What is Recruitment?

Recruitment is the process of connecting businesses and organisations (clients) with skilled job seekers (candidates).
A Recruitment Consultant is a challenging sales role in a fast-paced, target-driven and highly competitive industry, that offers those who are successful incentives and rewards far greater than many other industries.

Skills essential to recruitment

  • Excellent organisation and planning skills
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Confident communication skills – on the phone, through e-mail and face to face
  • A passion to be successful
  • Resilience

What does a recruiter do?

As a 360 recruitment consultant, you will be responsible for the entire process of securing new business, acquiring requirements (vacancies) and sourcing high-quality candidates (job seekers) to fill those roles.

Picking up requirements 

To be able to make placements you will need to pick up requirements (vacancies) from a client. To do this you will need to have successfully sold your businesses services to the client, ahead of the numerous other recruitment agencies who are also in pursuit of the hiring companies business. It is this competition between recruitment agencies which can cause hiring managers to be reluctant to engage with agencies; so strong relationship building skills are essential. You will need to be able to overcome objections and provide evidence of your ability as a specialist recruiter.

One of the biggest challenges in the early stages of a recruitment consultants career is a lack of experience or a ‘proven track record’. Experienced recruiters are able to describe in detail their previous successes of placing candidates in the chosen clients industry, as well as have a deep technical understanding of the clients’ requirements. Without this experience, you will need to utilise your sales skills and the experience of your team in order to sell your services to a potential client.


When you receive a requirement (vacancy) from your client, you will then need to find the perfect candidate (job seeker) to fill that role. You will use in combination an existing CRM (extensive database of existing candidates accumulated by the recruitment company) and advertisements to source and attract the appropriately skilled candidate. Your role as the intermediary is to sell the requirement to the candidate, and the candidate to the client (which is what makes recruitment a sales job.)

The challenge

In recruitment, multiple things need to happen for you to successfully place a candidate.

  • You will need to be able to attract a client by overcoming objections and using your sales skills to obtain requirements
  • Deliver outstanding levels of service at all times
  • Source the perfect candidate for the requirement
  • Candidate needs to agree to the terms of the requirement
  • Candidate needs to be successful in what can be a multi-staged hiring process
  • The client needs to agree to the candidates’ terms

Things that can go wrong

  • The client no longer has a need for the vacancy
  • Delays in the hiring process from the client or candidate can cause the other to not wish to pursue
  • The candidate changes their mind mid-hiring process
  • External impacts – the economy, personal commitments, health – all have the ability to change the course of the hiring process.
  • Security checks/work permits.
  • No show’s (Yes, it happens. Far more often than you might expect.)

The rewards

  • Basic Salary plus commission – For those who are successful in recruitment, the earning potential is extremely high. Recruitment agencies charge companies a % of the vacancies salary and a consultant receives a % of the fee.
  • Beyond intrinsic rewards, many recruiters express pride in being a key player in the growth of large companies by supplying high-quality candidates.
  • Many agencies have excellent incentive schemes that support outstanding performance. For example, at Whitehall, we often hold team and individual challenges that create a great sense of team spirit and fun at work. Some of the incentives we offer our consultants include champagne, Amazon gift vouchers, use of the company sports cars, day trips, weekends to our villa in Portugal and Milestone celebrations. Our Christmas party is a chance for every member of the Whitehall team to reflect on and celebrate the previous year as well as recognise individual success stories during the ‘Whitehall Awards’ presentation.

Changing peoples lives

Changing lives may sound a little dramatic, however, a change in career can have a huge impact on a candidates income, location, lifestyle and even impact the lives of their families – many recruiters have built amazing relationships with their candidates and take pride in being able to have helped them to achieve their career goals.

Next article – ‘Considering a career in recruitment?’

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