Why aren’t more graduates attracted to a career in recruitment?

I was recently looking to hire a junior candidate with some sales experience for a trainee recruitment consultant role, a task which I initially thought would be relatively easy. However it soon became apparent that finding suitable candidates to interview from the applications we were receiving was going to be a struggle…

In the past, graduate calibre candidates have worked out really well for us as they have the hunger to succeed that we are looking for and we’re also able to mould them into successful ‘Brand’ recruiters – avoiding having to undo some of the traits or bad habits an experienced recruitment consultant might have picked up that don’t quite fit with our company ethos. In our experience, these employees have gone on to do very well in recruitment and have progressed up the career ladder quickly due to their hard work and determination.

We were looking to recruit an energetic and driven graduate or college leaver to join our sociable team in the heart of Cambridge who had a little bit of sales experience so that we could ensure they were money motivated and keen to achieve. With the environment at our Head Office being busy, lively, friendly and motivated I thought it would be the perfect place for a confident and passionate graduate to begin their professional career. We were looking to recruit our new team member after the summer exam results were out, and were expecting to be inundated with applications from candidates with the qualities that we were looking for. Unfortunately this just didn’t happen, so when an experienced recruiter got in touch we decided to go down that route instead.

As a growing business we are always looking for fresh talent to join our team, so I’m concerned that the next time we are recruiting for a junior position we just won’t attract the candidates we know are out there who could be great for the role.

I studied business at university, and working in recruitment wasn’t something you thought of when considering options for work placements – unlike marketing, sales, operations management etc.. So are graduates really aware of what a career in recruitment can offer?

Of course money is usually the main attraction for working in recruitment as the commission structures at successful recruitment agencies are often very lucrative. Working as a recruitment consultant is in some ways like running your own business as you have control over how successful you can be if you put the time and effort in to building your desk. Being a Recruitment Consultant allows you to get to know different types of people and how best to deal with the different personalities that you encounter.

I think we have all heard the recruitment industry horror stories that are out there, but these usually relate to the hard sales tactics adopted by some recruiters or the excessively competitive environment of particular agencies. It’s possible that stories like these are overshadowing the pros of a recruitment sales career for candidates with only a small amount of work experience. On the other hand, is it just that these candidates don’t understand what the role involves and the benefits? Naturally, there are targets to meet in recruitment, but if you are competitive, money motivated and prepared to work hard to progress then recruitment will offer you a career that you will thoroughly enjoy.

So, what more do we need to do to tempt graduates into starting a career in recruitment?

graduate career in recruitment



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Great recruiters will always be in demand. No websites, processes or procedures will ever take the place of an effective recruiter. A Good recruiter garners the trust of candidates with truth & honesty. Candidates and hiring officials alike refer others to good recruiters.


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