Typically, the first time most people will meet a recruiter is on the candidate side of the desk, interviewing for a new job. Not so often, will people become a recruiter straight off the bat or plan for a long-term career in recruitment.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be on the recruiter’s side of the desk and if it’s a career worth looking into, we wouldn’t be a true recruitment agency if we didn’t tell you about the role and what type of person would make a good fit!
We spoke with Jack Finn, one of our Principal Consultants to find out a little more about his personal journey into recruitment, why a career in recruitment is worth the hard graft, and what type of person would make a great recruiter.
It’s never too late to get started in recruitment
First things first, whether you’re reading this and you’re a graduate fresh out of university, or you’re a little further down the career path and looking for something new, the best thing about the recruitment industry is it’s never too late to get into it. For Jack, his introduction to the industry happened by chance after a conversation with a friend.
“I first considered recruitment when a friend of mine at the time who was working for a boutique agency put the question past me. We’d been talking about what I did at the time - I was in telemarketing sales - and he asked if I’d ever thought about getting into recruitment.”
From there, the process was pretty simple - Jack headed into an interview to find out what it was all about, and the rest is history. In fact, one of the best things about the recruitment industry is that there aren’t many entry barriers at all, and getting your foot in the door can be as simple as picking up the phone.
“We’ve taken on all sorts of people, from fresh out of uni graduates to ex-tradies and more recently, even an ex-olympian! It really is more of a character fit, but if you’re in sales, business development and HR - I’d encourage you to just pick up the phone and speak to a recruiter."
If a recruiter spoke to me today, or someone looking at getting into it, I’d definitely have a conversation with them. I think if you’re brave enough to pick up the phone and say “I’m interested in pursuing a career in recruitment” you’re already 50% there.”
We’ll be honest - it’s 12 months of hard work before you’re smooth sailing
The thing about recruitment, is that it takes most people a while to acclimatise, build a network of connections and start to see the fruits of your labour. To put it plainly - it’s a hard slog for the first year in the job.
“It’s not instant gratification, it does take a bit of time to settle down and build up a bit of a reputation. It’s not quick sales, it’s more of a long game instead of a short game.”
Why exactly is the first year so tricky, you ask? Well, as Jack puts it, the learning curve can be a hard one, and you need to be the kind of person who can handle rejection here and there.
“You’re learning phrases you’ve never heard of before, you’re speaking to industries that you’ve never known much about, so it’s getting to understand your product, candidates and knowledge of the industry.
Rejection is a big part. You’re essentially building everything up from zero, so you do have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince or princess!”
But never fear - if you’re the kind of person who’s confident enough to put themselves out there, are willing to stick it out, learn the lingo and are up for a challenge, you’ll reap the rewards as you progress through your career in recruitment. This brings us to our first benefit of joining the recruitment industry; progression.
Without further ado: Jack’s Top 4 Reasons to Join Recruitment
1. Career progression
One of the best things about choosing a career in recruitment is the growth you can expect as you progress through your career. A lot of recruiters join the industry fresh-faced, build up their reputation and quite quickly find themselves flying through the ranks.
“The end goal could be like Mark (our Managing Director) setting up his own recruitment company, or perhaps like Ben, running our Engineering division and managing a team. You do have to meet sales targets, but by showing certain behaviours and values within the business can help you get right up to the Divisional Manager or Director level within agencies.”
Unlike many other industries, you’re not just waiting on your manager to decide you’re ready to progress either, you really get the opportunity to put in the work, meet your targets and see tangible outcomes for yourself. If you’re someone who loves targets and subsequent progression through the ranks, recruitment could be perfect for you.
2. High earning potential
No matter what your ‘why’ is behind your job, everyone has to pay the bills, and earning a decent salary is always appealing. This is a big driver for a lot of recruiters - because typically recruitment pays from a base salary complemented with commission, your earning potential can be quite high.
“You earn what you put in. If you’re a self-motivator and it doesn’t take much pushing to get you out of bed in the morning, it’s financially rewarding. If you put in the effort, you do get rewarded for it.”
3. You get to genuinely help people
The average person spends one-third of their life at work. Finding your first job, changing career path, taking the next step or finding a job that you find truly fulfilling can be a life-changing event. In recruitment, you’re a pivotal part of a process that genuinely helps people.
“Besides the money aspect, if you’ve got a really good relationship with a client and candidate and you’ve done a really thorough job, you’ll see these candidates that you’ve placed get promoted, and the fulfillment you get from that is really good. You come out of it thinking you’ve made a change or difference in someone’s life - sounds cheesy but it does happen!”
For Jack, this is where the real job satisfaction comes into his role - placing people and seeing them grow in their roles is a gratifying process.
4. You’ll be pushed and grow professionally
If you’re the kind of person that likes variety in their day, always pushing your own boundaries and taking opportunities and running with them, you’ll love the day-to-day life of a recruiter. Because of the nature of the role, you’ll meet lots of people and stumble into opportunities that will push you out of your comfort zone.
“For example, I’ve recently been invited to do a presentation for two of my key clients, so there are lots of things that can be thrown at you that put you in the deep end. Being able to do that helps build your own personal brand as well as the companies - it’s a bit of a win-win.”
For Jack, this has also had an impact on him personally too.
“I’ve learnt what I’m capable of, what I can do and should be doing, or what I can do better. If you’re in an agency that’s very passionate about developing its staff, you’ll always be told what you can be doing to better yourself. That’s something that I’ve learnt - I don’t rest on my laurels. I always think about ‘what’s the next thing’ and not become stagnant.”
Sound like a good fit?
If you’ve made it this far, and it’s all sounding appealing and is something you’re interested in, Jack’s best advice is to make a move and ask someone about it.
“Just do it - very Nike, but if you’re thinking about it, enquire. There’s always a shortage of recruiters so if you’re passionate about people and looking to make a change, I would say explore the option. You can make money, grow and help people, build up a team, start your own business - it’s going to give you the skills to do whatever you want if you put yourself out there.”
And if that wasn’t convincing enough, the best part is, you don’t have to do it alone.
“Here at 84, you’re provided plenty of training - you’re not expected to just jump on the phone and chase your tail, you’re taught how to do the job.”
A pretty good deal, we think!
If this is resonating with you and you're keen to have a chat, please get in touch with the 84 team - we'd love to meet you!