So, you want to work in recruitment?

Recruitment can be the worst Job in the world.

Sometimes you’re under more pressure than Freddie Mercury in 1982… The hours are tough, the KPIs can be brutal and your success can be down to luck more than judgement some of the time. In recruitment you must submerge yourself in a sector, you need to know who’s who and what’s what. Knowledge truly is power in recruitment because that’s where you add value, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re better off not talking at all.

If you enjoy a 2-week holiday, Recruitment probably isn’t for you (to start with). If you enjoy turning your phone off at the weekend, Recruitment probably isn’t for you. If you enjoy hour-long lunch breaks, recruitment probably isn’t for you. If you’re only interested in working 9-5, recruitment definitely isn’t for you. To be successful in recruitment, nine times out of ten you need to be on the phone. Recruitment is a reactive game – it’s the only industry in the world where you are working with a product that has emotions and feelings; a product that can lie and a product that can deceive. A product that can tell you what you want to hear, that can make its own decisions & ultimately not take the advice you have given them.

And then there’s the clients, when you start in recruitment the chances are you won’t be given the time of day. They might have zero respect for what you’re trying to achieve and generally might despise the whole industry you work for. What do you do about that? You put your best suit on, crack a smile and work tirelessly to change their mind. Why? Because this is recruitment – what else did you expect? You will go to events and parties that you weren’t invited to, eyes will roll when you introduce yourself and you may think that you’ve done something wrong. But you haven’t, you’re “just” a recruiter.

And then, something changes, it clicks – you learn.

Recruitment can be one of the best jobs in the world.

You know what’s going on, you see a CV or a profile and within 5 minutes you know what you can do with it and where it could be sent. You will start meeting people and instantly think of a business or a person that they would work amazingly with. You will start to see candidates for who they are, how they can add value and why they would be an excellent fit for Company X. You will experience the sensation that is placing someone in a business that cost them X amount, who then returns triple the investment in their first 6 months. You will be on first name basis with some serious decision makers within your industry – you’ll be invited to the lunches, the cocktail parties, the award ceremonies. You will go to them and people will be forthcoming, asking you questions about the market, what’s the hottest role right now? How do I get a pay rise? What are my competitors paying? They will come to you!  

Recruitment is the best job in the world.

Your billings are consistent, your call time has dropped but billings are increased. You understand what your boss means when they say work smart, not hard. You’re being taken along to fancy lunches as a reward – who knows you could even hit the 6-month incentive for a cheeky all-expense paid trip to Marbella!

Cold calling business development is a thing of the past, clients are calling you on the back of work you’ve previously done. Exclusivity will be an obvious thing, opposed to an awkward conversation. Clients are recommending you to other clients, candidates come to you through referrals – it’s a cyclical process and it’s so rewarding. You have worked through the training, you have developed into an unconscious competent recruiter and now you have respect from your peers. You are not recruiting for a client, but with them. You are more than “just” a recruiter, you’re a recruitment partner and you’re teaching your clients how to attract talent, how to retain it and how to beat competition.

Recruitment is less of a Job, and more of a lifestyle – not everyone can make a success in recruitment but if you’re struggling during your first 6 months in recruitment, keep pushing on, keep asking questions, keep picking up that phone and you will make it. You’re never “just” a recruiter.

Written by Luke Joy, Head of Commercial Recruitment at GKR London.

If you are interested in a career in recruitment, GKR London are hiring and we will support you through your first six months, out the other side until your screaming ‘Recruitment is the best job in the world!’ Contact our Operations Manager, Molly Shoesmith to have a confidential discussion.

Tel: 0207 048 3304