What it involves
You’ll be selling the benefits of using your company to both jobseekers and employers. You could be working for a recruitment agency or consultancy, which might specialise in a certain area, for example IT, media or law. Some of the time you’ll be scouting for new business – doing research to see who’s recruiting and phoning around to talk to prospective employers.
An important aspect of recruitment sales is maintaining and building relationships with existing clients, getting to know their needs so you can find the right candidate for them. It can be stressful working in such a fast-paced industry and if the idea of targets horrifies you, this isn’t the career for you. However, the rewards and financial incentives often compensate – if you do well, your hard work will be recognised.
Like many sales careers, the work is competitive. You’ll need to be ambitious, confident and determined to succeed, as well as comfortable with working to targets and deadlines, and great under pressure. A good phone manner and the ability to deal with people at all levels of an organisation is a must.
Recruitment sales is a career that’s open to all graduates but a degree in something like HR or business may help. If you want to go into a particular sector of recruitment, for example IT, a background in that area will be beneficial. If you’ve been able to hone your customer skills in summer jobs and other work experience opportunities, so much the better.
Find out about the range of opportunities available – from national and international agencies to small, specialised consultancies – by researching the opportunities in your local paper and online. The Guardian has recruitment vacancies online and in its Monday’s newspaper or you could seek out specialist industry publications such as Recruiter and Recruitment International.