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Is a Recruitment Consultant a good job? What kind of things do you do as one?

(13 Posts)
NameChangeGalore Mon 27-Aug-12 11:41:02

I'm wanting to go back to work and the only desk jobs I can find related to my field are recruitment jobs.

I'm a Scientist, and have worked in labs in the past. I am so over it. I don't want that stress and hassle of completing experiments on time and being rushed to do a certain process before the time runs out or else. I hate that gut wrenching pain when you realise you've done something wrong and it means having to do the whole process again from scratch, wasting weeks of work.

Not saying I will get the job, but what can I expect from a recruitment job? I am quite talkative and like talking to people and helping. Are these the type of attributes a person needs to go in recruitment? As a job, is it very stressful with meeting deadlines? Are you expected to work weekends?

If you're a recruitment consultant, do you have any advice?

annh Mon 27-Aug-12 13:44:58

Yes, recruitment is very stressful! You need to be constantly selling yourself, your client and your candidates. Depending on what level of recruitment you are dealing with, there can also be a lot of evening and even weekend work. As you mentioned a science background, I am assuming that you are applying to recruit at a fairly senior level which means that candidates are often not available to speak during the day so a lot of meetings take place at 8 a.m. or 5.30/6 p.m. and phone calls/emails even later.

Sharpkat Mon 27-Aug-12 13:49:08

It is very sales and target driven. You get a low base salary and the rest of it is commission based on how much money you bring in. And then they will try to screw you over.

As the previous poster said, hours are typically 8am until 6.30pm and there is a lot of stress and pressure particularly in the current economic environment where companies are trying to avoid using recruitment consultants and when they do there will be 20 of you competing to fill a role so the pressure is really on.

Let me know if I can give any more information.

salvadory Mon 27-Aug-12 14:00:07

If you have a scientific background why don't you apply to be a scientific advisor for a pharmaceutical company? You can be based at home, work part time and the hours wouldn't be half as bad as in recruitment. There'd be no sales targets but you'd be working alongside a team of sales and marketing.

surroundedbyblondes Mon 27-Aug-12 14:01:53

Agree with what other posters have said. I worked in recruitment for 10 years. I loved it when I was newly graduated, had loads of energy and could be totally flexible with my hours. As the job market became tougher, I liked the work less and less because of the huge ammounts of competition and back-stabbing. Not only with competitor companies but actively encouraged by recruitment companies to keep staff on their toes. Huge pressure to sell at the expense of finding the right solution for either the client or the candidate.

I moved into HR, which was much better from my point of view, and continued building my experience and skills in that field. Later on, I was offered a job in internal HR for a recruitment company, and was foolish enough to accept. I saw first hand the shocking employment ethics of the company and was so angry. The first week that my protection from dismissal after maternity leave had expired I was made redundant. I had a four month old baby. The company said for cost cutting reasons. During my notice period (where they tried to change my job, the location of where I worked and many other underhand things) I was asked to prepare the contract for my replacement. She earned a grand a month more than I did.

You might find that there are things about the job that suit you, and it may be a way to gain skills and/or contacts that you want to take you further. But keep your eyes wide open, and be sure to stand up for yourself if you work in such an environment.

surroundedbyblondes Mon 27-Aug-12 14:05:56

Oh, and many HR professionals see recruitment consultants as being akin to estate agents so you won't always get a good reception if you're trying to pitch to potential clients. Be prepared for a lot of cold calling and a lot of rejection. You need a thick skin.

SecretCermonials Mon 27-Aug-12 14:08:12

I did it for just over a year. It was a bloody hard year.

Chubfuddler Mon 27-Aug-12 14:11:10

RC isn't really a desk job. Recruiting at a senior level in a specialist industry sector candidates and recruiters expect a lot . There would probably be quite a lot of travelling about. It's a field sales job basically.

NameChangeGalore Mon 27-Aug-12 14:44:48

Wow. Thanks for the replies. I can stand up for myself and am quite outspoken, but don't like the sound of the "back stabbing" nature of the job. I didn't realise it was that cut-throat.

