The Life of a Recruitment Consultant | Everything you need to know

Recruitment Consultant cover

The following article will relay everything one needs to know about becoming a Recruitment Consultant. What is a Recruitment Consultant and what does a Recruitment Consultant do are amongst the important topics covered.

First and foremost, what is a Recruitment Consultant? It is important to acknowledge that a Recruitment Consultant carries out a wide variety of tasks in their day-to-day job. Recruitment Consultants help employers find suitable staff, and match people to permanent and temporary jobs. As well as this, they work with companies that are seeking to hire new personnel and find the most qualified candidates for the open job positions. The latter involves closely working with hiring companies to comprehend their requirements and create recruitment strategies accordingly, but also with job applicants, to explore and discover their strengths and competencies. A Recruitment Consultant also offers both parties, the organisations and potential employees, advice on how to improve their recruitment process and career prospects, respectively. A Recruitment Consultant possess sound judgement, sales skill, marketing expertise and communication aptitude.

Frequently you will find a Recruitment Consultant will specialise in a specific industry or business type, recruiting professionals into roles and organisations within that space. An example of this may be, a Recruitment Consultant specialises in the finance sector and works mostly with financial organisations, placing candidates into roles such accountancy and financial analysis. On the other hand, a Recruitment Consultant may specialise in the marketing field, and cooperate mainly with digital marketing agencies for which they recruit roles such as CRM managers and SEO copywriters.

What does a Recruitment Consultant do?

As mentioned before, a Recruitment Consultant undertakes a variety of tasks in their day-to-day job activities. Since they are the vital link between clients and candidates the role is demanding and diverse. Recruitment Consultant job descriptions reflect the different responsibilities they have.

Key responsibilities include finding clients and fostering long-term relationships with them, negotiating contracts, interviewing and assessing prospective applicants and matching them with vacancies at client companies, screening candidates and drawing up shortlists of candidates for clients to interview, organising interviews and selection events, making arrangements for advertisement of vacancies and helping applicants to prepare for interviews by offering CV, interview and general career advice. Other responsibilities include advising on and selling the most appropriate solution for attracting candidates and maintaining a candidate database, assessing, and responding to the needs of each client or assignment, and networking to build business information that can be converted into commercial opportunities. Moreover, constantly reviewing and improving recruitment policies to ensure a higher rate of proposed candidates that get hired by client companies is another key responsibility that Recruitment Consultants have. Finally, a Recruitment Consultant also communicates with candidates after their interviews and discusses their results in the form of feedback, which is very important for the maintenance of good relationships with candidates and a good reputation for the company.

Salary – how much does a Recruitment Consultant earn?

How much a Recruitment Consultant earns depends on the sectors and locations. On top of the basic salary that a Recruitment Consultant earns, many recruitment firms also pay commission and have incentive-based remuneration which suggests that high performers can significantly increase their take-home pay. To ensure a high initial salary, recruiters need to perform well in their communication and sales techniques.

Qualifications – how to become a Recruitment Consultant?

The routes into the career of becoming a Recruitment Consultant are open to both graduates and school leavers. According to many Recruitment Consultant job descriptions, graduates with a degree in any discipline are acceptable for entry into the profession, even though a qualification in a relevant subject such as management or human resources for example would be advantageous. For specialist recruitment agencies, a specialised degree in law or accountancy for example may be necessary. Postgraduate studies are only usually necessary for the latter specialist recruitment agencies since it can help a Recruitment Consultant position for companies that specialise in those specific areas of expertise.

Moreover, a potential Recruitment Consultant can also enter this profession if they have relevant administrative, commercial, sales or HR experience. The recruitment industry is very competitive, therefore any extra qualifications one may have is often beneficial. Experience appropriate to the recruitment area may be vital in some fields such as law, accountancy and engineering.

Entering the Recruitment Consultant career route without a degree, or being a school leaver, is still possible for those candidates that have enough experience and can demonstrate any necessary skills. Rather than specific qualifications, employers value drive, experience, skills and abilities, as well as the determination to succeed. Being goal orientated is also very important.

