Success is something that many people strive for professionally, and which holds a different definition for everyone. Within recruitment, success is especially crucial if you want to have a longstanding career, as it is such a fast-paced industry and one which is highly competitive. APAC’s Top Biller here at SThree for the last two years and Engineering Sales Team Manager, Jim Economos, talks us through his personal journey at SThree and the top tips which he has learned along the way in the following piece.
Starting out at SThree, like many others who join the industry, I had no prior recruitment experience and just kind of ended up in the game! My background is actually within the Australian Defence force, where I worked mainly in the communications and systems information space. With no prior sales experience at all, I applied for a role upon leaving the military which actually lead me to meet with a consultant from SThree and hence lead to me entering the recruitment industry.
A certain type of person makes a good recruiter…
While those who enter recruitment are a varied bunch, I do think that certain similar characteristics contribute to being a strong recruiter. I personally think, through learning from my peers and also from those that I manage and have managed over the years that you need to have a competitive edge and be motivated by both money and competition alike to get ahead in this industry. I also think resilience is a big factor that comes into play – there is always going to be highs and lows and so you have to be prepared for the various challenges that will come your way and not let them demotivate you.
It’s an industry where hard work is recognized and success is celebrated…
Throughout my career, I have had many career highlights. After winning Rookie of the Year within my first year at the business, I went on to win the award for the highest GP the very next year. I have now been APAC’s Top Biller for the last two years consecutively, and Australia’s Top Biller for the past three. Due to my continued success within the company, I have been on trips to the Hunter Valley, Whitsundays, and Byron Bay within Australia, as well as Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore and New Zealand globally. Recruitment as an industry, in general, is renowned for celebrating success to encourage competition. At SThree, hard work is definitely recognized and there are various incentives for consultants to work hard, such as regular Club Lunches and awards for top performance at our annual AGMs. There are also smaller incentives which are run throughout the year in the offices aimed at encouraging healthy competition between employees. This culture of recognizing hard work has greatly contributed to getting me to where I am now in my professional career as it has pushed me to work harder and persevere in order to beat the competition and excel.
Keep the opportunity for progression in mind
Just because you don’t come from a sales background, or have a relevant qualification such as HR, doesn’t mean you won’t go far in recruitment or that you are at a disadvantage. When I started at SThree, I worked on a cold desk, meaning nothing was handed to me on a plate. I had to build up my market and have since managed to bill almost AUD 3million in five years from a standing start. As mentioned above, I have also managed to go from winning Rookie of the Year to becoming a Sales Team Manager and managing a team of five consultants. I think this shows that the potential for growth is quite limitless within recruitment if you’re willing to put the work in. You get out what you put in, and you have to be hungry to do so. There is no doubt that there will be good days and bad days, and therefore the resilience factor which I mentioned above is critical. I think that with every job or role you enter, having a clear goal in mind is important. In recruitment, this could be anything from beating your last GP to getting that next promotion. There are many different stages of the recruitment career path, from Associate Consultant to Sales Team Manager, and everything in between, it’s quite a direct career path in comparison with other industries, which I think helps in terms of keeping that next step on the ladder in mind.
It’s not as glamorous as it may seem
One common preconception is that recruiters lead a glamorous life, make a lot of money and enjoy a great social life. I can now confirm that for the majority of us that is most definitely a misconception! Being brutally honest, the first two years in recruitment are really hard work, and also very critical to your overall success down the line. It offers the prime opportunity to build up your market, and create both a name for yourself and the service which you can provide within the industry. While these years may seem very challenging at times, if you stick it out and have a strong work ethic, it will make the next three to four years a lot more enjoyable. There will be long hours, and there will be days you might want to throw in the towel, but if you listen to those around you and capitalize on all opportunities, you will begin to reap the rewards.
Continuous learning and development is key to success
Recruitment is an industry that is ever-changing and evolving, and therefore there are constantly new trends to be aware of and new skills to hone in on. I like to think I am continuously learning as I go along, but there are also some things that I learned pretty early on. This included adopting the mentality that building up trust and a strong relationship with your clients and candidates is a much better approach than just being transactional. I also learned that it’s wise to think of your first impression as your lasting one, even if this isn’t always the case. One thing which I’ve found at SThree is that there is an abundance of room for learning and development opportunities throughout one’s recruitment career. I feel I’ve received plenty of training which has helped me develop, through programmes such as Recruitment Campus and later down the line, Train the Trainer. I have also received extensive Blueprint training which is our key engagement initiative launched globally to ensure we follow best practice when dealing with both clients and candidates in the contract market. Progression should always be on the horizon in recruitment if you are doing your job right. I think I can definitely vouch for the above statement by way of my own personal journey, as someone who didn’t even know that recruitment was a career choice to now being in a management position. I am looking forward to continuing this learning and development in 2020, to grow both my team and my market and to building on my own success and the overall success of the business to date!
Hopefully the above shows that success is essentially something that has to be earned and not handed to you. What qualifies as success may vary from person to person both in a professional and personal capacity, but in the end, it all comes down to working with what you’re given to the best of your abilities.
If you would like to find out more about the above or are looking to discuss the next step in your success story then please feel free to get in touch with SThree at the below contact details –
+ 61 (0) 2 9285 1000