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What it’s really like working in recruitment

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I came to Give A Grad A Go confused about what career I should be pursuing – and in real need of a steer in the right direction.

But when I came in to discuss my options with the Give A Grad A Go team, I was very clear that I never wanted to do recruitment.

The stories I’d heard about the industry instantly put me off wanting to go down that path – but by the time I left my interview with the team here, I couldn’t stop thinking about the great people I met that day and how vibrant the atmosphere in the office was.

When I got home that evening Cary, CEO & Founder, gave me a call to ask what I’d thought about the meeting and whether I’d be interested in joining the team, and it just made total sense.

My first few months of working here were really challenging, (recruitment is not for the faint hearted), but then again, starting anything new, for the first time, usually is.

What quickly became clear though was that the rewards you get for the hard work you put in, far outweigh any of the hurdles.

So where am I now after being at Give A Grad A Go for two and half years? Well, now I’m recruiting Recruiters of course! So here is an honest account of what working in recruitment is really like…


No rest for the wicked

As I said before, recruitment isn’t easy.

There’s no hiding and there’s no coming into the office and switching your mind off – you have to really graft to build up a good reputation for yourself and to build a really good business network.

Like all careers you have to start somewhere and as a Consultant, you really do start from scratch.

I had plenty of support available to me from the team, but what makes being a Recruitment Consultant so different to any other job, is you truly are in control of your own success.

The best way I can describe it, is it’s like running your own business; you need to generate revenue for yourself.

Keep a close eye on your supply pipeline and be able to market yourself really well – the more successful you are in doing so, the more successful your business will be!

It’s a way of working that took me some getting used to, but as soon I got into the swing of it, I soon started to reap the rewards.


Building lasting relationships

You get so much more responsibility as a Recruitment Consultant than any other entry-level or graduate job I can think of.

You’re expected to network and build lasting relationships, with business leaders, from an early stage in your career.

Which admittedly was quite daunting initially.

What I was reminded of quite a few times was that you’re only talking to another person – they might be a CEO or a Managing Director – but you just need to remember that they all started as a junior too.

Once I got over that then relationship building came pretty easily to me.


The rewards

OK, so the potential rewards are normally the first thing I tell people about when I speak to them about a career in recruitment, but the financial awards – which you would be hard pushed to beat – aren’t the only way you’re rewarded…


  • Industry knowledge

As a Recruitment-to-Recruitment Consultant, I have worked with a wide-range of specialist consultancies – including marketing, finance, IT and sport.

Working for one of these specialist agencies is a great way you can build up your knowledge of different industry sectors.

They keep you up-to-speed with the sector-specific jargon and I get to join them on lots of their training which can only be a great thing for my career looking forward.


  • Autonomy

You get so much responsibility as a Recruitment Consultant, it’s unbelievable. You need to be organised and give yourself structure, so you can plan your day and take control of the role in your own personal way.


  • Career progression

Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed in recruitment.

On top of earning commission, you’ll find you can progress quickly through the company, with even better commission structures to match.

It can be tough getting those first few clients, but once you do well with them, the role progresses quickly!


My job now

I now help some of the UK’s leading specialist recruitment agencies find the best graduate talent for their workforce.

To do this I’ve established a recruitment desk within Give A Grad A Go, which means I can dedicate more of my time on a sector that is overlooked by most.


  • Eli is just one of our successes, so far:

Eli approached Give A Grad A Go back in 2014, in much the same why I did – unsure about what he wanted to do and confused about the options available to him as a recent graduate.

I placed Eli with a highly regarded medical recruitment specialists – which he has now been at for over a year and a half.


Here’s what he has to say about it…

“I was really keen to be in a work environment that evolved and tested me on a daily basis. I knew in this position, I would be exposed to a sector prominent throughout UK current affairs, policy and politics.

Working here has enabled me to trust in repeat business and, for me, I am confident that my reputation, (and that of the company), continues to make us the most approachable and successful agency in the sector. 

In 12 months’ time I want to be in a position where I help in the running and management of my desk. This will hopefully lead to my desk being the most successful (within my speciality) for the UK.”


Find the latest graduate recruitment jobs – or discover more UK jobs for graduates on our jobs board – we could have the role that’s right for you!

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