Information about the recruitment indusrty

Is the recruitment industry for you?
The recruitment industry is a dynamic, fast paced and highly competitive industry, which can offer exciting career opportunities to the right people. In the UK the annual industry turnover is currently around £24 billion and is forecasted to rise considerably over the next few years. The recruitment industry provides services to all business sectors, working in partnership with organisations from sole traders to multinationals. Recruitment consultancies attract candidates and match them to jobs in client companies on a temporary or permanent basis. The consultants' role is the vital link between candidate and clients. They operate in virtually all sectors of the employment market. There are a number of publicly quoted companies and firms that operate multi-nationally as well as small independent ones.

What is the Role of a Recruitment Consultant?
The role of the recruitment consultant is fast paced, demanding and diverse. It is also very challenging and exciting and no two days are ever the same. The role involves attracting business from client companies by using sales, business development and marketing techniques. This includes building relationships with clients by going out and meeting them, keeping in touch over the telephone and also in writing. It involves getting to know the client companies, what they do, how they operate and the general culture or atmosphere of the workplace. An important attribute for a recruitment consultant is the confidence to contact prospective clients and win their business. Recruitment consultants are also required to attract candidates by drafting advertising copy and using a wide range of media. It also involves screening candidates, interviewing them and selecting suitable candidates to put forward to client companies. Recruitment consultants are also involved in negotiating pay and salary rates and finalising arrangements between client and candidate. The sense of satisfaction you receive from placing the right candidate in the right job can be overwhelming.

What opportunities are there for career progression?
Opportunities for progression in recruitment will vary depending on the size and structure of the organisation. A recruitment consultant will generally enter the industry as a junior consultant working in a branch with a relatively small team. From here a consultant can progress to senior consultant and then to branch manager. If the organisation has many branches across the country there would be prospects of further promotions to area and regional management.

What rewards could a recruitment consultant expect?
Salaries will vary from one company to the next but it is usual for recruitment businesses to pay consultants a basic salary plus some sort of performance-related bonus or commission. This may be individual or team based. For those who work hard and are good at their job the rewards can be substantial.

What level of education does a recruitment consultant need?
The recruitment industry generally welcomes candidates from a range of educational backgrounds and there is a great future for those with the drive and determination to succeed. Some employers may have dedicated career development programmes for graduates or those wishing to progress quickly. To build on your academic achievements there are industry specific qualifications, which can be studied for (see below).

What sort of work experience does a recruitment consultant need?
People who are keen to learn and have the right personal attributes will also be welcomed into the recruitment industry. Mature candidates who are seeking a second career will find recruitment consultancy offers a stimulating and dynamic role where experience will be welcomed. A background of work in any of the following disciplines would be useful, although not essential, for starting a career in the recruitment industry:

Also, if you have background knowledge or professional qualifications in a specific market sector this can be very helpful in a specialist recruitment consultancy. For example, an IT, secretarial or engineering qualification can be extremely valuable in a recruitment firm specialising in those sectors of the market.

What makes a good recruitment consultant?
To be successful in the recruitment industry you must:

What professional qualifications can I gain to help further my career?
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the professional body for the recruitment business in the UK, runs two professional qualifications:

The REC also runs a broad range of one or two-day training courses covering all aspects of recruitment practice and aimed at all experience levels from a basic introductory course to advanced interviewing and management development.

How do I find my first recruitment job?
Many recruitment consultancies are willing to recruit individuals without recruitment industry experience. Look for recruitment advertisements in local and national press. In specialist recruitment industry magazines particularly you will find advertisements for all levels of recruitment professional. Industry magazines include Recruitment International and Professional Recruiter. Some recruitment businesses specialise in recruiting for the recruitment industry so it may be worth contacting these companies directly. Details can be found in the industry magazines. It is also worthwhile contacting potential employers on a speculative basis. Find out what career opportunities are available and what examples the organisation can offer you within its team as to how you can expect your career to develop. Don't forget you are entering a sales environment - so sell yourself. The recruitment industry has an excellent reputation for developing staff and successful individuals are often promoted quickly.

The recruitment industry is a dynamic, fast paced and highly competitive industry, which can offer exciting career opportunities to the right people. In the UK the annual industry turnover is currently around £24 billion and is forecasted to rise considerably over the next few years. The recruitment industry provides services to all business sectors, working in partnership with organisations from sole traders to multinationals. Recruitment consultancies attract candidates and match them to jobs in client companies on a temporary or permanent basis. The consultants' role is the vital link between candidate and clients. They operate in virtually all sectors of the employment market. There are a number of publicly quoted companies and firms that operate multi-nationally as well as small independent ones.