Recruitment is not generally a career choice most people have from an early age. In fact, recruitment is often not a pre-planned career choice at all. We spoke to Aaron Smith, Recruitment Consultant at Progressive Recruitment, part of the larger SThree Group, about his journey into recruitment and his key learnings from the past year.
Coming from a Personal Training background, and prior to that having had previous experience in sales, I was used to interacting with people, albeit in a much different manner. I never saw myself in an office based role, but having been approached by SThree to join the business, even with no recruitment experience, I thought it might be a good avenue to explore. In a prior role I was often consulted when hiring new staff, however it was more like being the middle man in the process rather than actually leading it. Over the past year, I have learned a few things about recruitment which I had no idea about before. Here are five lessons I’ve learned along the way..
- Listen as much as you speak.
One quote which I feel is quite apt when it comes to recruitment is by Greek philosopher Epicteus – ‘’we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.’’ Although the majority of our time as a recruiter is spent on the phone or speaking to clients on visits, but listening is just as important in recruitment. We must really focus on what every client or candidate is saying in order to learn and deliver the results they are looking for.
- Never underestimate the power of networking.
Getting to know your market as soon as possible and learning as much as you can about it is crucial to success. This means increased engagement, so being vocal on LinkedIn and attending events would contribute to your success much quicker. Recruitment is a process driven job, and networking is part of this process. Think of it like a puzzle, which you tackle step by step – with the first milestone being your initial deal. The training I received at SThree has really helped me with this in terms of learning and development and has allowed me to follow that process to the best of my abilities.
- Entering recruitment requires learning a new skill set.
The biggest challenge I have found over the past year is coming from a practical background into an office based role and learning the new skillset which comes with that. Communicating with people predominantly via the phone is very different to face to face, and so this required some adjusting to. I suppose it involves improving and streamlining your communication skills to suit the criteria required. It can be difficult to build relationships without actually meeting the person first, but it is something which you learn and can improve on all the time.
- Perseverance and patience are key.
You often hear the phrase ‘’Recruitment is not for everyone’’, and I would be inclined to agree with this. I believe that to be a recruiter, you must be able to talk the talk and have confidence in your abilities. Beyond that, you must also be able to practice patience and perseverance as it can be quite a disheartening game from time to time. I think one thing which is important to point out is that you are not just there to make sales, but to build up a business of your own and grow it from all angles, which inevitably takes time.
- Take the title of consultant seriously.
My advice to anybody starting out in the industry, or to those thinking of doing so is to be a consultant and not just an order taker. You are there with the aim of becoming a specialist in the market. You should take the title of consultant quite literally, in that you and your clients or candidates consult with each other. Your clients and candidates have a need and you will aim to provide a solution.
Overall, I think what I have learned is that the world of recruitment is an ongoing learning process. You are consistently aiming to outdo yourself and make each month better than the last. The main aim is to build up your market until you’re the go-to person providing that service, and again that comes down to the power of networking. Continued growth is something I strive towards, not only in growing my market but within my recruitment career on a daily basis.
Above are just some of the main things I have learned from my first year in recruitment, but there are a lot of other intangible things that I have learned along the way as well which have helped me operate to the level I am at now. Year one in recruitment is definitely not easy, but I am very excited to tackle year two and see where it takes me.
Considering a career in recruitment? Please visit our SThree Careers page for more information on our current opportunities.