How to Get Into Recruitment

What is a Recruitment Consultant?

Breaking into the field of recruitment can be so difficult, so with this blog it was my intention to help with some pointers on how to become a Recruitment Consultant. Although this update in the series (How to get into Recruitment) is a little late I hope to catch up in the coming weeks.

Recruitment is a fantastic industry, tough but rewarding but to be honest most people want to become a recruiter for the wrong reasons and for those it generally ends in failure. So I wanted to make one point clear, and that is a Recruitment Consultant is a SALES EXECUTIVE, so if you do not like sales I suggest you try another role.

In addition recruitment is VERY COMPETITIVE so in essence you will need to have an abundance of drive and passion, with some sales experience. Saying this I do not want to put you off, because what makes this is a great industry is that compared to general sales, this product will thank you!!

Based on this and other factors, I have put together a list of the key skills or attributes that make up a successful Consultant and if you have most of them you are most of the way there.

  • Communication skills (Clear diction, articulate)
  • Hard working (overtime, make calls from home if necessary)
  • Sales ability (able to promote the service of your company and get commitment)
  • Time Management (You will be pulled in all directions)
  • Competent writer (Adverts, resumes, reports etc, although I have got away with it for many years!)
  • Smart Appearance
  • Able to deal with rejection
  • When it is tough have the strength to keep focused
  • Good Rapport skills
  • A personality (helps build a rapport)
  • Able to think outside the box, there is always more than one way to skin a cat!

This should help you understand what the agency is looking for, which will help you succeed or I have put you off altogether.

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  1. Dear Stephen,

    I’m glad I ran into your blog because it made me realise that being a recruitment consultant really is for me. I only have one major concern though: I am currently a student at university and I feel that I’m wasting my time studying rather than being out there gaining some useful experiences.

    I want to know if my chances of getting into recruitment would significantly drop should I decide to leave school and start a full-time job? After all, a degree is not a guarantee for a full-time job.

    Hope you can help me out.


    Noorah Alhasan

  2. Hi Noorah

    If it has any consolation I do not have a degree, but saying that I suggest you finish the degree.

    If you do not I can assure you that you will regret it. I have interviewed so many people on behalf of many companies and as a result they often preclude candidates who do not have a degree, particularly with the large corporations.

    In addition it can effect promotion.

    One other point to bear in mind is that you have many years in front of you, so you are not wasting time at University.

    Finally my assumption is that maybe you are unhappy in the degree you are presently doing so maybe it is just the wrong subject.

    Recruitment Views
    Ps I am happy that you want to pursue a career in recruitment as it is a fantastic industry

  3. I’m afraid I would have to disagree with the whole recruitment consultants are sales people… recruitment consultants are consultants!

    You cannot sell a candidate a job… You can provide the candidate with all the infomration they need in order to decide whether they are interested in the role and manage the process for them. You essentially listen to the candidate about what they are looking for in their next role. And from there move forward.

    From a client point of view… You cannot sell them a candidate. You can provide them with all the information they need in order to decide whether they are worth interviewing and in your opinion would be a good fit.

    Crap recruitment consultants are salespeople! In my experience trying to sell a candidate a job is completely wrong… These are their careers we’re talking about.

    Proper recruitment consultants are consultants and LISTEN to what the candidates and clients want and guide them taking into account all the needs/wants.

    Sales is part of the role but only a small part. Once you have clients your role is all about meeting their needs, adding value, search & selection, candidate management, etc.

    The only thing you sell is your service and what you can do for your clients (and to a certain degree your candidates).

    I do agree though, it is an excellent and rewarding industry to be in… IF you can handle it 🙂

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