Recruitment, specifically recruiters get a lot of stigma, but recruitment plays a crucial role for all types of businesses and the hiring process is widely regarded as one of, if not, the hardest aspect of running a business. That makes recruiters one of the most important partners for any business and being a recruiter a fulfilling and highly rewarding career.
Why is this important? Well, if you are planning a career in recruitment, understanding just how important you are and how the world of recruitment works, is vital to your success.
We've put together this ultimate guide to recruitment as a career, for anybody looking to carve out a successful life as a recruiter.
1. What is recruitment and why is it Important
2. Why choose recruitment as a career?
3. How to be a good recruiter
4. Types of recruitment agencies
What is Recruitment and Why is it Important
Definition of Recruitment
Recruitment is the process of identifying, attracting, selecting, hiring, and onboarding individuals (Smartrecruiters.com) into a specific job role that is suitable for them.
However, recruitment can probably be better interpreted as matchmaking great talent to amazing companies. Effective recruiters don't just fill roles, we build teams.
Now, let's take a brief overview of how recruitment works, before looking at why it makes a great career choice.
Recruitment Life Cycle
What is full life cycle recruitment (FLCR)?
The recruitment life cycle is a 6-stage process, which is also known as , that essentially outlines the hiring journey in which a recruiter or company will go through in order to find a new employee, right from the initial moment of defining who you are looking for and why through to the final stages of onboarding.
Stages of Full Life Cycle Recruitment
This marks the start of the hiring journey.
As a recruiter it is ground zero, you are looking to work with your client to gather as much information as you can about the job role that needs recruiting for, the type of person they are looking for and, it's a great place to start understanding the company culture.
Once you have collected all this information, you can then work with the hiring company to create a clear profile of the ideal candidate and a stellar job description and accompanying offer that will be sure to attract the best possible talent suitable for them.
Now that you have the job description and the ideal candidate profile, it's time to start searching for them. There are many ways as a recruiter you can do this, the more popular ways are as follows:
- Online: Pretty much as it sounds, sourcing the internet for candidate profiles that match up and then contacting them directly to apply.
- Social Media: Probably the more popular method of choice although many recruiters still struggle to do it well. This method includes creating engaging social media content and leveraging social media networks to source and attract potential candidates.
- In-house: This is generally only used by in-house recruiters, and simply involves looking at current employees who may fit the profile and/or be looking for a step into a new role.
- Job boards: Probably the most popular method of choice, this involves posting your job advert onto multiple relevant online job boards such as Monster, Totaljobs and LinkedIn and sourcing candidates through their network.
Although the most prolific asset in your arsenal as a recruiter, is your own network. This takes years to develop, but once it is, you will always have a powerful pool to source candidates and clients alike that you know can be trusted to deliver top tier results.
This is arguably the most time-consuming, but also most important aspect of the recruitment life cycle, going through all the applications to screen out the cream of the crop.
As a recruiter, credibility is vital to your success, so ensuring the candidates you send over for interviewing by the client are the absolute best you can source, will ensure that your clients continue to come back to you repeatedly for their hiring needs.
This re-iterates why investing time in building a strong personal network of candidates is so crucial, because if you have sourced these potentials from that network, chances are the candidate pool is smaller (saving time scrolling through countless applications) but also much stronger than if you had just put a job advert out for anybody to apply.
Once all the candidates have been screened, it's time to start selecting which ones you will be putting forward to the client for interviewing.
For your clients it's the stage where they start to get involved, by hiring all the candidates you have selected for them.
For you as a recruiter, it's your opportunity to prepare your chosen candidates for the interview process, even if you are working with highly experienced candidates, running through the interview process, and preparing them for any questions that might pop up could be the difference between them getting the role or not.
Congratulations your candidate has been chosen!
This stage is where you get to inform the candidate of the good news and dependant on the agreement with the client, run through all the nitty gritty aspects of the role such as the job offer, any benefits or perks, and next steps both with the company onboarding process.
The final stage is the onboarding process. This is one of the most critical steps of the cycle, and although most of the work is done on the company side, it is important for you as a recruiter to maintain constant contact with your candidate throughout this to ensure everything is going smoothly for them, after all you are the main contact for them, you built that relationship and it's just good service to continue building that relationship with them even after they have started.
Why is it Important?
