Careers Blog




Advance your business skills (A career in recruitment)

Recruitment has historically been a career that many people fall into unintentionally without it being part of a lifelong career plan.  It is often seen as one of the few jobs readily available after University that pays well and isn’t too hard to obtain.  This has led to many seeing a recruitment career initially as ‘just a job’ to fill in the time until something better comes along.  Fortunately for many, the ‘just a job’ often turns out to be the perfect life long career and can provide a grounding in a wide variety of business skills unlike many other careers.

The recruitment industry is far more important than most people realise and is currently growing by 9% annually in the UK and is worth £35.1 billion.  There are 23,980 agencies and over 100,000 people employed and it contributes more to the UK economy than the advertising, arts and recreation and food and beverage industries

It is also an industry that is changing fast – it has had to.  Being a recruiter is now a highly professional career and you can even take a Master’s degree in Recruitment Practice.

Today’s recruiter has a challenging role where they have to suit the demands of companies in a highly competitive, fast paced digital world who need a quality service that adds real value to their quest for the perfect candidate.  At the same time, highly skilled candidates now hold the power to pick and choose the role that they want and essentially drive recruiting.  If we add a touch of economic uncertainty into the mix because of Brexit, new data regulations and varying global trends this also means recruitment has to be immensely agile and adaptable to fit the market.

The growth of the digital world has meant that Recruiters no longer use paper cvs and walk in interviews anymore but tend to use online profiles containing a collection of candidate data from online communities, conferences and meet ups and video interviewing is increasingly popular. 

Recruiters have to stay ahead of the game and position themselves as industry experts by constantly updating their skills to keep up with changes in recruitment technology and growing and changing demands from both employers and employees.  Changes in recruitment technology have proved to be a bonus for recruiters as it is no longer necessary to plough through reams of data and recruiters can now spend more time being pro-active with candidates and doing what they do best.  Technology has also started to tackle issues such as unconscious bias and is starting to allow for more diversity within the workplace.

All of these changes in technology and business demands and practices have led to modern day recruiters needing a slightly different set of skills than those of the past

What do you need to be a modern day recruiter now?

Most recruitment and business skills can be taught which is why a good training programme is more vital than ever in recruitment where employees learn from their management, their peers and from industry leaders using methods that suit their learning requirements be it deskside, online, classroom, conference or through networking.

There are some things that can’t always be taught however and certain traits will help you become an industry leading recruiter rather than just an average one

10 Great Recruiter Traits

1 Emotional Intelligence and Empathy

This is the number one trait when it comes to recruitment excellence. If you can truly understand all types of people and situations whilst being self-aware and able to control your own emotions -  you will be able to communicate, lead, negotiate and build much better relationships than most recruiters. 

If you can prove yourself as trustworthy, personable and eager to look after everyone’s best interests, not just your own, giving everyone a great experience when working with you – then recruitment is your ideal career

2 Problem solving

Recruitment is all about solving your customers problems and often requires a degree of analysis, logic and creativity to make sense of a situation and to come up with an intelligent solution. Creative recruiting strategies are critical to finding, attracting and retaining the best candidates

3 Technical ability

The modern world of recruitment and especially sourcing relies on using up to date techniques and tools to find candidates and if you are quick to learn and get a kick out of using new technology that will certainly stand you in good stead

4 Organisation

One of the traits that many of the best recruiters secretly have is the ability to keep detailed records. They organise all of their recruitment activity systematically so they always know what is going on even if they have lots of plates spinning at the same time

5 Generosity

If you tend to think about how you can help someone else rather than ‘what’s in it for me’ then you will be able to build relationships and network in a way where others struggle

6 Listening

You will need to understand both your clients and candidates needs in depth before you can start trying to help them.  What is the problem that the client is trying to solve and what does the candidate really want out of a new job?  By listening carefully to  candidates you can find out what really drives them – it might be something unexpected – it might be what they don’t say rather than what they do say! 

7 Persistence

If you spot an opportunity and you don’t hear ‘no’, but think just ‘not yet’ and you don’t give up because you think you can genuinely help someone, then a recruitment career is for you.

