Working in Recruitment: What You Need to Know | Pareto

6 Minutes

Working in recruitment is all about finding the right person for the right role. It’s about ...

Working in recruitment is all about finding the right person for the right role. It’s about matchmaking - bringing together the perfect candidate with a business that needs their specific skillset. The sector is an exciting and dynamic environment – a fast-paced industry that requires an instinct for talent management and an inherent understanding of different markets and their needs.

As businesses across a wide range of industries expand and their need for top-class recruits grows, so too does the recruitment sector– data shows it expanded by 11 percent in 2017/18. Forecasts for the future are positive too, with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) predicting the industry will continue to grow by four to five percent annually. 

Recruitment touches nearly every industry, with people at the heart of success for businesses, regardless of what they do. But what does it take to succeed in recruitment? It’s far more than just hiring. At Pareto, we know what it means to be a good recruiter, with more than two decades of experience in the sector, so find out more about what it’s like to work in the fast-paced, exciting world of recruitment.

What do recruiters do?

In simple terms, the role of a recruiter is to fill job vacancies, finding the right person for open positions. In many cases, recruiters will be interacting with a number of people who are on the lookout for jobs, putting them forward for those that are most suitable. However, a recruiter’s role also involves actively sourcing people who may not be looking to move jobs at the time, particularly when a role requires sought after skills.

Generally speaking, recruiters won’t have a final say in hiring decisions – instead providing a shortlist for hiring managers – but they do have a vitally important part to play in the overall process.

Daily tasks for a recruiter might include:

  • Probing for job description details such as salary range, benefits and soft skills required
  • Posting vacancies. Recruiters use specialist sites and social networks like LinkedIn to reach relevant candidates in places where they might not be actively looking for work
  • Liaising with clients and discussing the benefits of each candidate
  • Collecting feedback at the interview stage
  • Supporting recruits throughout their probation period

All of this means recruiters need great communication skills and a real ability to be both organised and proactive. Corporate recruiters also require industry knowledge and the confidence to liaise with high-flyers in their field, especially when it comes to tasks like executive recruitment.

Advantages and disadvantages of working in recruitment

Working in recruitment is a popular career choice, but it isn’t a role for everyone. Why? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of working in recruitment

If you’re a people person, recruitment could be the perfect career for you. Whether you’re speaking to clients or candidates, communication is a constant part of the working day. It’s a fast-faced occupation, which suits people who thrive on adrenaline and securing that hire.

Recruitment is rewarding too, both in terms of fulfilment and financially. Your work allows you to help candidates land their dream job, or supports businesses to find that ideal person to help them hit their long-term goals. Not to mention, the commission you can enjoy from your hard-work is incredibly competitive.

Working in the recruitment sector can also help boost your problem-solving and negotiation skills, as you need to think on your feet every day. A career in recruitment provides many transferrable skills and a great insight into different industries, from digital marketing to sales. Many recruiters will choose to specialise as they climb the career ladder and become more knowledgeable about certain industries through their work.

Disadvantages of working in recruitment

While working in recruitment is a fantastically varied and exciting career, it can also be highly demanding and is rarely predictable. When a high-level vacancy drops into your inbox, recruiting teams need all hands on deck as they fight against the clock to find the perfect candidate and that means dedication and sometimes working long hours to find the perfect hire.

It can be a cut-throat business too – the wins make for great highs, but losses can lead to lows as so much of your work is reliant on other people holding to their commitments. The best recruiters need to have the resilience to push through and dust themselves off when deals don’t go to plan, or when you get let down by a candidate at the last minute.

Essential recruitment skills

To work in recruitment services, there are a wide variety of vital skills you’ll need to have in your repertoire.

These skills might include a strong knowledge of sales techniques, a degree in a business-related field or some advanced social media skills. However, you also need to possess a raft of strong soft skills, such as the ability to communicate and build relationships, which can be even more important than traditional skills, according to research.

You’ll also need patience, reliability and data-driven critical thinking skills, which is where recruitment often overlaps with a career in sales. Most of all though, you’ll need the determination to succeed in a competitive environment. Executive recruiters should be familiar with the corporate world and comfortable meeting with C-suite professionals, either as decision makers or potential recruits.

The future of recruitment

Recruitment is an industry that is constantly evolving, largely thanks to a number of technological developments, along with rising numbers of recruitment agencies in the UK. Not so long ago, job advertisements were posted in newspapers and applications accepted by post. Nowadays, job boards, social networks and email all create competitive channels the best recruiters will need to master to find success.

Stepping into this industry also means you’ll need to prepare for another exciting period of change, as predictive and descriptive analytics are changing the ways recruiters use technology to get even further ahead. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is helping recruiters schedule interviews, screen CVs and streamline the talent pool more easily than ever before, meaning recruiters are likely to need to be as tech savvy as they are people orientated in the future.

Without doubt, recruitment offers a rewarding and challenging career that will straddle the boundary between sales and people. Find out more about executive recruiters and roles with Pareto.

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