Salvadory, thanks for the suggestion, I will look into it.

dizzydaisy30 Tue 28-Aug-12 21:18:07

I have been in recruitment for 8.5 years now and 6 years with one company. Yes, we do have sales targets and the competition is tough but I have enjoyed speaking to clients all over the place (international recruitment), candidates (research and development engineers) and going back after 10 months maternity leave I even managed to get flexible work (4 days) and work from home if needs be. Plus, money is great - basic and commission, especially when you work in contract market. Maybe it's because I work for a family run business and we are still expected to work bloody hard. If you think you have got attributes to work as a RC I would say go for it and find out for yourself. There is so many companies out there and they all very different. I suppose when you do get an offer to work for someone trust your gut instinct about the people you meet and the place. I also asked for a 'third interview' where I could sit down with the team for few hours and see how they work - you get the idea what they're like when they at it and you can also make up your mind then.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

dazedandconfusd Wed 29-Aug-12 21:18:50

Hi namechangegalore. I have worked in recruitment for 10 years, and have many friends who work at recruitment companies. Firstly i would say there is a huge variance in the ethos, standards, sizes and cultures of all the different recruitment companies.
I only have personal experience of companies recruiting white collar positions, but even then they vary hugely.
It is essentially a sales role, you are selling yourself and your company to the hiring company, wanting them to chose you to fill their role, and then softly selling the vacancy to the potential candidate. As others have said, in this climate the pressure is greater than it has ever been, but i am not convinced that would extend to science related industries, as they should be pretty recession-proof shouldnt they?
You will be expected to work damn hard, but who isn't these days?

I dont know ANY recruiters who work weekends unless they arent performing or have a special project on....candidates dont want calls about potential new jobs on a saturday morning!

It can be stressful - targets as opposed to deadlines, it is a sales job after all.

And as for the right attributes.....very strong communication skills, able to build good relationships, ability to deal with a reasonable amount of pressure, and a competitive streak always helps.

What recruitment isn't - a careers advice service, a fluffy 'helping people' job. Whilst those two are elements, its a commercially driven service - if you cant ultimately help the individual or client who is asking, you need to tell them so and move on - not spend valuable time helping them.
finally the rewards are excellent, if you work for a reputable business. you can earn extra-ordinary amounts of money if you are successful.

I hope this helps, i love recruitment - and treat all my clients and candidates with respect - definately no hard selling - but it really isn't for everyone.
If you have anymore questions feel free to PM me.

Minette110 Mon 25-Apr-16 21:14:36

I am going to reanimate this "zombie thread". Perhaps I can spare somebody who is "not meant for recruitment" to not go into recruitment! I have a science degree too and up to masters degree level education. I also felt like I have exhausted my options of what I had experience in (and did not want to do) and saw that recruitment seems like an easy job to get in to and like something different. And it was. And I hated it. Sure, I was good at it. The candidates seemed to appreciate the way I dealt with them and I estsblished great networks with clients who started to regularly use me and prefer my service.... but I found it incredibly boring after a while! Plus you have to be willing to give your SOUL to a job if you want to be a recruiter. I was in office at 6am each day and got home at 7pm. To me it felt like it was eating away at what I was actually interested in. There's a reason I studied what I did and I have other aspirations in life. Getting into recruiment, because you think there might perhaps not be many other career options, is a huge mistake. Would you be willing to give an absurd amount of time and energy to a job that you got into like this? I did (ignoring that my interests and passions are somewhere else, telling myself it is a balance game between work and other things...HA!). If you scratch deeper and look longer, you might find other options and different paths within your area of interest. After deciding that recruitment does not deserve so much of me (because to me it is a repetitive, soul-eating, dramatic and ridiculous job)... I started sending my CV around. I found a job where I work much less hours, that is within my field of study, that I do find interesting because it actually involves my interests and that pays me twice than what I got as a recruiter. To me recruitment was like settling because I thought I could get nothing else. To me I worked like a dog and it really isn't that mentally stimulating as a recruiter would like to tell people. It is not mentally challenging like science is or completing a masters degree is. Recruiters think it is mentally challenging because of all the crap they have to eat up and all the bizarre antics they deal with from people the work with, candidates and clients. This does not fit my definition of "mentally challenging or stimulating" If somebody told me back then that I could find a nice job with comfortable hours within a field that I actually care about and that pays me double... I would have never slaved away in an awful recruitment job. It just was not worth giving so much of myself to... not a job I deem worthy of getting so much of my soul, time, energy and life! If somebody tells you that you have to work like a dog to be happy and earn well... think twice!

melvs1234 Wed 12-Oct-16 16:32:57

Hey. your message literally helped me make my decision about whether or not I should apply for the recruitment consultant role. I was really struggling to make a thanks for that!!.. smile smile I have just recently completed my masters in chemistry and I'm currently looking for jobs. mahn...its tough isn't it..I was wondering could you give me any advice on any companies that you are aware of that I can apply to. I have been searching for ages and can't find anything that's interesting. I am trying to find something that is related to my degree..afterall i studied chemistry for 5 years and I would like to make use of the skills and knowledge I have gained.
Therefore any tips or advice is realllyy appreciated. smile smile

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