People are the most important part of any successful company, Steve Jobs once stated that œTechnology is nothing. What's important is you have faith in people¦, essentially he saw the success of Apple was down simply to having a great team around him. This is why the recruitment and selection process is such an integral part of any business's success, and the ability to have a trusted partner who can help you build that team, is the essence of why recruiters exist and why you should always be proud of the work you do.
Tools To Help Manage The Life Cycle
There are many tools especially in the modern age of technology that we are blessed to live in, that can aide a recruiter such as yourself in becoming an invaluable asset to any company. Here we will give you a basic overview of the types of tools you can expect to use as a recruiter but check out our blog on Top Recruitment tools or download the PDF for a more detailed breakdown of the best tools for each category.
- Job Boards
- Applicant tracking systems (ATS)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
- Video Interviewing platforms & tools
- Testing and Assessment tools
Why Choose Recruitment As A Career?
Now that you understand what recruitment is, the process of recruitment and ultimately why recruitment and being a recruiter is so important to the world of business, it's time to look at why you should choose recruitment as a career, starting with the benefits.
There are no surprises here, recruitment is well known for being an industry that pays well for those who are willing to put in the effort and time it takes to be a master recruiter. Although many agencies will still pay a decent base salary, the beauty of recruitment is the ability you have to make well above that. The money you make really is down to you and not down to a higher role being made available like some other industries.
Here at Vertex, we are renowned for being one of the highest paying agencies when it comes to commission, 50%!!! That means the potential for taking home well over £100k is very much a reality, and some of our top billers regularly achieve this year in year out.
Big Scope For Progression
Because you essentially run your own desk and the earnings potential is uncapped, there is always scope for progression, whether it be running your own team or even your own agency, the sky truly is the limit for those looking to push the boundaries of what they can achieve.
Work Culture Is Amazing
One of the best things about working in recruitment, especially agencies, is the culture. Everyone is usually outgoing, and it is notoriously a youthful industry much like the marketing agency industry. This means fun socials are a given, office life is a big priority so expect pool tables, PlayStation etc, and generally the vibe is going to be relaxed and social.
Being a recruiter really does at times feel like being part of a family.
Huge Amount Of Transferable Skills
A big positive of being a recruiter is that you get a lot of exposure to a lot of different businesses from a variety of sectors and stages in their development, this gives you a plethora of transferrable skills that you can literally take anywhere and still be successful. Additionally, hiring and HR is notoriously hard for businesses to do well, so this also makes those skills you've learnt over your time as a recruiter and the networks you've built that more valuable.
Independence And Ownership
Now this one is a bit of a double-edged sword, we all hate being micro-managed and not being allowed to stretch our wings and find our own paths, however although recruitment is most definitely an industry that allows for a lot of autonomy and independence, it also means there is a lot of responsibility and ownership. Yes, this means when you do well you really can take much of the praise, but it does also mean if you are doing not so great, you do need to take ownership of this and find ways to improve your situation or face the possibility of losing your job.
How To Be A Good Recruiter
Before you start thinking about, how you're going to spend all that money you made from all that commission, you might want to focus first on how you intend to earn that, after all being a good recruiter is a lifestyle not just a day job.
Here we will cover what we see as the most critical traits you should develop to become a good recruiter.
This is perhaps the most important statement you will hear as a recruiter.
With that said focusing on developing your ability to build long lasting relationships is crucial in becoming a good recruiter. Which brings us onto the next trait. Networking.
Network, Network, Network!
This really goes hand in hand with the previous trait being relationship focused, but is slightly different, because with networking it's about showing up. You need to always be visible to those who you want to network with, whether that be turning up to industry events, consistently posting on social media networks and private online groups or simply contacting people you previously worked with to just catch up, all of this is networking.
This is hands down a trait that separates good recruiters from great recruiters. Check out our blog on how to build your personal brand up here.
Long-Term Team Building, Not Quick Fills
In a way this feels like we are repeating ourselves, but all good recruiters know that if you want to be successful, you should invest in the long term not just the quick fills, even if you are temp recruiting.
Why? Well simply put if you spend the time developing long lasting relationships, and a strong network then you will always have a pipeline of both great candidates and repeat clients who will always come back to you time and time again.
Successful recruiters are not born with some kind of magical charisma that just makes them great, they are just reaping the rewards of the work they put in before. Drive is such an important trait of any recruiter, not giving up on the first rejection or consistent flood of poor applications, but putting the graft in early, and preserving until they find what works well and they are able to consistently source, attract great candidates and clients alike.
