There is recruitment and recruitment, in that the job has 2 major strands. You can chose to work for recruitment agencies that supply workers to businesses or you can work within business in its HR department and work as a recruitment specialist.
Recruitment work is simply matching the needs of the client with the skills of the employee – or *candidates*. If you work for an agency and a company rings up wanting a secretary who can handle set aspects of a job, you go through the listing of secretaries you have on the books and contact the suitable worker for the job. If you work in the HR department of a company you would then interview perspective candidates yourself and choose accordingly.
So why choose recruitment as a career? For some it can mean you might make a big difference to someone’s life just by being good at what you do. Not just by placing a person in job they are skilled to do, sometimes it comes down to giving a candidate direction to where they need to be. A recruitment consultant works closely with people to match them with the right jobs, anyone can buy a computer or a desk lamp, it takes someone special to match the right desk lamp to the right desk, or the right person to the right PC.
While some people actively choose to be a recruitment consultant you will find that a lot of people kinda *fall into* the job. There are 3 different categories that you can put the term *recruitment consultant* into – Support, Consulting, and Sales.
In a support role you do a lot of crossing *T’s* and dotting*I’s* as they say, lots of paperwork and updating databases. In a consulting role you find the candidate for the client, or match a candidate with a client depending on what is required. In sales you would actually go out and find new clients, perhaps using cold calling skills or knocking on doors – you then bring clients to the agency so they find their staff exclusively through your agency.
There are no formal qualifications needed to become a recruitment consultant, you do need to be able to think quickly, be able to sell, be able to not only talk to people, but to get them to open up to you and you need to be able to handle rejection. The work itself can be tough, the pay low and the hours many in that first year or two, you have to have drive and ambition, as there will always be another wanting to take your spot.
Beginners start as a *resourcer* which basically means you spend your day ringing candidates trying to fill jobs requested by clients. You then move up to *Consultants* where you would be required to bring in clients. With roughly 60% of those who enter recruitment leaving after the first year there is actually a shortage of skilled consultants.
Recruitment is a career that offers a lot of variety, allowing you to specialise on the client’s side or on the candidate’s side – with focus on temporary, casual or permanent roles. You can work for a recruitment agency or for a large company. With so many choices it is one career with many paths.
As with most work you need to look on job boards, seek.com etc, in the classifieds and recruitment agency websites to see what positions are available in your area. Companies such as Manpower and Adecco are a great place to look
Have you worked in recruitment in the past? Were there any highs or lows of the job you’d like to share? Would you like to give recruitment work a try? What aspects of the job do you think are good or bad? As always we’d love to hear any of your thoughts!