How to get into recruitment?
These days getting into the recruitment industry for some can be so easy and for others near on impossible. So having run a recruitment company and interviewed a few hundred recruiters wanting to get into this industry, I thought it would make sense to pass on a few of my tips for budding recruitment consultants.
To start with when you send your cv to the recruitment company there is no guarantee that you will even get an interview, particularly if you do not have any experience, although there are plenty of graduate recruitment trainee roles. Saying that companies still want to see some kind of experience, but I will come back to this in a moment.
Firstly I thought I will tell you how to walk straight out of University into a recruitment role, which can be done of course. One advantage you will have is that there are plenty of companies looking for recruiters and many keen to train you from scratch; you just have to be head and shoulders above your competition. On this point it would make sense to read what actually makes a good recruitment consultant post, which I am sure will either help or frighten you off.
Just remember you will need to exhibit as many of these characteristics when you apply for a trainee role, whether it is to get the interview or while you are being interviewed.
What you will find therefore is when you apply for a job at a recruitment company, the recruiter will throw up various objections just to see how you handle them. They do not want someone that gives up at the first hurdle, but someone who try´s to overcome them; you need to show them you are determined and you can sell yourself.
Also you need to bear in mind that theoretically your cv will be the same as all the others graduates, empty!
It isn’t about sending your cv and thinking that having a 1st is enough, it is about how you overcome something to get that first, or how you drove yourself to be the best athlete in the school etc. Therefore tenacity is fairly easy to mimic, just do not accept no as an answer, but always reply with a reason why you can when they say why you cannot, I think you get my drift.
The second part is the communication skills, the ability to get across your argument in a professional manner, basically sell yourself and this is where most trainees fall down.
Too many people think that selling yourself is having the “gift of the gab” or put another way someone who talks too much and bores you witless! The key here is to remember you have “two ears and one mouth, use them in that order”
There is a lot one could say on sales and there are thousands of books and hundreds of blogs, telling you about the skill of sales, but I think it would make sense to refer you to one book that changed my life, but you do not need to take my word for it it, as it is the same book that inspired the richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, depending on which year you look at. The Book is called “How to win friends and influence people” and has influenced many since its publication in the 30’s and is still relevant today.
So now you have you mind focused on the mentality of the recruiter, you really need to show them you have gone that extra mile and when you realize this is a sales job, the most perfect experience is therefore sales experience, so I suggest while you are looking for your role as a recruiter, you also need to gain some sales experience. A tip on this is to get a commission only job, as you will get some superb sales training and best of all it is free. I know this may seem a bit of a come down for some of you, but most of my successful friends have gone this route, even me! On that point a call centre role can certainly help you tone your telephone communication skills, and is probably the most important asset you will need to have.
This will certainly give you the edge over your competitors and hone your skills to winning the prize.