Have A Tough Skin
Recruiters get a tough time, usually because bad recruiters have given their clients a poor experience previously and therefore, they must work extra hard to prove they can deliver results. Additionally, like all people focused jobs, people can be mean, and this means to be a good recruiter you need to develop a tough skin and not take those knockbacks personally.
Career Progression “ Types of Jobs with Recruitment Agencies
If you have got this far, chances are, you ready for a career in recruitment. You know what it entails and are confident that you can deliver an exceptional service and become a great recruiter, and if that's true, then recruitment is going to be a great career choice.
But what type of recruiter are you?
Let's look at some of the types of recruitment agency there are, so you can find the perfect place to begin (or develop) your career as a recruiter.
Different Agency Models
Contingency Or Employment agency
These types of agency are the most recognised, they basically work with clients to source appropriate candidates by matchings skills and qualifications and then will likely take a flat fee or percentage of the salary upon successfully filling the role, generally a hiring manger from the client side will work with multiple different agencies at a time to minimise the risk and maximise the amount of applications they receive.
Of course, this can be very frustrating for the recruiter who is at risk of putting in all the effort for no reward.
Retained Or Executive Search Agency
Largely used within higher paying roles such as c-suite or as the name suggests executive roles, and the client will usually acquire the services of a recruiter on a retainer and pay a portion of the fee upfront and the remainder upon completion.
This is really for head-hunter type recruiters who will usually spend a lot of time develop networks and convincing high-profile candidates away from their current companies into other roles.
This is exactly as it sounds; the client has chosen you as the one and only recruiter they will work with on an exclusive basis. This type of recruitment allows you the ability to charge what you like as you have no other competition, however it does require a lot of relationship building and strong standing as a prolific recruiter to convince a client that you are the recruiter for the job, and usually you will usually give some form of discount for the exclusive rights.
Niche recruiters are generally specialists in a particular industry or sector, for example Vertex are a niche recruiting agency that focus on companies and individuals with extensive experience within the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry. Niche recruiters are a great option for companies that are looking for skillsets required to excel within their industry as opposed to just generalist experience across multiple sectors.
The Evolution of the Recruitment Agency Model
Although a lot of the agency types discussed above are considered the textbook models for recruitment, the world doesn't always work that way, and so recruitment has evolved to be not so black and white, therefore here are some of the more modern forms of recruitment you may find yourself encountering as you decide what type of recruiter you are.
Retail Or Footfall Model
These recruitment agencies are largely shop like, with adverts posted in the windows and rely heavily on footfall. Candidate driven, this agency model is more about filling roles up to the £40,000 mark, adopting a generalist approach across a range of sectors within a local area. Expect to see a lot of temporary or hourly job descriptions.
Middle Management Specialists
Operating in the £40,000 to £120,000 bracket, and unlike the retail model is more client focused, so finding great people on behalf of a company needing a role filled, instead of finding work for people who need it.
Utilising a mixture of methods, this recruitment model is arguably the one that has gone under the most amount of change, as many agencies in this sector move away from the traditional focus of advertising on behalf of clients to fill specific roles, and more into hybrid models adopting techniques from various other models to provide a unique value driven approach for their clients.
If you are looking for a great place to start developing a name for yourself, this is probably the best place to start, and with such a wide variety of techniques at pay, you will learn a lot, fast.
Historically referred to as Executive search (as we mentioned in the first section) although largely not different from the textbook in terms of who they are targeting - High value C-suite individuals (C-suite refers to CEO, COO, CFO etc). The battering this recruitment model has taken since the financial crisis and COVID-19 has meant that some of the smaller agencies within the middle management recruitment model have started setting up special boutiques allowing them to take market share away from agencies that are solely focused on the executive search model.
So, that's it for this ultimate guide on recruitment as a career.
Remember if you are thinking of starting or just looking to develop a career in recruitment, understanding that it is a people game and that your network is your biggest strength, will make you a great recruiter.
If you are looking for any opportunities in recruitment, here at Vertex we offer one of the best pay packages in the industry and a fantastic work life culture too, it's something that has set us apart from our competition, and the good news is we are looking to expand.
Want to hear more top tips for recruiters? Or see the latest careers at Vertex?