Have you ever thought about working in recruitment? David Walsh, who runs his own recruitment company didn’t either. “It’s unlikely that many people grow up thinking that they want to be in recruitment”, said David, a Mancunian who left university in Leeds with a degree in Marketing.
David was recruited into recruitment by chance: “I fell into it by accident while having a coffee a recruiter who was looking to put me forward for marketing job, but she actually thought that I had the attributes that made me a perfect candidate for a vacant role at the recruitment company she was working for.”
That was nearly a decade ago and David hasn’t really looked back; rapid promotion and on to setting up his own enterprise. His friend certainly new her job!
So what were these attributes that David displayed and that are amongst those that lead to building a successful career? David said: “She felt I had something about me in the way I came across and the way I spoke. Good communication is important in most jobs and certainly in recruitment.”
A recruiter’s role is to identify, attract and shortlist candidates for a recruitment process to fulfil the requirements of a business’s brief. A recruitment resourcer’s function is to support that role. There’s little difference between the two roles and it’s clear that there is progression route.
Recruiters speak to potential candidates on the phone and in person, so having that “something about you” is both highly desirable and advantageous. Business Development is often also part of the role or writing an engaging piece of content for a range of platforms to turn the heads of candidates and companies alike.
You need to be ambitious, resilient and have a determination to succeed, according to David, whose company Essential Resourcing, specialises in recruiting marketers and PR professionals: “It’s not a world for a shrinking violet. I was given a Yellow Pages and started dialling agencies asking if they needed vacancies filling.”
In just 10 years the process has changed with the advent and growth of the digital age and social media which makes identification, engagement and follow up so much quicker than relying on posting CVs.
“Most people entering the sector now are digital natives”, said David, “so these skills are second nature. A good recruiter is a matchmaker – between candidate and company and is there to help that journey reach a happy ending.”
There are no specific entry requirements other than having English and Maths qualifications and success in this apprenticeship will result in a Level 2 Certificate and a Level 2 NVQ in Recruitment Resourcing, which, with further study can go to Level 3.
David said: “There are no barriers to entry. You don’t need a degree, just a phone, a laptop and Linkedin, so this apprenticeship is a good route to take to establish your foundation. “And, if you’re any good you can progress quickly. I was a senior consultant within 18 months, managing a team and earning significantly. Targets, of course, are part of the job, but no two days are the same and it’s never boring.
“Largely, you work with and meet interesting people and you are helping people explore their possibilities and potential while helping companies grow, so solving a real business need at both ends.”
The best companies go to great lengths not just to hire anyone, but the right people. In doing so they need the right people to help them recruit.
Stacy Donovan Zapar, founder of The Talent Agency is regarded as one of the best in the world at her job, hiring for employers such as TripAdvisor, Netflix, Amazon, General Motors, Walmart, Virgin and Booking.com. She says: “A modern recruiter is one who is targeted, builds relationships and knows how to not only find candidates but also get them to respond!”
As David has indicated that’s essentially a relationship broker or a go-between. If that’s you, maybe this blog has matched you with your next job.