Joining the world of recruitment seemed a no-brainer for me; I was sick of the public sector, where I’d worked my arse off for no money, and couldn’t even have a Friday afternoon G&T at my desk. I envisaged recruitment being all about the great money and amazing social scene, paired with working alongside disgustingly rich and smooth-talking colleagues (Wolf of Wall Street style – cliché, I know). As far as I knew, recruitment was attending glitzy client meetings, picking the perfect candidate out of a pile and slotting them into a ready-and-waiting vacancy, thus picking up a tasty payslip month-after-month. The ignorance was bliss.
Starting my research on LinkedIn, I contacted recruiters and received valuable information about getting my foot in the door. What I couldn’t find however, was a stark perspective of the industry in real talk; but, thanks to a few great anonymous Twitter accounts, I quickly found what I was looking for (if you’re considering recruitment and laugh at all the tongue-in-cheek tweets about recruitment, you’ll probably survive – if you’re offended, cut your losses now and look elsewhere). THIS was the side of the job I was looking for – the ridiculously high earning potential (cue pictures of Cristal champagne and glitzy holidays to the Bahamas), hilarious quotes straight from the mouths of candidates, OTT sales floors complete with a classic deal bell, and the harsh reality of the sales sector: if you’re shit, you’re out the door.
I was sold, and subsequently messaged an anonymous Twitter page (thinking I was speaking to a cocky 22-year-old) mentioning my interest in recruitment. I soon found out I’d messaged the Sales Director of the company… 2 weeks later, I’d interviewed and landed the job – evidently, my unorthodox approach paid off. However, when announcing the news to friends, I received a less-than-friendly response – they preached about innocent newbies being fired in a week for not working 12-hour days and spending less than 5 hours a day on the phone. I was told this wouldn’t be a long-term career path and that all I’d develop was an alcohol addiction and a black-listed CV. After googling recruitment, it became clear this was a well-known view of the industry.
Rumours of careless placements, lack of training, lazy approaches, and a massive lack of empathy became apparent. Clients feel consultants don’t work hard enough to match expectations; candidates feel all consultants care about is the commission. The part people miss is the fact that if we DON’T live up to expectations, not only do we make no money, but we fall behind in terms of our own progression and prestige in the company.
The reality is that candidates put their life in the hands of a stranger when they begin their job search. It’s up to recruiters to not only cater for professional requirements but also lifestyle requirements, too. We support you with roles that may require cross-national relocation. We’ll help you find great locations to live, local hotspots for entertainment, and be with you each step of the way through the process (not to mention after). No matter the requirements, a good recruiter will work tooth-and-nail to get you what you need. We’re trained to put you at ease and to make sure you trust our process. And yes, we’re confident we’ll do the job better than any other recruiter you speak to.
There’s no avoiding the fact that some people have godawful experiences with recruiters. But this is no different to receiving an awful meal at a dodgy restaurant – it wouldn’t put you off eating out for the rest of your life. All I see are tirelessly hardworking peers, who work the long days and do the crazy phone times, because they know it brings results. Recruiters do this job because we get a HUGE kick out of placing that perfect candidate in their dream role (and obviously the great commission helps). We love a client calling to tell us about the great impact our hires have made. Nothing beats a happily-placed candidate calling you in 6 months’ time asking you to hire them a team, because they know what an outstanding job you did throughout their own recruitment process.
Yes, success in recruitment brings the life-changing commission cheques, the Michelin star restaurant meals and extravagant trips away. But, this doesn’t come easily. Most recruiters see a minimal return in their first year in the industry. We get knocked back 5 times for every 1 success and work 70 hours a week with no complaint.
The reality of the industry is that great companies balance the line between sleek professionalism, and having a great time whilst doing it. There’s no excusing shitty recruiters, but the hard work that most put in shouldn’t be overlooked. Recruiters don’t get the paycheques by doing nothing – and they certainly don’t get there by doing a bad job.