Ever met a recruiter who can honestly say it was always part of their plan to become a recruiter? Me neither. It’s an excellent industry to get into, and there’s good money to be made if you’re good at it.
Always be learning
As a profession, recruitment takes time, effort and determination to master – there are no quick wins here! The key to finding any career truly fulfilling is to continuously educate yourself on what it takes to stay top of your game – regardless of how well you’re performing. Whether this means befriending top performers in the industry and asking them to mentor you, or simply swatting up on new industry jargon, make every day a school day.
Mastering this career isn’t just about knowing recruitment inside out, either – it’s about understanding the ins and outs of how businesses work in your sector more generally, too. Becoming an expert in your recruitment niche will mean you can make yourself more valuable to both candidates and clients in that industry. The more you know, the more you’ll have to offer (and the more success stories you’ll have as a result!).
Set personal goals
Recruitment is a career in which your skills and hard work are directly linked to your results, which can make it incredibly rewarding (in both senses of the word!). Every success you have, you really experience the high, but you also feel the pressure when you don’t meet targets too. Therefore, if you’re results-driven, you’re likely to thrive in recruitment.
However, you’ll find this career even more fulfilling if you go beyond hitting your targets every month: think about the personal development goals you’d like to reach as well as your company targets. For example, goals like, “I want to have a solid understanding about X in my market” or “I want to become better at writing job adverts by reading book Y” are more about goals that benefit you than the business, but they matter just as much. Your monthly targets are goals that someone else has set you, so be sure to set your own as well.
Think of it like building your own business
You have your targets, you have your expertise to sell to candidates and clients, and every success you have you directly benefit from. In this sense, running your desk is really like running your own mini-business.
Every day, you’ll be building on your own portfolio of clients and candidates, and if you’ve done a good job looking after them, this will prove valuable for years to come.
If you have ideas of how you can grow your ‘mini business’ (and therefore, the company at large), talk to management; one of the great things about recruitment is the autonomy you have to build your own desk.
Become part of the community
When I first started out in the industry, every recruiter I spoke to held their cards very close to their chest – if they had the secret sauce, they didn’t want to share it with anyone. But it’s amazing to see how much things have changed!
Nowadays, there’s a real sense of community within the sector. We’re behaving more in the way that the marketing industry has been behaving for years: Networking with each other (not just with clients and candidates) and sharing best practises, hints and tips to succeed.
There are some great Facebook Groups, industry events and Crowdcasts online that you can participate in to become more immersed in the recruitment community. Growing your network of people who do the same job will make you feel part of something worthwhile and help you become even better at what you do.
Recognise the impact that you have
I don’t believe recruiters give themselves enough credit when it comes to the impact they can make: the work you do can literally change a candidate’s life forever! Placing people in their dream jobs is something you get the chance to do most days of your job. It’s important to remind yourself of this (particularly on the hard days).
I remember securing my first rung on the sales ladder years ago thanks to a recruiter. They sent me on the path that took me where I am today, and I’m still grateful for that. Which is why we’re still in touch!
Not only do you make a difference to candidates’ lives, but placing right-fit candidates with your clients can have a huge positive impact on their business as well. It doesn’t get more rewarding than that.