and negotiation were all new skills for me to develop and the rotation structure allowed for this.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
It's a great bunch over here - really good fun. It really is work hard, play hard. The rewards are amazing, and getting there is half the journey.

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
Placing a candidate with a relatively dormant client, with a nice fee agreed too! Also getting roles on through business development. It's great to build relationships with clients.

How would you describe your working environment?
Manic. Hard work. Rewarding.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
Choose the right firm for you - there are many different styles out there and you need to make sure you find the right one!


Jo - HR Recruitment

What attracted you to a career in recruitment?
Fast track career, money, entrapenural environement and the opportunity to travel.
How would you describe the beginning of your career in recruitment? What did you do in the first few weeks?
Hectic, a massive learning curve, very much a roller-coster. One minute you think you know it, then you realise you totally don't! No one day is the same.

What do you enjoy about your recruitment job?
Building relationships with clients and candidates, earning good cash is great as I was a fresh grad when I joined, this meant I could live the London lifestyle to the full. I was suddenly earning a lot more than most of my friends from uni! You also get realy recognised on your results.

What has been your biggest success to date in recruitment?
Breaking into 3 top tier investment banks psl, where we are now the no.1 HR supplier. Doing 5 deals in my 6th month. Hitting Ibiza holiday target, hitting my 2nd Car target, going on numerous lavish lunch clubs in central london. Making some great friends.

How would you describe your working environment?
Busy, busy, busy! Hectic, demanding, fast-paced.

What advice would you give to a graduate who is considering a career in recruitment?
Do your research into the company, who are their competitors? What are their unique selling points eg. training etc? Really think about why it is that you want to join recruitment, what are your drivers? Its a rewarding career but not for the faint hearted!