Case study

Ailis Reilly — Principal Consultant

Employer
James Andrews Recruitment Solutions

Ailis studied BA Business Studies at Sheffield Hallam University before landing a job as a recruitment consultant for James Andrews Recruitment Solutions, where she’s now progressed to a principal consultant role

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 principal consultant?

Not much has changed since I was a senior consultant, I oversee the Property Management team on a day-to-day basis. 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.

I will usually 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. I also assist the manager in overseeing the team - this means running the jobs meetings and ensuring everybody is working towards their KPIs on marketing. The rest of my time is spent 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?

Since the pandemic a lot has changed. Recruitment has always been an extremely competitive industry, and this comes with challenges - however, now we are facing a market where there are so many jobs available but not as many candidates. 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 organisation, so it gave me an understanding of how businesses work.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

Since joining the company, I was put on the path to senior consultant and then managing consultant. I'm now a principal consultant and am aiming to be promoted to a managing consultant role next. This shows just how quickly your career can develop with hard work. I have more autonomy in managing the team and enjoy pushing them to achieve the best they can. My role since joining James Andrews has developed, as I am able to use my knowledge to help shape the team to ensure we all succeed.

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?
  • Be confident and able to liaise with clients and candidates - experience communicating over the phone and face-to-face customer service skills always help.