Begin a Career in Recruitment

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So what is the role of a Recruitment Consultant?

In simple terms, the job of a Recruitment Consultant is to work with clients (businesses) and candidates to ultimately match the right professional into the right job on either a permanent, contract, temporary or interim basis. As a Recruitment Consultant you will engage with a wide range of clients to understand their business needs and facilitate their end-to-end recruitment process as well as attracting and sourcing prospective candidates and matching them to the right company and job by understanding their experience and motivations.

There are 4 main elements to the role of a Recruitment Consultant:

  • Business Development
  • Candidate attraction and sourcing
  • Management of the recruitment process
  • Relationship Management

Recruitment is typically a sales orientated role, as in most cases you’ll be contacting potential clients to win their business.  You will also work to find potential candidates through a variety of different methods such as placing advertisements, using social media, to directly head-hunting people already in work. You’ll shortlist and present suitable job applicants and manage the recruitment process, liaising with the clients and candidates at every step.

Day to day, a Recruitment Consultant’s roles and responsibilities can include:

  • Sales calls and business development
  • Account management of existing clients
  • Advertising of vacancies
  • Sourcing job boards for suitable candidates
  • Conducting interviews and registering candidates
  • Checking of ID and eligibility to work in the UK
  • Formatting of CVs to present candidates to best advantage
  • Arranging and attending client meetings
  • Booking interviews
  • Giving and receiving feedback from both clients and job applicants
  • Negotiation
  • Dealing with large numbers of phone calls and emails

The recruitment sector is fast-paced, competitive and target driven so you will work towards key performance indicator (KPI) targets as well as monetary targets.  It can be hard work with challenges to overcome at times, but it can also be rewarding and very well-paid as most Recruitment Agencies pay their Recruitment Consultants commission or bonuses based on performance and hitting their targets, on top of your basic salary.

A target-driven sales career isn’t for everybody, but those who can demonstrate resilience and develop good sales skills can earn very good money, and there’s generally plenty of training and mentoring.

Pathways into the Profession

Often there is no need for any particular formal qualifications in order to begin a career in Recruitment - skills and personality tend to matter more.  Some Recruiters will have gone to university, and while a degree or other qualification in marketing, human resources, business studies or management could be a big help, others will have started working straight after school.  However, there is plenty of competition so previous experience in a sales or customer service environment can be an advantage. Often people who have worked in hospitality, retail or estate agency settings have a good basis to build upon. 

If you are applying to a specialist Recruitment Agency, then experience in the relevant industry they operate within can be a big help for example in very technical areas of recruitment, an industry background can be useful because you are able to understand the detailed requirements of a role.

Some Recruitment Agencies offer intern, apprentice or trainee opportunities while others in more specialist markets often look for you to have prior relevant Recruitment experience.

Skills Required

As I’ve mentioned above, often you don’t require a specific formal qualification to begin a career as a Recruitment Consultant but having the right skills and personal qualities are vital to the role of recruitment consultant. An aptitude for sales, a positive attitude, the ability to take knock-backs along with good people skills are absolutely essential.   Good organisational skills, IT skills and flexibility are all important too. However, the most important traits to have in order to be successful in a career in recruitment are drive, persistence and resilience and the ability to communicate and build rapport with a wide range of people in different circumstances.  Recruitment is a target driven environment so the best Recruitment Consultants are often self motivated, resilient with a strong work ethic and a competitive edge.

The role of a Recruitment Consultant is very varied with a wide range of tasks and responsibilities being part of the day to day job.  Alongside sales experience, marketing knowledge or experience is also key –social media marketing can be a distinct advantage, as can IT skills, especially the ability to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Beyond this, recruitment consultant requirements are really a matter of excellent communication skills, organisational and administrative ability, good time management and, of course, excellent sales skills.

Typical Starting Salaries & Earning Potential

A basic starting salary for a Trainee Recruitment Consultant can vary from around £16,000 to £22,000 across the industry.  However, it is possible to progress quickly in the profession and with a year or two’s experience, this often increases to between £20,000 to £30,000, with even further earning potential as you progress and reach various promotions. 

As recruitment is very much a target-driven business, Recruitment Consultants can also expect to receive bonuses or commission amounting to anywhere around £5,000 to £30,000 a year depending on how quickly you hit the ground running and achieve your targets.  Along with the financial rewards you will often get recognition for good performance through other incentives such as weekend breaks abroad.

At Scantec, we have a wide range of incentives which include:

  • Monthly and annual performance awards for individuals
  • Monthly and annual performance awards for recruitment teams
  • ‘Beat Your Best’ awards
  • And an annual overseas incentive trip for our top performers

Training & Progression

Most Recruitment Consultants are naturally driven and ambitious individuals so the opportunity to develop and progress is often seen as a priority when deciding which Recruitment Agency to apply to.  There is no industry standard development route and the training and development provided very much varies from Agency to Agency so it is important to consider this before deciding who you would like to work for. 

At Scantec, we have a thorough induction programme for all new starters joining our business, combined with on the job coaching from your Manager and including professional industry training courses with the British Institute of Recruiters through which you can achieve professional accreditation.  Alongside this we also have a clear competency framework so that any of our employees, whatever level they are at, know what their next promotion looks like and the expectation on what they need to do get achieve their promotion.  You know from your first day what you need to do to progress and the pace of that progression is determined by you.

If you are interested in a career in Recruitment with us at Scantec, why not visit our ‘work for us’ page by clicking here to learn more.  Or alternatively, get in touch with me at for a confidential discussion about the opportunities we have for you.

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