8 An enquiring mind

Great recruiters are always interested in learning more about recruitment, the industry they recruit in and embracing that industry as their own –not just being a ‘by numbers’ sales person

9 Self-motivation

Recruiters often climb the career ladder quickly if they always get on with something that they know needs doing and are motivated to get it done on time and to a good standard.

10 Enthusiastic

Enthusiasm about yourself, your work and your company and showing passion when helping customers and the willingness to go that extra mile to solve a problem will allow you to stand out at wherever you go

So you’ve got the traits that make a great recruiter but what can you actually learn from recruitment?

10 Business Skills that you’ll learn in Recruitment

Recruitment is often only seen as a Sales job, and yes it still is the largest element of the role, but there is so much more in modern day recruitment. 

1 Psychology

You’ve got to be able to convince your candidates to apply for a role, to accept an invitation to interview, to convince the hiring manager to accept your proposed candidates, and finally convince the candidate to accept an offer.   This takes quite a bit of doing and as a recruiter you will learn a lot about the psychology of sales and ultimately psychology as a subject in itself.

2 Management and leadership

Recruitment is an industry where it is easy to progress up the ranks quickly from Trainee to Team Leader and eventually to Business Manager and even Director.  You will learn how to manage your colleagues and nurture them to be able to climb the career ladder to become leaders themselves. 

3 How to run a business

If you work in a Recruitment Agency it is likely that you will work in a particular market niche and be responsible for building that part of the business like it is your own when you have reached a certain level of experience. 

4 Strategy

Not only will you learn how to strategically build your own business and identify new markets but you will also learn to be strategic in how you find and engage candidates and  help your client’s own talent strategies.

The best recruiters learn how to provide consultancy advice and strategies to HR and hiring managers and how to persuade them with credible market knowledge.

5 Marketing

Whilst Recruiters ultimately remain Sales or ‘Relationship’ people you will certainly learn a large element of Marketing especially in the future.  This will mean you are likely to be involved in advertising, messaging, publishing information and engaging strategically on a variety of Social Media platforms.  In a world where it is easy for everyone to find candidates with advanced recruitment technology there is the likelihood that good candidates will be ‘over contacted’ and marketing techniques are necessary to engage with the best candidates. Personalised marketing is key and you will learn how to personalise your sales messages to interest the candidates you really want to speak to.  You will learn about Branding and why it is important for your company and your clients, how to use Mobile Marketing to find and speak to candidates and Content Marketing to promote your Brand (and personal brand!) to find and keep talent.  Your Marketing Department should hopefully be able to supply you with material to help you warm up your candidates and clients too.

6 Research

Recruiters need to research their candidates well enough to understand what they look for in a job, how to attract them to it and also what they are likely to want at their stage of life.  You will also need to find out market information that will help your candidates and clients such as salary rates, industry trends and other useful insights

7 Different industries

Whatever niche you recruit in it is likely that you will learn a huge amount about that industry as well as just the recruitment industry.  You may also find that over time you change the niche that you work in as market demand changes and therefore your knowledge will expand even further.

8 Data Analysis

Good data should be at the heart of good recruitment practice as it should drive decisions throughout the recruitment process.  Recruiters need to know how to use tools such as websites, apps and sourcing tools and then how to collect and manipulate that data to provide insight and help

9 Customer Experience

Having a good number of loyal customers for the long term is one of the key goals for any company.  A recruiters job is to find great candidates for clients and great jobs for candidates but the experience that they have along the way is just as important.  Good customer service is a mixture of good company values, a quick and easy process, caring customer treatment and clear communication.

10 Advanced Negotiation

Negotiation is a highly skilled activity that all businesses benefit from and often depend upon.  Recruiters learn how to negotiate at many different levels and situations from their early days in the industry.   They know how to sell opportunities and make compelling proposals every day so most recruiters are very advanced at negotiation

Now you should have an idea of whether you are the kind of person to succeed in the modern recruitment world and hopefully we have opened up your eyes to the type of exciting career that recruitment could hold for you.

Added 31-Jul-2017