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What's it really like to work in recruitment?

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Charlotte Gorrie joined Ambition after graduating from university. Here she shares her experience of the working in the world of recruitment.

Tell us a bit about your background?

I began my journey into recruitment as a fresh graduate from Coventry University studying Sociology looking for a new and exciting career path to sink my teeth into!

My previous jobs were within the Financial and Retail sectors as an intern to a customer service advisor. These roles were key in helping me become confident in talking to customers as well as promoting new products/services in a positive and informative way.

Dealing closely with the public gave me the knowledge of how to resolve queries or questions on the spot as well as the experience of dealing with some challenging situations.  

However, like many grads, I left university without a clue as to what I actually wanted to do career-wise!

So what made you choose recruitment?

Recruitment came up as a possible career path when I started researching potential graduate opportunities. I signed up with a Rec2Rec agency (a recruitment agency that recruits recruiters) and they explained to me the different elements to the job and duties a recruiter does on a day to day basis alongside the potential career progression it offers.

I instantly felt that recruitment was the right path for me. The skillset needed wasn’t too dissimilar to what I had gained from my previous jobs in customer service, giving me a good base to build upon.

I initially spoke to a wide range of recruiters specialising in different sectors but many of them came across as too ‘salesy’ for me and didn’t really listen to what I wanted out of my next role. This did put me off to start with.

However, when I was put forward for a role at Ambition, I could tell that their approach was different as they focused on building good relationships with clients and candidates rather than simply making a ‘sale’.  This really appealed to me, the Directors that interviewed me were really nice and I felt that I would fit in well.

What are the challenges you faced within the first 6 months in recruitment?

The long hours were a shock to the system at the start! I had come straight from university where I could get up at midday if I wanted, so getting in at 8:30am and working straight through till 6pm certainly took some getting used to.

Having so much to pack into each day was tiring at first, but once I gained more responsibilities the days flew by.

The second challenge I had to overcome was my time management skills. I get busy throughout the day and sometimes it can be easy to let certain tasks slip away from you. Using my online calendar to manage my time as well as creating ‘To Do’ has helped me focus my efforts and get everything done.

What qualities or skills do you need to be successful in recruitment?

I would say that good time keeping skills are really important. Recruitment is fast paced and constantly changing environment and the day can run away with you if you’re not well organised so being able to manage your time effectively is key.

Secondly, being proactive with your work is essential. You are responsible for taking the lead in generating work and building relationships with clients as well as candidates. Ultimately you get out what you put in, so you do need to be proactive and driven to be successful in this industry.

The third skill you need is being able to listen effectively to your candidates and clients. Although this seems simple, it’s really important to fully understand what the clients and candidates are looking for so you can deliver what they are really looking for and build your credibility in the process.

What advice would you have for anyone thinking of going into recruitment?

The main advice I have for anyone thinking about recruitment as a career would be to not believe the stereotypes that surround recruitment. Once you find a company and culture that works for you it puts into perspective what recruitment can actually be. An environment where hard work is rewarded and the great social aspect makes the busy days fly by. 

Have you ever considered a job in recruitment? We are currently hiring both inexperienced and experienced consultants.
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