Recruitment is a type of sales, where instead of selling a product or service, you are selling 'people'. In basic terms, it requires selling people to companies and companies to people. The industry itself is very diverse and covers a variety of different sectors and levels so each role within recruitment can differ. However, one thing is consistent and that is the fast-paced and demanding nature of the industry. A recruitment graduate career is challenging, but also very exciting where no two days are the same.
Generally, recruitment roles involve attracting business from potential clients by using sales, business development and marketing techniques. This includes building relationships with clients and taking the time to understand their companies culture, how they operate and there business needs. Recruitment consultants are also required to proactively attract candidates through networking and advertising, using a wide range of media. Once you have found suitable candidates by interviewing them and assessing their ability to meet your client needs, you might be involved in negotiate pay and then make the final arrangement between the client and candidate. The sense of achievement you get from placing the right candidate in the right role can be overwhelming.
In recent years the recruitment sector has seen substantial growth, as companies seek the expertise of recruitment consultancies to supplement their employment requirements and outsource their hiring functions.
Aside from "high street" companies, the recruitment landscape consists of two strands:
Niche consultancies focusing on specific industry sectors such as IT, HR, engineering, marketing, sales, accountancy and banking
Head-hunting / executive search consultancies concentrating on high level management and board positions. Each search takes a significant amount of time and dedication and has a team of researchers, consultants and partners working together to achieve the best results for their exclusive clients
Both areas offer successful graduates a fast track career path which is unrivalled in many business sectors. Graduates can progress to be managing teams of consultants within just 18 months. Financial rewards can also be extremely high with potential earnings being as high as 40k in your first year. The Graduate Recruitment Bureau works with recruitment consultancies throughout the UK and across a variety of industry sectors.
Average Recruitment Graduate Salary
Recruitment Graduate Career Path
Many graduates are surprised at the varied content a recruitment graduate career has to offer. The core skill of selling is paramount to being a successful consultant. Furthermore, the managing of relationships and the three-way sales technique required between client, consultant and candidate ensures a varied and engaging workload. Today, a recruiter needs to be much more than a salesperson, they need to be a tenacious operator capable of building long standing relationships and providing a value added consultancy service. The most successful consultants will be industry-specific experts in much the same way as an industry analyst.
Today, the major recruitment consultancies offer successful graduates a real career path. The recruitment industry offers graduates both responsibility and management opportunities. Typical roles within recruitment include:
Resourcer/Researcher: generally, graduates are primarily employed as a resourcer/researcher. This involves working closely with a consultant and helping them with job specifications and candidate liaison. During this time, a graduate can expect to benefit from a sophisticated training program, learning about all aspects of recruitment and the specialised industry in which they have chosen to work.
Consultant: a successful resourcer can expect to be promoted to the role of consultant within 3 - 12 months, managing the requirements of a number of established clients, and increasing the client roster with new business.
Senior Consultant/Team Leader: unlike more traditional graduate industries, it is possible for a successful candidate to progress to the role of senior consultant/team leader within 18 months, managing not only a client portfolio but a team of consultants as well.
Management: further responsibilities that follow include management of a department, office or region.
There is no doubt that the recruitment industry is competitive, and consultants need to achieve their targets on a regular basis to guarantee career advancement. However, reputable companies understand the need to support their graduates and have implemented both classroom and on the job training schemes to provide graduates with the skills set and experience to succeed.
Check out these case studies to see why you should work in recruitment: http://www.grb.uk.com/why-work-in-recruitment
Qualifications and Skills Needed
What proportion of candidates as a percent we place into Recruitment graduate careers and the typical qualities graduate employers look for.
GRB Placements for Recruitment by Degree
Typical Candidate Attributes
The recruitment industry is extremely competitive and organisations seek strong candidates who can thrive in such an environment. Consultancies are keen to secure graduates who:
- Have achieved a degree from a leading university
- Ideally attained a 2.1 or above
- Are able to demonstrate leadership potential and/or extra-curricular achievements
- Demonstrate gravitas and market expertise
- Demonstrate confidence and strong presentation skills
- Have a commercial understanding/experience in a corporate environment, ideally in a sales-based or target-driven role.
