By the time you leave school, you might have an idea of where you see your professional future.
Whether you plan to go to university or an apprenticeship beckons, over the previous years you may have pieced together an initial understanding of potential career paths.
Every young person knows what it takes to be a doctor, builder, teacher or marketeer.
Why? Because they will have experienced these occupations (and many others) before.
Our lives are constantly impacted in all sorts of ways by all sorts of professions, but it is unlikely that a young professional will be genuinely impacted by a recruiter until they reach their second or third job. Even then, their interactions with recruiters might not be entirely positive.
This mix of invisibility and hit-and-miss standards is not a good combination.
In addition, the recruitment industry has not always cultivated an image of investing in talent.
Traditionally, people have entered the recruitment profession wondering whether they will make the grade rather than joining with the expectation that they will learn their trade.
There are too many stories of recruiters being culled before they have a chance to develop their skills.
I know that I am painting a pretty bleak picture here, but all is not lost.
With advances in technology and a growing awareness of the importance of emotional intelligence and relationships in the workplace, recruitment is reinventing itself as a long-term career that any teenager might consider.
I have a 17-year-old, and I have no qualms in highlighting its merits to him
What are the merits of a career in recruitment?
Firstly, recruitment has never been more visible.
We all know how critical engagement on social media is for any recruiter. Whether they are giving job search advice in a blog, sharing their latest vacancies in a video or posting career tips on twitter, recruitment is one of the most visible professions on social media for an early-stage job seeker. Teenagers are seeing the incentive trips and placement celebrations and picturing themselves doing the same.
Secondly, technology is increasingly handling the mundane and time-consuming aspects of recruitment.
Those tasks that have previously resulted in recruiters having precious little time to do the value-added human part of their jobs.
When you are organising a large number of graduate vacancies with a continual stream of interviewees, you need all the organisational help that you can get. Tech might even start to handle the volume activities to such a point that recruiters can get meaningfully involved with every single graduate and school leaver.
Perhaps most importantly, recruitment is reacting to the rise of A.I. by investing in people like never before.
Theoretically, a point may come where recruiters can offer a basic level of service with A.I. sourcing and selection software, interview chatbots and video profiling.
At that point, some might think that human recruiters will become redundant, but we all know that our industry can do so much more in terms of quantifying personal and cultural fit.
Recruiters will flourish in the profession because it will help them to become experts in people (rather than being experts of herding them along the process).
With the above being said, I am not suggesting that recruitment is the ideal career for all.
It will suit some and not be so suitable for others, but there is one thing that cannot be denied – recruitment is on the rise and it is becoming more attractive year by year.
If you are an early-career professional and would like to work with some of the best recruiters in the business, consider getting in touch and potentially joining us at Ambition.
For more information on working at Ambition, visit our 'work for us' page.