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Recruitment consultant: Salary and conditions

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  • Salaries vary across sectors and locations, but typically include a basic salary plus a performance-related bonus or commission. This can either be an individual, team or branch bonus. Basic salaries are highest in London.
  • Trainee recruitment consultants typically start on a basic annual salary of £14,000 to £20,000.
  • Some vacancies will advertise high OTE (on-target earning) salaries even for trainees. Promise of an initial high salary very much depends on your sales performance.
  • Recruitment consultants' average salaries are £26,000, with senior consultants earning an average of £32,000, excluding bonuses or commission.
  • Managers with 10-15 years' experience can earn £40,000 plus (excluding bonuses or commission).
  • Once bonuses and commission are included, the total average salary can increase to £38,000 for consultants and £60,000 for managers.
  • Other benefits may include training, mobile phones, laptops, pension schemes, team drinks, social functions and end-of-year rewards for the top billing consultant or department.
  • Long working hours are common and may include evenings.
  • Work is office based but time is also spent outside the office, meeting with clients and interviewing candidates.
  • Self-employment or freelance work is possible, but generally only for consultants who have expert knowledge of a specialist sector.
  • Career breaks are possible in certain circumstances, but are uncommon due to the dynamic nature of the sector.
  • Opportunities exist throughout the UK, although more jobs are available in London.
  • A smart personal appearance is important as the role involves meetings with clients and conducting interviews with candidates.
  • The role can be challenging, but also exciting as the profession is fast-paced, target driven and demanding.
  • Travel within the working day may be required to meet with clients.
  • Overseas travel is less common, unless you are working within travel-related industries or for a niche market. Overseas work is possible, however, with large companies that have overseas branches.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
November 2013

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