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Why work in recruitment as a graduate?

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A career in recruitment is often overlooked by schools and university career services. I don't think any child has ever said: 'I want to be a recruitment consultant when I grow up!'.

You don't need a degree to be successful in recruitment (and you can't study a degree in 'recruitment'!). However, it can be a fantastic career choice for both graduates and non-graduates.

Why? Because being a successful Recruitment Consultant is less about your background and education (although you do have to learn about the markets you recruit into) and more about having specific soft skills that will contribute to your success.

Here are the top 5 skills that all successful recruitment consultants need to have.

1. Resilience (and lots of it!)

One of the most important skills that you can have in recruitment is resilience. There are not many jobs that will give you highs like you’re sitting on a cloud and lows that feel like you’re being punched in the face, however, recruitment is one of them!

Recruitment is about relying on people, whether they are your candidates or clients, which can always lead to unpredictable results.

The most successful recruiters are the ones who can remain calm in the best and worst situations. As a graduate, you will know a lot about rejection, either from job interviews, or maybe you didn’t get the grade you wanted in an essay, yet you had no choice but to continue and show resilience.

2. Empathy

Recruitment is, first and foremost, a sales role. However, as important as it is for a recruiter to hit their target, it is crucial that we can empathise with the candidates and clients we work with, and understand their perspective so we can help them.

As a graduate, you will probably know just how stressful it can be job searching or even beginning your career which will make it easier for you to understand what candidates are going through.

Similarly, a client may be struggling to find the right individual for a role, so it is your job to be empathetic towards them and help them find the candidates they are looking for.

3. Teamwork

As mentioned above, recruitment has its highs and lows but what makes tough times easier is having a team that is supportive.

Even though a recruiter will have their own desk to manage, the best recruiters are the ones who know the importance of working in a team.

Your team, just like in many work environments, is essentially your safety net. As an Associate Consultant, or recruitment trainee, most of your training will be carried out on the job and by listening to others around you. When you are struggling, your team will be your go-to people.

4. Adaptability

As a recruiter, your main job is to build relationships and this simply cannot be done over the phone. Granted, the pandemic has made it difficult to meet people face to face, so for the past year, most meetings have been virtual. However, in 'normal' times, you will spend much of your week out meeting clients and potential candidates in person. Therefore, being adaptable is key.

it is also worth noting that the conversations that you have with a client will be very different to those you have with a candidate who you are helping with their job search.

Although, as a recruiter, you will not be doing the role that you are searching for, you must gather a very good understanding of the position and will have to speak to different types of people for various types of firms. Being able to quickly switch from one mindset to another is a must for every recruiter.

5. Time management

As a former student, you will know all about juggling your time well, having had essay deadlines, presentations and exams to revise for. This is what recruitment is like (times one hundred!).

It is very normal for a recruiter to have long working hours due to the amount of tasks that they have to do in one day. Whether, it’s going for meetings, sending CVs out or doing interview preparation or general research on the market, a recruiter has to carry out their tasks simultaneously. At first, you may think this is impossible, but when you are more settled on your desk you soon learn how to plan your days, weeks and even months better.

Essentially, recruitment is a bit like searching for that one book/essay article in a library, except that library is on fire and that book is in another language… (only joking!).​

On a more serious note, if you are looking for a role that is challenging, fun and involves constant learning you should certainly give recruitment a go!

Ambition is a great recruitment agency to work for and we're currently looking to hire trainee recruitment consultants to join the team!

Find out more by visiting our 'work for us' page or contact Grace Golton who can give you more information!

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