If you’re considering a role in recruitment, or you’re just finding out about the career potential it offers, you may have already recognised some of the attributes that attract so many to the industry. There are plenty of reasons to step into recruitment, but we’ve tried to cut the list down and focus on the stand-out factors.
Low entry levels
A university degree and x years’ experience are frequently seen requirements for entry to high-earning industries, something that frustrates many job seekers in the UK. Recruitment is one of the few industries without these boundaries and is still able to boast high earning potential. Recruitment agencies are on the lookout for people who are passionate about the opportunity and are able to express a clear motivation to be successful in a challenging industry. Ultimately, they hire people they believe can be successful.
It’s more than sales
Many people have told me that they think recruitment is just another sales job, they couldn’t be more off the mark. The majority of agencies have a range of teams each complementing different skills and attributes. For example, a candidate who would be interested in a Client Services role would need to be good at negotiating, confident in face-to-face meetings with high profile clients and candidates, as well as happy to travel across the UK. In contrast, our Team Leader roles require strong coaching skills and the ability to lead a team to achieve their personal and team targets. There are many skills needed to be successful in recruitment, sales being just one of them. Whether you enjoy being able to match a candidate to their dream job, or supporting big brands in the growth of their talent, there are roles to suit most personalities.
In a target driven environment, your performance doesn’t go unnoticed. Personal KPIs (Key Performance Indicators; sales targets, phone times etc) are great as they give you the opportunity to be recognised for what you do. Consultants who consistently deliver and are able to show the competencies of a leader will soon find development opportunities. This is apparent when understanding the numbers of recruitment managers who began their careers as consultants.
Influence your income
You could argue that all careers offer the opportunity to influence your income, but there’s not many where you can see fast results. Outside of recruitment, most workers will only see a pay-rise when they earn promotion. Recruiters start earning commission as soon as they start placing candidates, seeing immediate benefits to their bank balance.
A good recruitment agency will have have a range of incentives that they use to reward high performing teams and consultants. These can range from bottles of bubbly to trips abroad, so it’s certainly worth taking a look at what the agency you’re looking to work for has on offer. The incentives don’t just help you to stay motivated to meet targets, the rewards are often social activities and events, helping you to get to know your colleagues better.
It’s important for consultants to have a relationship with the clients and candidates beyond phone calls and emails. International consultants find themselves travelling overseas to pitch to clients or meet with candidates. Multinational agencies may offer opportunities for secondment or even more long-term placements by transferring branches.
Work with the best
A great recruiter will have great relationships with key-stakeholders in leading organisations. As businesses frequently need to outsource their needs, especially in specialist roles, it gives you the opportunity to be the go-to guy/girl to source the perfect candidate.
There’s a trend in recruitment, higher base salary / low commission vs low base salary / high commission. Finding the right role will depend on your personal goals. Here a few key things to consider.
Average salary, low commission.
- Higher entry requirements
- Stable income
- Less self-pressure to achieve basic targets
- Lower overall earning potential
Low basic salary, high commission
- Uncapped earning potential
- Big increases in your take-home salary
- Income is not determined by seniority
In a low basic, high commission environment an entry-level recruitment consultant can earn more than their manager through their commission alone. You, of course, need to have a high level of ability to reach these high earning figures, but it is possible. Hard work, a passion for the role and the determination and commitment to succeed will be essential for anyone with the ambition to be in the higher-earning tier. The down-side is the basic salary itself, but if you learn quickly and can handle the lower income in the early days, the rewards, later on, will be significant.
Average basic and low commission supports a consultant early in their career when they may not have the necessary skills to consistently earn commission through placements. An experienced recruiter with high ability may question the rewards they receive when consistently adding value to the business, missing out on higher percentages of commission and finding themselves reaching their cap.
Next article – ‘What does a Recruitment Consultant actually do?’