New to recruitment in 2014: 5 things you should know


People find themselves entering the recruitment industry in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. It’s surprising how many times I have heard stories of people walking into agencies hoping to register as a candidate and before they know it they’re filling bookings.

Some people undergo a horrific mash-up of Dragon’s Den style pitching and stomach-wrenching tasks á la The Apprentice. Whatever happened, you’re here. There are some things you need to know being new to recruitment.


It’s hard. Really hard

Don’t be fooled – Those Senior Consultants you see with their Louboutin shoes or Armani suits did not win some sort of elite raffle, they suffered for them. There is success to be had and money to be earned, sure – But you have to fight for it.

I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s tough but you need to be prepared to be all but completely broken, especially in your first year. That might sound dramatic but you are looking at tears, tantrums, working crazy hours, solving other people’s problems and never switching off.


Things are changing

The industry is in a constant state of flux and you need to stay informed about all of it. Your competitors will be hot on knowing what’s what, and will have their beady eye on you too. Join as many recruitment-related organisations as you can – Be a geek about it.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Institute of Recruitment Professionals are absolute essentials for starters. Read the publications, follow influential people on LinkedIn, follow companies through Twitter and Facebook, do it all, and do it with gusto – remember the golden cliché: Knowledge is power.


Nothing is concrete

When you’re at a stage where you have regular clients who use you on a frequent basis – your “bread and butter” business as it may be referred to – you might think you can rest on your laurels a bit. No, you can’t. Sadly in recruitment the competition is so hot and the variables can differ so much that business that you thought was secure can be lost in a mere heartbeat.

Often, with all the will and good intention in the world, things will happen that you simply have no control over.  You not only need other new business to replace anything that can be lost, but you need additional new business. Demonstrating that you can not only maintain but grow your business will make you successful.


New faces

You will meet and talk to so many different people. You will hear ear-achingly incredible things and witness eye-wateringly astounding things. You’ll deal with the best and indeed the worst of people.

You’ll form opinions based on your experiences and soon after find that those ideas are smashed to pieces by a turn of events that will completely astonish you. I have to throw in another old cliché here: Expect the unexpected, because it sure is a whirlwind.


…But it is fun

Through the stress and the strain however, there is a lot of fun to be had. Unless you have bizarrely blagged your way into a role as a recruitment consultant you will have been offered the role based largely on your personality and either proven or potential sales capability – often a blend of the two.

You will therefore likely have the traits of a fun-loving, outgoing, tenacious, determined person with a great sense of humour. So long as you work damn hard and your skin is thick, you will really enjoy it and reap the rewards. Best of luck!

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