You often hear contrasting accounts of what it’s like – some will tell you it’s the most stressful, soul-destroying career you could choose. Others will tell you it’s a highly fulfilling and financially rewarding career path.
So what do I think about it – is it all just targets, pressure and worry, or is the feeling of joy experienced in helping people find jobs they’ll love actually the overwhelming emotion?
My journey hasn’t been a traditional one. Typically, people start in recruitment and progress into a career in HR – mine has been the reverse.
Sure, it depends on the person, and also the organisation and industry, but there are lots of really positive things – here are my top 8:
1. It’s highly rewarding
The common counter-argument to someone saying it’s a stressful job is the financial rewards – and rightly so! It’s true: depending on the role and company, you are able to earn good money if you succeed in achieving your targets, but it’s all down to you! You’re unlikely to earn huge amounts as a base salary, so you need to be committed and self-motivated.
2. You’ll build up an impressive set of skills
To be a truly successful recruiter you have to develop a number of different skills, such as:
- Problem solving
- Relationship building
Developing these will benefit you both personally and professionally throughout your life and career, whatever direction you choose to take.
3. You get to help candidates achieve their goals
Perhaps the most fulfilling part of the job is assisting people with finding the right job for them. And sometimes you can even be a part of fundamentally changing their life for the better. On an emotional level this is satisfying for both parties, and over time the honing of this art will make you a better recruiter.
4. You get to solve clients’ problems
As mentioned earlier, problem solving is a required skill for any recruiter. Whilst it can be challenging, finding the solution to the issues that your clients face is both highly fulfilling and lucrative.
5. Every day is different
Whilst there’s a rhythm to what you’re doing, every day is completely different. In fact, even if you followed the exact same routine each day, you would still experience a totally different day each time! That’s because it’s a people business, and your day is full of interactions with humans. And humans are by nature quite unpredictable! (This is evident from all of my years working in HR!). It never gets boring, I can tell you that much.
In addition, the required skills in each sector are constantly evolving, and the skill gaps present across industries shift over time, so it’s rare to find a market so static that it would lose your interest.
6. Your market is not for life
Many recruiters choose to specialise in a core market that fits with their knowledge, strengths and interest. The great news is that even if you choose to do this to be the go-to recruiter in your niche, it doesn’t have to be for life: there are many transferrable skills that mean it’s not outside the realm of possibility to make a change of markets.
7. Different roles suit different people – it’s not all sales!
There are different roles that could be right for you, depending on your skills and personality type. So, if you think you would just like to help people find work and build relationships with candidates, you can be a resourcer or a delivery recruiter. If you want to do that – as well as seeking out new business opportunities and forming long lasting relationships with clients, you can be a consultant.
If you love winning new business you could be in business development, or if you want to focus on a small amount of clients and really develop relationships, you can be an account manager.
8. You get to influence
If you’re doing your job right you should become a trusted partner to your clients and they should be listening to your guidance, because you’re the expert. In this manner you can have quite a bit of influence on how they recruit.