I have worked in many recruitment roles over my career encountering numerous experienced colleagues, none of which have ever described their career path as starting as a well-executed plan to climb the recruitment ladder. Most use the phrase ‘they fell into recruitment’. I was no different.
Why is this the case? Many years ago, I approached a recruitment firm as a fresh faced graduate, with the hope they would be able to place me in a role with one of their clients. Throughout my time at University, I had accumulated 4 years’ experience working numerous part time jobs in various hospitals. Naturally I approached a Healthcare Recruitment agency with the hopes of working as a Care Assistant through them. It just so happened the company had gone through a period of growth and internal changes which resulted in them being interested in interviewing me for a Recruitment Consultant role. I thought, ‘What have I got to lose?’ The job market wasn’t great, I was competing against thousands of fellow graduates and I knew first-hand about the roles I would be recruiting for.
It was a scary time but it shaped me into the successful recruiter I have become. I was well and truly thrown in the deep end, interviewing and recruiting dozens of Nursing Assistants and Care & Support Workers each week. Helping people secure employment was fantastic, I was able to add value by matching skills to exact specifications with ease. The most vivid memory I have of my first week is being given a long list of potential or lapsed clients to cold call – I was terrified, but I did it. No after no after no was the response from the other end of the phone, until that feeling of sheer delight when one client responded positively to my call and agreed to let me work on their vacancies – it was a truly electric feeling. I knew at that moment the job was the right one for me.
Recruitment is not for everyone, some will complete a graduate role after a year and move onto a completely disparate role – others will thrive and strive to make placement after placement progressing to Senior Consultant or Manager – some may look to diversify and change industry. Others will try out in-house recruitment. I have diversified, been promoted and tried my hand at in-house recruitment. Six years later I have not looked back. I often think about the fantastic opportunity I was given in 2010 and how my career has developed makes me so grateful.
Over the years I have been able to develop so many other key attributes aside from strong sales, relationship building, communication, time management and team-working skills, all of which are so important to the role. Listening to your client’s and candidates needs will allow you to make better decisions and find the perfect match. Be confident in yourself and about the services you offer. You need to be patient and flexible as it takes time to find that match. Nowadays Recruitment is more and more like Marketing - knowing how to market and promote your services, expertise and knowledge effectively to clients and candidates is of the utmost importance.
Recruitment can make for a fantastic career and I would encourage anyone who has people skills and a bit of drive about them to consider it.