A Career as a Recruitment Consultant

Overview

A Recruitment Consultant acts on behalf of employers to help them find suitable candidates for vacancies within their company.  To achieve this, the Consultant needs to be able to ascertain exactly what the job requirements are to ensure that they find the right candidates.  Recruitment Consultants may also negotiate fees with their clients and liaise with them after placing a candidate to obtain feedback on their progress.

Job seekers who register with recruitment agencies will generally be required to have face-to-face interviews with a Recruitment Consultant so that their skills can be assessed and advice given on any further training that may help their job search.  A Recruitment Consultant may manage a portfolio of job seekers who they will contact as suitable job opportunities arise.

On a daily basis, a Recruitment Consultant is also involved in general administrative duties including preparing job advertisements, arranging interviews, maintaining client files and marketing the recruitment agency to attract new clients.

Possibly the most essential quality for a Recruitment Consultant is excellent communicative ability in order to liaise confidently and professionally with both clients and job seekers.  Ultimately, it is a sales role which is usually target driven involving selling the services of the agency to the client and then selling vacancies to the job seekers.

Entry requirements

Although a general standard of education is required for entry into the industry, sales or personnel experience is more important.  Some recruitment agencies that deal primarily with executive placements now also offer graduate training programs.  Many of the high street recruitment agencies, including Adecco, Pertemps and Manpower, tend to cover all industry sectors whereas other agencies may chose to specialize in a certain sector.  For example, Reed Health Group specializes in recruiting nurses and the Spencer Group specializes in IT recruitment, so experience in these industries will be advantageous if you wish to specialize.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) offers a Certificate and Diploma in Recruitment Practice and they have recently introduced a Foundation Degree and BA Degree in Recruitment Practice in conjunction with Middlesex University Business School.  The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) also offer a Level III Certificate in Recruitment and Selection and an NVQ Level III in Recruitment.

Progression opportunities

There are numerous recruitment agencies across the country which makes the industry very competitive but one in which vacancies are relatively common.  Progression is possible up to a senior level and particularly successful Recruitment Consultants can work as Headhunters who are responsible for locating and approaching suitable candidates for a particular job, usually at executive level.

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