How to become a recruitment consultant. Female recruitment consultant in pink jacket talking to a male consultant

How to become a Recruitment Consultant?

Overview

Job Role Recruitment Consultant
Responsibilities Advertising jobs, screening applicants, selecting candidates for interview, liaising with clients.
Salary

£11.28 - £14.35 per hour / £22,000 - £28,000 per year

What do I need to do to become a Recruitment Consultant? 

A recruitment consultant is someone who is responsible for pairing people with suitable jobs. This usually means working directly for a recruitment agency, which is used by businesses to outsource their recruitment for temporary, contracted and permanent jobs.

The average salary for a recruitment consultant is around £22,000 to £28,000, and you will usually work regular hours from Monday to Friday. Or, instead of a fixed yearly wage, you may be offered a basic salary, with the opportunity of earning commission or performance-related bonuses. The role could involve early starts or working late if it’s required. With the right employer, you should be able to find the option for flexible hours or part-time work to suit your commitments and lifestyle.

Your daily tasks will involve screening applicants to ensure they meet the basic requirements for a role and selecting candidates for interviews. These will usually then be handed over to the client who will conduct the interviews. Your role may involve getting job descriptions from clients that accurately describe the advertised role and the type of person it requires, and publishing usually online.

Another important aspect of this role is liaising deals with clients and ensuring all of their needs are met. As part of this, meeting your sales targets and winning clients is a major part of this role. There will also be applicant and compliance paperwork to handle on a daily basis.

There are no formal qualifications required for the role of recruitment consultant. However, you need to be educated to at least GCSE-level and have good numeracy and literacy skills. Both on-the-job training and formal courses will likely be given to you on the job, especially when you first start in this role. Soak up as much information as you can and ask lots of questions. It’s a steep learning curve but with the right support you should start to settle into the role quickly.

So, what makes a great recruitment consultant? Jackie Towndrow, Associate Director at Blue Arrow and based in the St Albans branch, shares her advice for anyone who is considering a career in recruitment. “You need determination and a desire to succeed; you need a good memory and a quick mind; and you need to be organised.”

“Being capable of complete honesty is also really important. This is because you need to be able to give feedback to candidates who haven’t been successful and also to clients when you haven’t got what they’ve asked for, while still reassuring them you have a solution to this. You also need to be happy to work to sales targets and be motivated by that,” she adds.

Another thing that will help you to enjoy working in recruitment as much as Jackie has for the last 25 years, is a positive attitude. She explains that optimism and seeing what has gone well for you each day will help you succeed as a recruitment consultant. “It can be a really challenging job, and if you’re a glass half empty person who focuses on what’s gone wrong, then you’re going to go home feeling like you’ve not done a good job,” she says.

When applying for your first recruitment consultant role, any experience of working in an office, sales, or administration will be useful. Excellent communication skills are a must for this sort of career. Whether it’s written or in person, effective interaction is needed to become a great recruitment consultant. Computer skills, including Microsoft Office and data entry will be important, too.

The types of people who tend to do well in this sort of role are motivated, reliable, have a keen eye for detail and good problem solving skills. A good understanding of people, their emotions, and an ability to assess their qualities and suitability for a role will help you progress in this role.

Job vacancies are likely to be posted on the recruitment company’s own website, and may also be listed on other job search websites. If you know the locations where you would consider work, start researching companies who specialise in recruitment and check their career pages. If it’s your first job as a recruitment consultant or you have less than a few years of experience you may find roles listed as junior or even apprentice level. This is a great place to start and will mean you’re more likely to get some structured training on the job.

When applying for the job, don’t forget that it’s not just your potential new manager and colleague who is reading it. This is going to be someone who reads hundreds of CVs a week, so yours needs to really stand out and be free of errors. Make sure you give examples of why you’re a good match for the job and have at least one person read over it for you.

You should also ensure you prepare for the interview before you go. Imagine what questions you might be asked and plan out the sort of response, with examples, that you would give. Be sure you know where it’s taking place, turn up on time (this means 10 minutes early) and don’t forget to smile.

There are lots of opportunities to progress in recruitment. As you gain more experience in this role, you may want to go for a senior recruitment consultant role. This will come with more responsibilities, bigger clients, and junior staff to train and manage. Or, you have a lot of the skills required to work in the recruitment or human resources department of a larger company. Other industries you could consider include sales, marketing or event coordination.

One of the great things about this role is the variety of your work and the satisfaction of helping jobseekers. You may also enjoy meeting your deadlines and targets, and pleasing your clients. The fast-paced nature of the work will also mean you’re kept busy and engaged. But it may not always be plain sailing. You will inevitably come across clients and jobseekers who are difficult to interact with. Or, you may have found the perfect candidate who later doesn’t turn up for their first day of work. Your ability to think on your feet, communicate effectively and make decisions will help you when these situations arise.

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