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Working in recruitment in the UK can be both rewarding from a job satisfaction point of view and a financial one. The UK recruitment industry continues to show good growth, with estimates suggesting around 20,000 recruitment companies operating here.
Since 2007, nearly 90% of turnover in the UK recruitment industry is that of contract and temporary placements, with it accounting for just over £30 billion of a total £35 billion in total revenue in the UK in 2017/18.
Recruitment jobs generally involve working for either a recruitment agency or within the human resources department of an organisation. General duties will include lots of communication, both face to face and via email and telephone, including of course, lots of interviews.
You will likely be involved in the entire hiring process, from initial consultation regarding job description, to posting the job, interviewing and final contract negotiations. Daily duties will be office based, but there will likely be plenty of opportunities to travel, such as visiting candidates and clients.
There are no specific qualifications required to gain a job in recruitment, with most positions open to graduates regardless of their degree subject, as well as those without a degree. However, for speciality areas, such as medical writing recruitment, a degree in a medical-related area will likely increase your job prospects.
Employers will generally be looking for certain skill sets and personality characteristics, including strong interpersonal and communication skills, problem-solving abilities, time management and the ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects.
The recruitment industry continues to show great strength and growth. As such, there are some good long-term career prospects in recruitment, as well often clearly defined promotion stages. Beginning as a consultant, you can move onto senior consultant, account manager, team leader and then managerial positions such as branch manager.
If working internally for a large organisation, other opportunities include moving to other areas, such as human resources and training. Finally, some people working in recruitment decide to do it alone and open their own agency, with the majority of new agencies appearing in the UK in recent years being this type.
Trainee recruitment salaries generally start at around £15,000 – £20,000, moving up to £28,00 for trained recruitment consultants. Senior positions can pay between £28,000-£35,000, whilst managers can expect anything up to £60,000 when taking into account bonuses and commissions. Other benefits to positions in recruitment can include a company car, laptop and mobile phone.
Helping others find employment and improve their quality of life can be very rewarding on a personal level, as can seeing a candidate you recommend excel in their position and help your organisation. Of course, money is important, and in general, recruitment positions pay well, often with commission bonuses that can make a real difference to how much you ear.
Other benefits include daily duties and routine being varied, often including the chance to get out of the office. You will also get the opportunity to learn about many different industries, as well as meet both candidates and clients.
Jobs in recruitment can be a little ‘salesy’ at times, which some people can find difficult. You will also have to handle rejection, both in telling disappointed candidates they have been unsuccessful, as well as dealing with candidates who quickly leave the position you helped fill as well as those that simply do not work out.
You will have to handle this and be able to quickly move on, which can be frustrating. Having to speak to candidates out-of-office hours can also be required, as will the need to stay positive when others are disappointed.