Passionate about Recruitment

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What is Recruitment Consultancy?

The Recruitment Industry

Recruitment is a multi-billion pound industry offering permanent and temporary (contract) staffing solutions to millions of clients globally. The sector is populated by a wide variety of recruitment businesses from large multinational recruitment groups to smaller, highly specialised agencies focusing on a particular niche staffing market.

Recruitment Consultancy is sometimes mistaken for a Human Resources function. In fact the role is an exciting and varied sales role. As a Recruitment Consultant you act as an intermediary between businesses and candidates, ensuring that clients obtain the best staff and candidates secure the right jobs.

What is involved in the role?

No two days in recruitment are the same. It is not a “9 to 5” job. Different recruitment businesses take different approaches but you are likely to have a remit for a particular skill-set and / or location, and the activities you will undertake may include some or all of the following:


The business development element of the role involves winning new business (finding vacancies) to fill. Recruitment Consultants do this by a variety of methods including researching their client base, telephone sales (both to existing clients and new prospects that they have identified), creating and sending marketing, networking, attending client meetings and more formal tender presentations.

The telephone sales element of the role should not be underestimated. A big part of your time will be spent calling the companies in the patch / market that you have been allocated, finding out if they are hiring / how they normally go about hiring, and persuading them to use you to fill the vacancies. You will have daily, weekly and monthly targets for these activities such as how many clients spoken to, call times etc...


A large part of any Recruitment Consultant’s day is spent identifying shortlists of candidates who wish to apply for the vacancies they are working on. Depending on the market sector they are working, Recruitment Consultants employ a variety of methods including writing and posting job advertisements to attract talented candidates, searching the business’s database of existing candidates, searching internet CV databases, social and business networking and head-hunting. Many candidates are spoken to at length about the vacancy allowing the Recruitment Consultant to arrive at a shortlist of candidates whose CV’s will be sent to the client.

Managing the Recruitment Process

This involves discussing the job requirement in detail with the client, preparing the both the client and the candidates for interview, managing the interview process itself, negotiating with all parties around notice periods, start date, salary and fee, taking references and ID checks and keeping in contact will all parties until the candidate has started the job. Throughout this process the Recruitment Consultant is focused on building excellent relationships to ensure repeat business.

What to expect in your first Recruitment Consultant job

First month: like any good employer, recruitment consultancies supply full training to get the best out of new employees. The first week will include induction and training on all aspects of the job: the recruitment process, sales, market sector and technical skills. You will then start resourcing for the senior consultant in your team. This involves finding suitable candidates, calling them, ‘selling’ opportunities, and preparing CVs for submission to clients.

First quarter: during months two and three you will be eased from a training situation into a fully functional production situation. Some companies keep new graduates in a resourcing role for the first quarter; others have ‘junior’ recruitment consultants, responsible for one or two developed accounts and for increasing new business. Financial targets are kept low for the first few months.

First year: you’re off! You will be talking to new clients, making placements, and finding out more about your market. With more market knowledge you will get more respect from both candidates and clients. Don’t worry if clients tell you to go away in the beginning: they will be begging for your services once word gets round how good you are! You should be getting regular reviews, more training and mentoring from senior consultants. Challenging targets will be set, with financial rewards, so your earnings will start to increase significantly at around six months.

A Typical day in the life of a busy Recruitment Consultant

8.30 am Start work. Coffee! Team meeting – discuss vacancies from yesterday and agree priorities for today.
9.00 am Assess CVs / emails that have come in overnight. Make urgent calls.
9.30 am Research potential clients and emerging markets / trends on the internet.
10.00 am Call potential clients to introduce the consultancy and its services. Contact existing clients to ensure they are satisfied with the service and to encourage repeat custom. Make clients aware of hot new candidates who meet their current requirements and market outstanding CVs. Follow up leads from conversations with candidates yesterday of clients who are recruiting.
12.00 pm Review day so far. Read e-mails. Send CVs to clients. Write a job advertisement.
1.00 pm Lunch – Grab a sandwich and interview a candidate face-to-face.
2.00 pm Finish off calls to clients then prioritise vacancies and work on - those likely to result in placements soon!
2.30 pm Identify and call suitable candidates for live vacancies from screening advert responses, searching the in house database, external “job board” databases, LinkedIn and calling candidate referrals / networking. Schedule evening calls to ‘uncontactable’ candidates.
4.45 pm Make urgent client calls.
5.00 pm Send CVs to clients
5.15 pm Take a debrief from a candidate who has been at interview for you today.
5.30 pm Team Meeting – Go over the events of the day with your manager and team and discuss next steps for the vacancies you are working on.
6.00 pm Contact ‘uncontactable’ candidates when they've finished work, log off, head to gym / home / pub.

Why do people choose to work in Recruitment?

Career Opportunity

Unlike a number of career paths recruitment consultancy genuinely offers the opportunity for accelerated career progression. It is a meritocratic profession with the best performers being promoted through the career structure. Many recruitment businesses offer “fast-track” management schemes. It is not unusual for the directors and board members of a recruitment business to have started their careers as trainee recruitment consultants with the organisation a decade or so before.

Financial Rewards

Recruitment is a sales based role and a significant proportion of your income will be from commission and bonuses on top of your basic salary. Once you are competent, having completed your initial training and started making placements you can look forward to impressive monthly or quarterly commissions. It is realistic to be doubling your salary by the end of your first year and seeing it increase from there. There are many recruitment consultants earning six figures. Recruitment businesses offer different commission schemes. Some are based purely on the performance of the individual. Others include a team based element.


Recruitment businesses rightly have a reputation for being lively and fun places to work. They tend to have a strong team ethic and you are likely to find yourself working and socialising within a like-minded peer group. Many of our clients offer generous incentive schemes with prizes including “achievers lunches” at Michelin-starred restaurants, weekends away, car schemes, luxury watches and holidays.

International Opportunities

If you are interested in working internationally for some of your career then Recruitment Consultancy is an ideal choice. It is a truly global business and once you have 2 or 3 years experience as a competent Recruitment Consultant you have the opportunity to apply for international roles. If you are working for a global recruitment group then you may be able to transfer. Alternatively, you will have the opportunity to apply for roles with other
organisations in your target location. Current popular destinations for UK recruiters include Australia, Far East, Middle East, US, Brazil, Canada and Russia.

Autonomy, Responsibility and Job Satisfaction

When you start your career in Recruitment you will receive plenty of training and close supervision. Once you are up and running you will experience a real sense of job satisfaction that comes from managing your own workload. In many ways it becomes like running your own business. You are responsible for becoming an expert in your own market and developing a great reputation with your clients and candidates. Once you’ve done this you become a trusted partner, acting as a true consultant by providing advice and guidance. And after all, the end result is that you are placing people in excellent jobs, and solving business problems for your clients. It is a valued service.