Case study

Recruitment consultant — John Fox

After graduating from Liverpool Hope University with a degree in Politics and International Relations, John knew he wanted a role in a buzzing sales environment. He believed his skills were a perfect fit for recruitment

How did you get your job?

I applied for my position at Sellick Partnership while I was still studying. I was fortunate enough to be invited for an interview, and offered the job, soon after that.

What's a typical day like as a recruitment consultant?

My day-to-day is incredibly varied and fairly intense. Recruiters need to be extremely organised, so I plan out my week meticulously. Our workload is structured to ensure productivity remains at its peak.

The majority of my time is spent on the phone talking with clients and candidates. On a Monday we focus on candidates, and follow up with those who are currently on assignment. During this time we also chase any enquiries from the previous week.

We set aside time to focus on client care, which is our best opportunity to find out about up-and-coming roles. In this time, I build up strong and lasting relationships with clients, which is important in being a successful recruiter.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love that I'm in charge of my own success – I have the opportunity to build something based on my own hard work and efforts. I also love the 'people' side of my job, which includes negotiating, closing business, meeting clients and conducting interviews. Every day is different and keeps me on my toes.

What are the challenges?

Nearly all HR candidates are actively pursuing multiple opportunities and there is an incredible amount of rejection that you need to deal with. The competitive nature of the industry presents an 'if you aren't fast, you're last' situation, so getting to grips with that has been challenging.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Studying in a political environment taught me listen to everyone's opinions and thoughts and look at the bigger picture, which is a crucial skill for succeeding in recruitment.

How has your role developed? What are your career ambitions?

Starting out in recruitment has been a huge learning curve. Initially, much of my time was spent understanding company systems and getting to know clients and candidates. By gaining this understanding early on, I've been able to start building trust and confidence with them. These positive relationships allow me to build strong foundations for my future professional growth.

I would love to manage a small team. My current manager is mentoring me and helping me get to grips with the industry, and I feel it would be extremely rewarding to do this myself in the future.

How do I get into recruitment?

To get into recruitment you need to have a number of soft skills, and be prepared to showcase them throughout the interview process. You need to be organised, work with a sense of urgency, be able to handle being in control at all times, be capable of influencing others, thrive under pressure and enjoy working to targets and deadlines.

Most importantly you need to have character, and be able to demonstrate personality to the agency you are hoping to join. The role is tough, so you need a thick skin and a good sense of humour to succeed.

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