Case study

Libby Parker — Recruitment Consultant (Human Resources)

James Andrew Recruitment Solutions

Libby explains how important resilience is for a successful career in recruitment and what her ambitions for the future are

How did you get your job?

When I graduated from university, I worked in a pub/restaurant for almost a year. When I decided it was time to get my first ‘proper job’, I started applying for recruitment roles, including one at James Andrews. I applied through LinkedIn and had an initial telephone chat with the talent team. They told me all about the role and gave me an insight into what to expect. I had an initial interview, then a second stage a week later where I was offered the role.

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

We start the day with a jobs meeting to check in with the team and see how everyone is getting along with the tasks set for each session. We have one first thing in the morning, one at lunch and then one just before the end of the day. We use these to divide up the tasks of the day to ensure that the team is focused on the correct things and if anyone needs support the rest of the team can jump in.

Throughout the day I will either be on the phone to candidates, discussing any roles we have that they might be a good match for, or speaking to clients about how we can support them with any recruitment needs. We also have dedicated business development sessions -actively winning new business, and building relationships with clients.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Building relationships with both clients and candidates is my favourite part of being a recruitment consultant. When you work with the same clients or candidates frequently you really get to know them, and can have some great conversations. The team and the office are also a massive bonus, everyone gets on really well and we often have work events where we can all get together and celebrate the success of the company.

What are the challenges?

Recruitment is full of highs and lows, and you definitely need to be resilient for this job. Some days things just don’t go the way you want them to, which can be really frustrating if offers are turned down or your candidates don’t get roles, but these are combatted by placing candidates you really like in roles as well.

Is your degree relevant?

I studied history and politics at university and I’ve found that key skills were definitely transferrable into recruitment. Analytical thinking and communication are definitely two things that have helped a lot in the role.

How has your role developed and what are your ambitions?

The progression at James Andrews is something that attracted me to the company initially, as the progression path is clearly mapped out and you can see what you need to do to reach that.

I’ve recently become a recognised trainer, which means I can train the new team members when they first start. The next step for me will be senior consultant, which is hopefully not too far away. This just shows how quickly you can develop here, beyond senior consultant, there are different avenues you can take depending on what you’re looking for from the role. For me, principal consultant is the aim for the near-future.

How do I get into recruitment?

  • Show that you’re willing to go the extra mile. You get out of this role what you put in, so if you’re willing to graft and really put in some effort, the results can be great
  • Be confident. Half of the battle with recruitment is just picking up the phone and speaking to people. If you’re happy to just get stuck in and speak to both clients and candidates straight away, the job is easier from the offset.
  • Think about your motivations and what you want from your career. Recruitment can be what you make it, and there’s so many different paths you can go down depending on what you’re looking for. Having a clear idea about what you want will make the next steps easier to figure out.

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