Why everyone should work in recruitment, at least once.
For selfish reasons - because we all need to get jobs, we all need a career. What better way to understand the hiring process than to run one?
As I’m sure many will relate to, only the lucky few (or very self-aware) will follow a defined career path. Most will meander a little, maybe perform a 180 along the way. Sometimes more than once. For myself, the move to recruitment came from a desire to leave the events industry and get my weekends and evenings back.
I was warned against the move – I may be paraphrasing but I remember comments along the lines of ‘recruitment is the devil’s work’ and ‘they’re all a bunch of sharks’. But that hadn’t been my experience from my interview. My gut told me these were great people who knew a lot about their industry. You should always listen to your gut.
Since joining Beringer Tame I’ve learnt so much about business structure, and the whole digital and ecommerce industry; it blew my previously blinkered mind! As well as industry-specific insights there are also obvious, more general recruitment gems I’ve picked up along the way that I’m very thankful for.
Here are my top learnings from my time as a specialist recruiter:
How to write a killer CV. Because I’ve had to read hundreds. And it’s one thing to read a helpful article about how to write a good CV, but NOTHING compares to actually being the person that sifts through CVs. I’ve learnt how hiring managers view and read CVs; it’s changed my perception away from the viewpoint of writing one, to the viewpoint of reading one.
How recruiters work. And this could possibly be broadened to hiring managers on the whole. But looking specifically at recruiters – they are paid (usually on completing a placement) to find a perfect fit. If you get frustrated that you never hear back from recruiters, ask yourself – do you actually have the exact experience in your most recent role or two? If it isn’t blazingly obviously you’ve done the majority of the requirements before, there’s no way a recruiter can convince a client to consider you.
Recruitment processes can be messy. And it’s not always the recruiters fault! Not to make excuses, purely in the interest of transparency, a lot of a recruiter’s time is spent chasing feedback from their busy clients. We want to know too! We have a vested interest in getting you further along in the process. Don’t get frustrated with the recruiter, keep checking in sure, but remember we’re on your side.
What job ads are actually asking for. When an ad says you need to be ‘a good communicator’, ‘organised and able to work on your own initiative’ or ‘pro-active and driven’, you may tick all of these but if you’re a sandwich artist applying for an eCommerce Manager role, I can guarantee those traits mean nothing. A company is looking for what you can bring to the team to benefit them (probably commercially), not what they can teach you.
Good recruiters, in your specialism, are worth meeting. If you find a good recruiter, with lots of jobs in your field, get to know them. Personally not just professionally. Meet them for coffee and be totally honest about all your experience and what you’re looking for. Cut through the bigging-yourself-up interview BS – give them all the knowledge about you that you can and what you’re really looking for. It’s their job to negotiate for you, so if you have a genuine connection you’ll only benefit. And they’ll be more likely to think of you first for new roles.
It’s admittedly unlikely that upon reading this, everyone will make a move to work in a good recruitment company... but those few that find themselves with the opportunity should make sure to reap the benefits. Even if it’s only a temporary step for you, approach it with an open mind – achieve something for the company and for you. Learn the trade.
And if you aren’t convinced to leave your current job to try recruitment, take this on board instead: there are good recruiters out there - find one, and use them.
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