Graduate careers as a recruitment consultant

Last updated: 25 Jan 2023, 13:38

Recruitment consultants help fill all sorts of positions, from temp work to graduate schemes and senior roles. Could you turn finding jobs into your own career?

Smiling recruitment consultant wearing a headset and making a fist pump gesture at his desk.

There are many misconceptions about recruitment agencies: they’re just glorified temp agencies; they’re the perfect way to find a job without putting in any effort; they find jobs for people who have no skills. None of these are true. Many recruitment agencies do supply temporary workers, but the main part of their business is matching applicants with suitable permanent vacancies. And applicants do need skills and determination. Recruitment is a two-way process: finding jobs to suit applicants, and finding candidates to fit vacancies.

What recruitment consultants do

Recruitment is a big business. There are always people seeking work, and organisations with jobs to fill. Companies are not always willing to trawl through stacks of CVs whenever they have a vacancy, so they hire a consultant to do the legwork. Recruitment agencies still have to persuade organisations that this is cost-effective, so consultants market their services, convincing organisations of the value they can add to the recruitment process.

Skills recruitment consultants need

Recruitment requires hard-working, effective salespeople to promote business in a professional manner. The other half of the job involves working with and for candidates. If a position has been advertised through the agency, the consultant will have to go through the resulting CVs and select applicants to interview. Sometimes applicants are more suited for a different vacancy and a good recruiter will be alert to this. Consultants do not, as a rule, call clients whenever a new candidate registers, unless there is real reason to believe that the client would be interested.

How agencies benefit graduates

Recruitment consultants are also there to advise job-seekers, whether that involves giving tips for better CV presentation, or being brutally honest and suggesting an alternative career. Many recruitment agencies cater to a niche market. If the agency specialises in, for example, IT, then their pool of candidates will be made of computer science and IT graduates and clients will come to them to fill their IT vacancies. The potential to find a perfect match is much higher, because the basic match has already been made. A general agency might put forward any IT graduate, but the specialist suggests the candidate suited to the specific branch of IT. Niche recruiters gain in-depth knowledge of their sector and are able to provide clients and candidates with better service. It benefits everyone involved.

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