Graduates who meet such criteria can thrive in graduate recruitment jobs.
"I have been working at Hays for the last 6 months since february 2010. I graduated with a BA in Archaeology in June 2009 and spent a while doing local jobs and enjoying the summer before thinking about careers. After initially going to some agencies for suggestions and discussions, it occured to me that being a recruitment consultant could be a good choice for me.
I was a graduate with no skill in Maths and I lacked any knowledge of the city and how it worked. Therefore I needed to find something where I could learn quickly and make use of my confidence and people skills. After a lengthy job hunting process I was offered by Hays to work on their small actuarial team. Actuaries are the brains behind insurance essentially. Since then I have spent 6 months working as a headhunter, resourcing candidates for our live roles. I have recently been promoted to consultant and now have my own section of the market to work with my own jobs and a commission structure to aspire towards.
I have started to place people now, it is very rewarding but make no mistake, it is a challenge. Most recruiters work in an environment where they have lots of candidates but very few roles to work with. I am the opposite, I have loads of roles but no candidates. My job is a numbers game, the more people I call - the more likely I am to find the right candidates for my roles. Organisation is also key, make sure you call back when you say you will and try to stay on top of things!
If comfortable being rejected regularly and can keep the overall goal in sight (making money), then this role will suit you well. Each no takes you closer to a yes..."
Satnaam, University Of Birmingham
"I started my first graduate job exactly one month ago and I love it! I graduated last year with a 2:1 in Law with Business LLB at the University of Birmingham with various career paths in mind including a solicitor, barrister, teacher to management level roles. I am now working as a Legal Recruitment Consultant in an established prestigious Manchester based recruitment firm. Not only do I have an online profile with a picture but I have also been given my own personal business cards.
I never even considered or knew much about Recruitment agencies or the legal placement world. Whilst studying I started looking into getting a training contract at law firms, luckily I was able to get on competitive vacation schemes with large firms and secure mini pupillages at barristers chambers in London. I realised that practising law was not the most interesting path for me.
Having graduated I considered further study either the LPC, BVC or PGCE or Masters, but to be quite honest the thought of taking yet another exam and being a book worm compared to actually earning money and doing something made me reconsider my options. I applied for the LPC for the solicitor practical course. At the same time I kept my options opened and registered with an education recruitment firm and secured a role as a Supply Teacher in Staffordshire secondary schools and as a Teaching Assistant at my High School specialising in English Literature and History. This was an eye opener - not only did I obtain invaluable experience and get paid for it, I realised that I wanted to do something related to the legal field and utilise my commercial awareness which was limited in the teaching field. During my studies I also kept up my part time work as a sales assistant at a fashion and accessories retail store. I researched the options of working in managerial posts and in their head office, particularly the legal department. But with the current economic climate the retail industry is hit hard and unable to accommodate such graduates.
With quite a full CV I started sending my details online to various agencies and looked into the idea of Recruitment most of which is admittedly hard sales and target/ bonus money driven. I had a few phone interviews went on a couple of assessment days and got a feel for the type of industry I could see myself in and this was it. At my recruitment firm I work in the Yorkshire team placing candidates from paralegals, trainees to solicitors of all disciplines in various legal firms. This involves constant business development, organisation and the art of communicating effectively over the phone and in person if need be. You have to be prepared for knock backs, for example last week although I broke a company record in placing a candidate in a firm in a short period, the candidate unfortunately dropped out since they were offered a better package by their current employer. This work is different to HR in the sense that you must be aware of the legal jargon and type of legal field & firm you are dealing with.Finding the right Graduate job really does mean exploring and exploiting all the possible options you have in front of you before you dive straight in."