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Working in recruitment sales

Recruitment (sales): area of work

A graduate job in recruitment sales involves putting together cross-media advertising packages to help your clients attract the best candidates.

Working in recruitment sales involves placing employers’ job advertising in the best possible media and in the most eye-catching positions to meet their needs. This can be as simple as offering an employer – your client – an advertising slot in a newspaper or sector-specific magazine or website, so that they can effectively market a job vacancy. On the other hand it can be as complicated as working with the client to build a whole recruitment campaign, using lots of different media, aimed at a whole cross-section of society.

Recruitment sales roles are typically found within specialist recruitment agencies or within media organisations. Online jobs boards or the recruitment sections of magazines, for example, will have a recruitment sales team working behind the scenes with the businesses that are advertising. The larger the advert, or the longer the campaign, the more money the recruitment sales professional will be making for their own organisation (and typically the more they will be making for their own pay packet at the end of the month).

The role will typically involve:

  • talking to clients and understanding their needs
  • negotiating costs and advertising slots
  • getting to know the recruitment market and specific sectors

The highs include securing a big money deal, and helping a client to reach the exact calibre of candidate that they require. The lows include losing a client, or failing to meet their requirements. As with any sales job, you win or lose by your results, and you can never rest on your laurels.

What's required

Having a degree will be the standard requirement for this position. However, you'll also need to be able to show an understanding of the employment market and media advertising. Being a good communicator is essential. You'll need good numeracy skills too, as figures can fly thick and fast when you're trying to secure a deal.

Check out the relevant trade press to get more of an idea about the industry.

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In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.