So you've finished university, earned your degree and are eager to get started with your career. You've got a great education, talent and enthusiasm in abundance - the only problem is, you're not sure what to do next. With so many options to choose from, it isn't always easy making key career decisions. This is particularly the case if your degree doesn't guide you into a specific profession, such as law, accounting or medicine.
There are hundreds of different graduate schemes to choose from, and each have their own merits. Before diving into one or the other, you want to make sure you've fully considered your options. If you've got academic ability, interpersonal skills, commercial nous and a competitive edge, there will be plenty of employers looking to hire you. It's just a case of establishing where your main attributes lie, and what you'd really like to do.
Recruitment is an option for graduates
As the UK economy continues to improve and demand for talented people increases, many employers are finding they need specialist help to identify and attract skilled candidates. This is where recruitment agencies, and the consultants they employ, come in. Using their knowledge, expertise and judgment, recruiters are able to match talented candidates to business’ job vacancies, providing the expertise they need to growth their business. As most companies will say their most valuable commodity is their people, this is your chance to make a real impact on the economy and business growth.
With more organisations using recruiters, the industry is continuing to expand. As such, agencies are not only seeking skilled professionals for the businesses they work with, they are also looking to add talent to their own workforces. There is significant demand for enthusiastic, ambitious professionals - those who can build connections, negotiate and influence, solve problems and manage relationships. As such, there are great career prospects for graduates interested in careers in the recruitment sector.
What do recruiters do?
Recruitment consultants have a multi-faceted role. They work as marketers, networkers, problem solvers, interviewers and negotiators as they strive to find the perfect match between job seeker and employer. There's no telling where the perfect candidate may be hiding - it's the recruiter's job to find them, get them engaged, and assess their suitability for the role. Once a match has been made, consultants advise both candidates and hiring managers on issues such as salary, training, benefits and other practicalities.
While recruitment is a business development role – recruiters are expected to be target driven and excel in sales – in the end it is a people business and recruiters aim to build relationships with professionals in the market. This involves gaining trust which takes time and dedication – something that recruiters should have in spades!
Is recruitment a good career?
There are plenty of reasons why recruitment careers appeal to many graduates. See below for some of the highlights we have identified for graduates who choose to build their recruitment career with Robert Half:
1. High remuneration
There are strong financial incentives for performance, meaning talented recruiters can be very well remunerated. The more successful you are in delivering the recruitment solutions clients need - and hitting your targets - the better you'll be rewarded.
2. Progression opportunities
Top performers can advance quickly into more senior leadership roles. This is an industry in which professionals are judged on performance – not by time served or waiting for the next rung in the ladder coming available.
Phil Sheridan, the UK managing director at Robert Half, began his career as a recruitment consultant at the company. He has worked his way up to the boardroom - and the coveted MD role - showing what can be achieved by the right candidates. It’s a similar story for the global CEO of the company, as well as hundreds of directors and leaders across the company’s 300 locations.
3. Scope for development
Recruitment agencies invest in their staff, knowing they are potentially the business leaders of the future. There will be scope for training, coaching and mentorship, in order to help you come onboard successfully, become acclimatised to the industry and develop your career. And many new entrants are surprised with the practical business experience they gain – meeting with business leaders, assessing their resourcing challenges and tailoring solutions to help them growth their businesses. One accountant-turned-recruiter at Robert Half even remarked that he learned more about business in one year than his previous Big 4 career had provided.
4. Contractual benefits
Many recruiters offer a variety of other employment benefits to their employees, including pensions contributions, private healthcare, reward schemes, car allowances and childcare support. In global organisations such as Robert Half, there may be scope for international travel and progressing your career overseas.
5. Variety of work
Recruiting is a varied role in which no two days are ever the same. As a consultant, you've got targets to hit, but you've also got a degree of autonomy and flexibility. On any given day, you could be out and about meeting clients and candidates, negotiating contract rates, attending events, running interview sessions or trying to finalise important deals.
6. A challenge
Not everyone can thrive as a recruitment consultant. You need to be an independent-minded self-starter, have a high level of confidence and developed communication and influencing skills. It also pays to be driven, creative, flexible and resilient. The job can be challenging, but there can be immense job satisfaction - in addition to the extrinsic rewards - when you successfully find someone a new career opportunity or help a company in its growth agenda.
In summary, agencies are eager to identify the next generation of recruiting talent, meaning there are plenty of attractive roles available for the right graduates. Working as a recruitment consultant, you have the opportunity to really show what you can do - and be well-rewarded for your achievements, even at an early stage.