Moving from university to recruitment

Studying at university is a great experience: you meet lots of people, have a great social life and you get to learn lots of skills that will prepare you for the “real world”. True, you also have to complete lots of coursework and have sleepless nights during exams, but all in all it is a very unique experience.

The challenge comes right after graduation:  what do I do next?

Many graduates know exactly what they want to do after they get their diploma, especially when studying for very linear careers such as accounting or medicine; some even have already one or two jobs offers lined up. Other graduates are not so sure about what direction to take, which is very common when their degree is open to lots of different career paths, for example, Business Management, History or languages.

According to recent research, 52% of graduates in the UK work in an industry or career that is not directly related to their degree. Businesses are aware of this and are happy to hire all types of graduates because they know the value of their transferrable skills, but also, because having the right personality and attitude is the most important thing for most jobs.

What skills are employers looking for?

Regardless of the particular skills that you learned in relation to your degree, there are two skills that you have learned at university that will help you in the professional world: you know how to manage and be responsible for your own work and your own results, and you know how to socialise and network. These two skills can make the difference when in a working environment, and are key for some careers, such as recruitment.

At Whitehall, we are always looking for graduates who are interested in working in the recruitment industry. In fact, some of our Senior Consultants and Team Leads are graduates and have never looked back. We asked some of them about their experience and this is what they said:

Freedom to control your own work and earnings

“I studied Lighting and Sound at University. It sounded a fun and glamorous career, but it was actually a very repetitive job with no social life.  It is a very linear career path, meaning I could not easily move to another branch, like finance or accounting. I made the jump into recruitment because no experience was needed, and the earning potential seemed much better. I am now a Senior Consultant and I have been transferred to the office in Frankfurt, where I am gaining international experience. Recruitment also feels like being back at uni – you have freedom to manage your own work and you get out what you put in, just instead of good grades you get a higher income.“

Great social life

“I studied Marketing at university and enjoyed the busy social life and meeting new people. I decided to work in recruitment to be able to continue the networking aspect but at a more professional level. I speak with clients and candidates on a daily basis and sometimes also meet them either in business or more casual environments. I also enjoy spending time with my colleagues – we have a really cool team! I have been at Whitehall for seven years now and I am really enjoying it: I have the social life I wanted, I feel successful and I have the ability to earn more than I would if I had followed my degree path. “

A fun and active job

“I studied Drama and Performing Arts at university but I worked mostly in hospitality so I was always busy and talking to lots of people. The thought of working in an office never appealed to me as it seemed boring. I joined Whitehall a few years ago and I have never been bored. It is a very active job, and every day is different. The most important thing to me is that I can actively make a difference in my earnings. My advice for graduates would be to give it a go. You never know until you try. You have nothing to lose and lots to win. “

Other perks of working at Whitehall

  • An international atmosphere (think London without the long commute)
  • You will be working for the 19th “Best Small Company” in the UK
  • We like to socialize and to have fun at work. We organise events for charity, and we also have Christmas and summer parties.
  • Catered food when we hit big company milestones!
  • We have an in-house training team. You’ll first attend ‘boot camp’, where you are introduced to recruitment, the candidates and clients you’ll work with and the software you’ll use. You then receive ongoing training on a variety of topics – sales, technology, leadership and more. The learning and development never ends.
  • We like perks and incentives – we have themed meeting rooms, a ping pong table, a pool table, a fun breakout area and incentives such as lunch clubs, the use of company cars and a Portugal villa that you can use when exceeding your targets.
  • Depending on the seniority of your role and the team you are working in, you could also be visiting clients whether it is within the UK or abroad. Our international clients are from six different continents and are usually based in business hub cities such as Prague, Dubai and Copenhagen

Would you like to learn more about recruitment?

Are you looking for a job in recruitment? See our latest vacancies. We are hiring!