Case study

Senior recruitment consultant — Ailis Reilly

Ailis graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Business Studies. Find out how she secured a job as a recruitment consultant

How did you get your job?

I was keen to find a job as soon as I left university so I started looking while I was still studying my final year. I got a message from a member of the Talent Acquisition team at James Andrews and that's where it all started. I messaged them back and they followed that up with a call, they gave me a real insight into recruitment and how it worked. I had an initial first-stage interview, completed the sample day and then the final-round interview. I was offered the role shortly after. The overall process gave me such a good understanding of the day-to-day job.

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

We hold three jobs meetings each day to help set action points and prioritise our time effectively. They are held first thing in the morning, just before lunch and late afternoon. We then split the team into working on either the jobs we are currently sourcing candidates for or marketing clients to win new business.

Predominantly I will be on the phone throughout the day, either contacting suitable candidates for positions or making calls to clients to develop existing relationships and win new business. As a senior recruitment consultant I also assist the manager in overseeing the team, this means running the jobs meetings and ensuring everybody is working towards their KPI's on marketing. The rest of my time is made up of completing administrative duties for marketing and jobs.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like the variety of the role. I really enjoy acquiring new business and building new relationships with clients. The commission structure and work events definitely motivate everybody to do well. We regularly go to prestigious venues at company events; it's a great way to celebrate the success of the company and individuals by getting together.

What are the challenges?

Recruitment is an extremely competitive industry and this comes with challenges. Some days things just don't go how you want them to. You need to be on the ball and have a lot of knowledge on your clients' needs and specialist candidates. Staying on top of your work and going above and beyond is key to ensuring success.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Business studies is a varied degree, which opens a lot of doors. It is relevant to recruitment as I work for a commercial business so it gave me an understanding of how business' work.

How has your role developed?

After being here for a year I was asked to train new starters during their probation period. I was then promoted to a senior consultant after 18 months, and now assist the manager in overseeing other consultants on my team. I now have more involvement with setting KPI's, running jobs meetings and the marketing table. Being given this responsibility after 18 months is something I am extremely grateful for. I would love to continue to develop my career and become a managing consultant.

How do I get into recruitment?

  • Demonstrate how you can think on your feet, how have you overcome a challenge and used your initiative to do so.
  • Go above and beyond, when have you gone the extra mile? Show that you have a lot about you. What hobbies do you enjoy? What extra-curricular activities have you done?
  • You need to be confident and be able to liaise with clients and candidates. Experience communicating over the phone and face-to-face customer service skills always help.

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