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Key skills for a recruitment consultant
Working as a recruitment consultant is fast-paced, challenging and highly rewarding. You’ll need to be extremely organised, a strong communicator, be highly adaptable with a thick skin. For those who excel in this industry it is a highly rewarding career, both from a personal perspective and from a financial one. Many recruiters say that their favourite thing about the job is the fast paced and exciting atmosphere, or being able to work in a team and help each other to reach goals.
In recruitment you will have to juggle multiple projects and be highly adaptable to quick change. For people who thrive in a competitive environment, recruitment is the ideal career choice and is a place where your key skills in these areas will come into play:
Being a strong communicator is fundamental in many jobs and recruitment is no different. You will need to be able to communicate clearly and purposefully with colleagues, clients and candidates, at all times. You will also often be the go between when a client and candidate are negotiating, so it is imperative that you are giving all parties the correct information at the correct time. Being able to negotiate and problem solve rests on your ability to communicate with people from different professional backgrounds at different levels of seniority, and build relationships while you go.
In recruitment the landscape can change in an instant. Take an example where your candidate has provisionally accepted an offer from one of your clients. Great news and you have informed other applicants that they were unsuccessful. However, at the last minute your candidate pulls out and accepts a job elsewhere. You will need to think fast and figure out a solution that works for everyone or you risk damaging your relationship with your client. Your resourcefulness, how you adapt to these scenarios and overcome obstacles, will go a long way to deciding how successful you will be as a recruitment consultant.
Negotiation is a central part of the role of the recruitment consultant. This is both in negotiating terms with your client over a recruitment approach and relating costs to them, and also when a candidate and client are negotiating things like salaries and job offers. You will serve as the intermediary and it is your job to come to a solution which is acceptable to both parties. Your client will want to secure their favoured applicant while not spending over the budget, while your candidate will be looking for the best salary and pay deal they can get. The ability to negotiate a solution which works for both parties is a key skill which all recruiters will need to master.
Much like adaptability, the ability to problem solve is an important one. No two days are ever the same in recruitment and problems which need fixing are a common occurrence. A candidate is having cold feet about a role, or is running late for an interview – what do you do? Your client needs three new hires by the end of next week and the market is short on quality candidates – how do you find them? Those who are able to solve problems such as these and maintain strong relationships will thrive in recruitment.
While on the surface recruitment may seem like quite an individual pursuit, in reality it’s centred around teamwork and supporting colleagues to meet their goals. Recruiters often share the workload and will work in collaboration on projects, or with key clients. They will share leads and strong candidates, and support a colleague who is struggling to find the right fit for their client. Teams are often broken down into groups by specialism or region and those groups will work together on shared goals.
Perhaps premier among all of these core skills is organisation. Recruitment is fast paced, ever changing. You will be juggling multiple clients, have numerous jobs on file, and are likely have a large database of active clients. Mix this with daily offsite meetings and briefings, regular training, working with colleagues on shared projects and screening applications, and your workload can quickly get muddled. Being highly organised and able to balance all of this is crucial.
If you would like to learn more about the work of a recruitment consultant visit our Work for Us page where you can find out all you need to know about this industry and if you like what you see, we would love to hear from you as we are always on the lookout for talented new consultants to join the team.