Recuitment has been a career choice for over 70 years. It started in the USA as an idea that a Managing Director had, of temping out his secretary to other businesses. Today, according to the REC, it has grown to an industry worth over £30 billion a year in the UK alone.
It is an industry with an extensive history and as one of the largest economies, it too has seen many changes; from the rise of the humble fax machine to the birth of social recruiting and media platforms such as LinkedIn. However, to this day, there are still a vast amount of people that misunderstand the role of a recruiter or the recruitment industry.
I recruit people for recruitment businesses, so I talk about the industry every day. After working in the industry for ten years, I have experienced its challenges and evolution, as well as the perception it holds.
It's a people industry - and everyone has their own standards (and are often untold). When people speak to me about their experience as a candidate, especially that of a poor experience, I often say "you should go into recruitment" as you know what you would have wanted to expect in that situation. Essentially, recruitment is a service, but not a public service. No service industry is perfect and sadly, I feel that the recruitment industry has and will always be criticised more than any other industry. If you are looking for a new job or for a supplier, you will want someone that will really partner with you and provide that personal service that you require. Recruiters largely work for free until they fill placements, so the next time you speak to a consultant about your job requirement or your career aspirations, hopefully you will appreciate their (free) time, as much as they appreciate yours.
The role of a recruitment consultant certainly isn't an easy one. It is not for the shy of people, work-ethic, conversation or picking up the phone. It is a role that demands you to network and speak to as many people as you can in a day to find the perfect candidate. In an industry that promotes a work-hard, play-hard culture, you will need to be able to manage multiple expectations and potentially long working hours. However, I think the rewards and recognition are far greater than most other industries. Uncapped earning potential makes a career in recruitment financially rewarding and with the vast experience within the industry, the learning and development and opportunities that are available to you offer you the chance to progress faster than in any other industry.
Recruitment most certainly has extreme ups and downs. You need to be a self-starter, driven with a winning attitude and not accepting of defeat. It is a tough industry that massively rewards the brave - especially those who are persistent.
Colin has been in the industry for over 10 years and is the Internal Recruitment Manager at Marlin Green.
"Having changed my career following university and my first passion, I moved into sales and haven't looked back since! Many people will at some point become aware of recruitment as a career option, whether a fresh graduate or someone experienced in the industry. If you think you are not fazed by what you've read and want to explore this industry - then feel free to reach out to me!"