Are you looking to start a career in Recruitment?

So you’re considering entering the exciting and fast-paced recruitment industry. Great! This blog aims to provide you with all the information you need to help you make the decision. So let’s start at the beginning:

What is Recruitment?

In basic terms, recruitment is a type of sales, the key difference being that you are selling ‘people’ as opposed to a product or service. In simplistic terms it requires selling people to companies and companies to people. The industry is however very diverse and covers different sectors and different levels so the job itself can differ.

The role of the recruitment consultant is fast paced and demanding. It is also very challenging and exciting where no two days are ever the same.

The role involves attracting business from client companies by using sales, business development and marketing techniques. This includes building relationships with clients by going out and meeting them, keeping in touch over the telephone and also in writing. It involves getting to know the client companies, what they do, how they operate and the general culture or atmosphere of the workplace. An important attribute for a recruitment consultant is the confidence to contact prospective clients and win their business. If you don’t have enough jobs you won’t hit your targets so the more clients you win the better!

Recruitment consultants are also required to proactively attract candidates by drafting advertising copy and using a wide range of media. The truly successful recruitment consultant will also use their networking ability to find candidates who are only speculatively looking or hadn’t even considered changing jobs. Selling opportunities to candidates is an often overlooked but very important part of the recruitment process, not every candidate is going to automatically use your services. If you don’t have any candidates you won’t make any placements!

When you have found candidates you then have to interview and assess their suitability to relevant roles and arrange meetings with your clients. Recruitment consultants are also involved in negotiating pay and salary rates and finalising arrangements between client and candidate. The sense of satisfaction you receive from placing the right candidate in the right job can be overwhelming.

Why get into Recruitment?

The first and most important reason for wanting to work in Recruitment should be the amount of money you can make. Working towards uncapped commission could see you earning up to 40k in your first year.

Recruitment also offers fast track career progression. If you want to become a Manager and head up your own team, this can be done in as little time as 18 months. How quickly you progress depends solely on you – the harder you work, the more you get back.

The variety of the job role ensures you are not sitting behind your desk all day every day, you are out visiting clients, interviewing candidates and attending events.

Recruitment is also a very empowering career. You run your desk like you would run a business and you will determine your salary, your progression and how successful you become.

Recruitment companies recognise that hard work deserves recognition and so you will find that incentives go beyond just monetary. A lot of firms offer holidays, nights out, lunch, company car schemes and gym memberships to keep you motivated.

The people you work with also make it a fun place to work. Imagine a room full of like-minded individuals who all want to be successful and you have a great working environment. It is true to say that one of the main reasons people enjoy working in recruitment is that they love the environment they work in.

There is of course the buzz you get from filling a vacancy. For many people it isn’t purely about the commission it is also the feeling of satisfaction you get from hitting a target or being top of the company leader board.

All in all, if you are a confident, hard working, money-motivated individual, Recruitment is one of the best careers to get into!

What makes a successful recruitment consultant?

  • Proven track record of success/achievement – this may be in an academic/ sporting/ social or work environment
  • Ability to work to targets and under pressure
  • Tenacity and determination
  • Listening skills – important to define needs of your clients and candidates
  • Good communication skills – verbal and written
  • Good telephone manner with excellent rapport building skills
  • Ability to conduct face to face presentations with senior personnel
  • Employers will expect interviewees to research their company, have a basic understanding of the role of a consultant and be prepared to explain why they want to follow a career within recruitment

Types of entry level roles in Recruitment:

Resourcer/Head Hunter

These roles can be an ideal introduction to the industry although some people choose to become an expert and stay within the role. The majority of work involves a one-sided sell to candidates. Your focus will be to source candidates, which can be done by screening advertisement response, searching internet job sites or possibly more proactively by headhunting or networking within the industry. Once sourced, you will be responsible for contacting the candidates to assess their needs and requirements and discuss possible job opportunities.


A Researcher role is the role that most people will take on if they choose to work in the Search recruitment sector. As a researcher you are more likely to only have candidate contact and the primary focus of the role will be researching target companies, mapping out the market and ultimately searching for individuals either you or a consultant can then go on to headhunt. Successful researchers will have strong analytical and organisational skills.

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The next entry level involves both clients and candidates. It is often referred to as full-cycle recruitment because you will be involved in every stage of the recruitment process. You may be given a growth area or develop existing accounts or both. On a daily basis you will be selling the services of the recruitment company to your clients and negotiating terms of business and learning about their requirements. You will also be sourcing candidates and assessing their suitability for the vacancies you are working on as selling the benefits to them and arranging interviews. As you take on board the training provided, your responsibilities will grow so excellent time management skills will be needed.

Business Developer

Some companies have a dedicated sales team to focus purely on new business development. Your role will be to research potential clients and contact them to negotiate a business relationship. Once relationships have been developed and vacancies acquired, they are usually passed to a team of consultants who will start resourcing candidates for the role. As the day-to-day role is predominantly client contact, confidence and credibility are key as well as the ability to negotiate and build a good rapport.

Still interested?

Our clients have lots of exciting positions to gain you entry into the recruitment industry, and our Rec2Rec team are here to help you get there! Register your details with us today and we will be in contact with you to discuss your current experience and what you’re looking for in your next position.