There is no formal training required for becoming a Recruitment Consultant. However, most employers do prefer to hire university graduates that have completed a degree in any subject area, as mentioned above. Moreover, often on-the-job training formal courses will likely be given to candidates, especially when it is their first role as a Recruitment Consultant. Another way to gain training for a Recruitment Consultant role is through online courses.

Key skills for Recruitment Consultants

Given the diverse work activities a Recruitment Consultant needs to carry out on a day-to-day basis, there are some key skills they need to encompass, according to Recruitment Consultant job descriptions. Firstly, they need to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills since they are constantly working with other companies and potential candidates. The ability to be compelling and persuasive can also only benefit a Recruitment Consultant. As well as this, a Recruitment Consultant needs to have sales and negotiation skills, especially important for when they are negotiating contracts, terms, fees and salaries. Sales skills also come in handy since a Recruitment Consultant constantly needs to prospect the market for opportunities and find companies that are in need of recruitment consulting. Moreover, a goal-orientated approach to work, the ability to handle multiple priorities, problem-solving abilities and the ability to meet deadlines and targets are equally as crucial. Furthermore, having the ambition and the determination to succeed, tenacity, confidence and self-motivation, time management and organisational skills, commercial awareness, presentation skills, team working skills and being creative, are also key skills a Recruitment Consultant should possess. Team-working skills are necessary because Recruitment Consultants and their client companies typically need to work together in order to find the best candidates for each role. This suggests that a successful Recruitment Consultant needs to have the ability to integrate work within a team and collaborate with all departments involved in the recruitment process. Finally, working in a high-pressure environment and dealing with the responsibility that comes with it is also important.

Work experience

Experience in sales, marketing or any customer-oriented role can be useful when starting a career as a Recruitment Consultant. Active membership of student societies also suggests that the person entails the necessary communication skills in order to be successful in their role. Recruitment consultancies often accept applications from those without recruitment industry experience if they demonstrate the right combination of the necessary skills and personal qualities a Recruitment Consultant should have.

Career prospects

Choosing a career path of becoming a Recruitment Consultant can open many doors for future career opportunities. Except for becoming a Recruitment Consultant, within the same industry job roles such as a Principal Recruitment Consultant, Recruitment Manager and Recruitment Director can arise as good future career prospects.

While some Recruitment Consultants stay in recruitment, others search for opportunities in other industries. The skills one gains from working as a Recruitment Consultant are easily transferrable to a range of other professions, although some additional study may be required for some roles. Examples of these other opportunities include:

  • Public relations
  • Account management
  • Events planning
  • Career counselling
  • General counselling
  • Real estate
  • Human resource management

Recruitment consultant interview questions

How do you stand out from the crowd in this competitive and overpopulated industry? Recruitment Consultant interview questions is one of the answers to this question! There are various Recruitment Consultant interview questions ranging from operational and situational questions, role-specific questions and behavioural questions. Examples of these include:

  1. Why do you want to work in recruitment? What attracted you to this position? What are your motivations?
  2. What do you know about the recruitment industry/the company you are applying for a job with?
  3. What do you think is key to a successful career in recruitment?
  4. What are your career goals?
  5. Which other recruitment companies have you applied for jobs with?
  6. How would you deal with daily setbacks?
  7. How would you handle a candidate who was unqualified for a particular role?
  8. Why did you leave your previous job?
  9. Do you prefer working independently or under supervision?
  10. Give me an example of a time you disagreed with a client. How did you resolve it?

Related jobs and courses

Similar job titles and professions to a Recruiter are Talent Acquisition Partner, Talent Manager, Director of Recruiting, Account Recruiting Manager, Recruitment Coordinator, Relationship Management, Sourcing Specialist, Staffing Specialist, Staffing Manager and Human Resources Specialist.

Do you have a passion for people Feel free to contact us for more information and consultation.