Case study

Recruitment consultant — Selina Weldon

After graduating, Selina utilised her university's website to get a head start in her career. Read her advice to graduates aspiring to enter the recruitment sector

Selina studied an English language degree at Aston University, before moving to Manchester and securing a role with Sellick Partnership.

How did you get your first job in recruitment?

I got my first recruitment role through the Aston University website. The company was local to the city and advertised roles regularly, often taking on a number of graduates each year, so it was a great stepping stone into the recruitment sector.

It's worth checking out your university website - before looking to major job sites - to see if there are any jobs suitable to what you're looking for.

How did you get to where you are now?

I secured my current role with Sellick Partnership through a 'rec-to-rec' recruitment agency. This is an agency that specialises in placing recruitment professionals of all ages and experience levels into other agencies. I contacted a rec-to-rec local to me advertising a number of opportunities, one of which being at Sellick Partnership. My family live fairly close to Manchester, so I knew I wanted a role somewhere close by.

As I lived in Birmingham I was unable to attend numerous interview days, so Sellick Partnership accommodated my needs and did all of my interviews over two days. I met a number of people within the team, which gave me a feel for the business. I realised very quickly that the culture was perfectly suited to what I wanted.

What's a typical day like?

First thing in the morning I usually do a lot of brand building via LinkedIn. This involves looking at what my network is talking about, commenting on relevant articles, getting involved in sector-specific conversations and contacting any prospective candidates I find. This helps get my name out and build my brand - especially among qualified candidates that tend to be very active on LinkedIn.

I spend the core part of my day working with clients. This involves a lot of calling and liaising with different stakeholders to try and pick up any vacancies they may have, or just build relationships to ensure that my name, and the Sellick Partnership brand, is fresh in their minds.

Any additional time I have will usually be spent dealing with candidates. It's important to have an array of candidates in any sector - you should be constantly speaking with, registering and keeping in touch with them, so you're fully aware of what they're looking for.

Is your degree relevant?

My degree helps when writing job adverts and dealing with senior clients and stakeholders. Going to university also gave me the life experience that, I think, is essential to succeed in recruitment. I'm not sure I'd be able to do this role without the experiences I gained at university, so getting a degree in any subject will undoubtedly help anyone considering a career in recruitment.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love to be kept on my toes, and the excitement of not knowing what might come up next keeps me motivated to do my best.

I also love that I have full control over what I do. I have the full support of my team and the management, but my desk and patch are mine to run, which sparks my entrepreneurial spirit. This can be daunting for anyone who isn't used to working on their own, however I love the freedom and flexibility the role allows me to have.

What are the challenges?

Getting commitment from both clients and candidates can be challenging at times. There are so many recruitment agencies in the market, so to make a difference and be noticed you really need to work on your brand and ensure people remember you.

My biggest piece of advice is to stick with what you know. People will buy into you and your brand if you're true to yourself.

What are your career ambitions?

I want to progress at Sellick Partnership and within the industry, but I'm not completely certain of what route I want to take. I'd like to manage people, but I'm also keen on business development and building my own desk, both of which are options as you progress in recruitment.

Top tips for anyone looking to get into recruitment?

Have an open mind. Picking the right recruitment firm to work for revolves heavily around culture, so when you start looking, make sure to think about the type of business you want to work for. A lot of graduates will go for bigger firms, with structured graduate schemes, however they may not be the best choice culturally.

If you want a role that is very structured and KPI-driven, one of the bigger national firms may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you're looking for a role where training is more bespoke, consider looking at some of the smaller firms.

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