How To Get Into Recruitment (and why would you want to?)
There aren’t many opportunities in life to earn a high salary without any qualifications. However, a career in recruitment can offer exactly that. That said, most people don’t know how to get into recruitment or what the job involves. This article explains all about careers in recruitment and how to land your first recruiter job, even without experience.
What is Recruitment?
Recruitment involves everything from identifying suitable individuals for an open vacancy to filling the position. There are two sides to this profession: some professionals work in-house and others within recruiting agencies.
In House vs Agency Roles
In-House (or employer side)
In-house recruiters work for a single employer to attract, screen, interview, hire and onboard staff. These positions often sit within the human resource department, and their job usually involves more compliance than their agency counterparts. This includes documenting interviews to ensure no discrimination occurs, obtaining proof of identity, references, right to work and issuing contracts and terms and conditions.
Employer side professionals handle the entire recruitment process: From working with hiring managers to establish the job requirements to helping new employees settle in on their first day. Within a business, you might also expect to interview candidates for every single role that becomes available.
In house positions usually require either a degree in human resources or CIPD certification. Entry-level salaries start at around £20,000, increasing to about £40,000 at a management level. However, in house jobs don’t tend to become vacant as frequently as agency positions.
Recruitment Consultant (Agency Side)
Working life within a recruitment company is very different. You could expect to work on various job vacancies for several num employers at once. However, you would focus on one specialist area such as IT, Digital or Marketing.
Recruitment consultants often collaborate with in house recruiters, supplying them with potential candidates for their vacant positions. Likewise, those who work on the employer side can choose to work with many agencies that specialise in filling different job roles. For example, they might go to Office Angels if they need a secretary. Or if they needed a Marketing Assistant or an IT Sales Executive, they might come to Adria Solutions.
Agencies often don’t ask for any qualifications, but they do give on the job training. Training is often brand-specific but sometimes includes an apprenticeship. Salary wise, you could expect to start on a basic of around £18,000, but there is always commission on top. Commission in the recruitment industry is often uncapped, so the amount you can earn is only limited by your ambition.
How to Land Your First Job in a Recruitment Agency
Three common attributes will help you succeed in whichever side of the industry you’re interested in working on. They are:
Strong communications skills are an absolute must if you’re thinking of working in recruitment. Most of your job will involve speaking with clients and candidates, following up conversations by email, and you may even need to source candidates on social media.
To demonstrate good communication skills, make sure your CV is well set out and check for spelling errors. You can also add a cover letter that concisely explains why you want the job. If you don’t hear any news about your application within a few days, follow it up with a telephone call. Following this process demonstrates the many different ways you can communicate.
It doesn’t matter if you work in house or agency side, there is a lot of sales involved in recruitment. In essence, it’s about selling people to people.
For example, you will often speak to candidates who want jobs but are nervous about attending interviews. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to get a new job without meeting your potential employer! Your job, therefore, is to persuade them that attending a job interview is in the best interests.
Even in-house, a hiring manager may have their sights set on finding the perfect candidate with a specific skill set. However, searching for such individuals is often likened to finding hen’s teeth — basically, they’re impossible to find! In this case, your job is to convince the hiring manager that a candidate matching 60% of their criteria is a good match.
Words you will often see in job ads for trainee positions are ambitious, tenacious, persistent, self-motivated and persuasive. To prove your suitability for the job, consider situations where you have demonstrated these qualities. Use these examples to answer any questions put to you during an interview. In short, selling yourself to the interviewer is the key to landing your first job in recruitment.
Recruiters spend much of their day talking to candidates on the phone. However, this is the thing that newbie recruiters seem to struggle with the most. The reason for this is that as we’ve become more comfortable with texting and chatting on social media, we’re developing a slight phone phobia.
The only way to overcome the fear of using the phone is to practice. It doesn’t matter how you go about this, call your friends for a chat, give your nan a bell to see how she is? Before you send a text or email, stop and think; could this conversation happen on the phone?
The more practice you have talking on the phone, the more your confidence will improve in doing so. Your aim should be to sound calm and relaxed on the phone when you speak to an employer about a recruitment job.
Why Recruiters Love Their Jobs
Working in recruitment is hard at first, but as with learning anything new, practice and persistence will help you improve. On difficult days, it helps to focus on the positive points about recruitment. Here are a few reasons why those in the industry love their jobs:
- High earning potential is often achievable without a degree
- Success is measurable
- You feel the reward for your hard work in each paycheque
- Freedom to prioritise your workload, as long as you get the job done
- Learn valuable transferable skills
- Potential for fast career growth
- You get to talk to a variety of interesting people every day
- It’s a fast-paced environment which helps time at work pass quickly
- You get a buzz you feel every time you place a candidate in their ideal job
- No two days are the same
- Every day, you have the opportunity to change someone’s in a positive way
- It can satisfy your competitive tendencies
- You really get to feel the impact of the effort you put into your work
- There are often extra perks for hitting your targets, such as holidays or nights out
A Few Final Thoughts on How to Get Into Recruitment
Hopefully, after reading this article, you will have a better idea of what the employment industry is all about. Think recruitment might be for you? Following the above tips should improve your chances of landing your first job in this exciting profession.
If you’d like to learn more about what recruitment consultants do, this article explains in more detail. We’re always looking for ambitious people to join our team, even if they have no experience. So if you’re interested in becoming a recruitment consultant, you can find out what working life is like on our team here. You can also find out the kind of vacancies you might be working on as a member of our team on our latest jobs page.