This blog post is for anyone who’s thinking about recruitment as a career, but isn’t quite sure if it’s for them. Here’s my experience of joining the recruitment industry.
When I joined Permanent People two months ago, my knowledge of the recruitment industry was limited, and was coloured by certain misconceptions that many people outside the industry seem to have. I told my friends I was considering a career in recruitment. ‘It’s cut-throat,’ they told me gravely, and they talked about revolving doors, stress, and long hours.
But they didn’t deter me. With my friends’ comments in mind, I knew I wanted to find a company whose ethos sat well with my own values – a desire to exceed expectations whilst maintain a strong sense of integrity. I also wanted a challenge. I have a competitive nature and a desire to make a career for myself, so I knew I needed to find a company that could offer me the opportunity to succeed. I eventually discovered Permanent People, and once I’d read about the company I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Next, I applied for an entry-level job with them. Not long after, I found out I had been successful.
I had the job.
Having left my previous employment on the Friday, I had the weekend to prepare for my first day in the office. After seven years of working in retail, I had no idea what to expect other than no more 4am starts and no more uniform – and of course, the knowledge that I had no recruitment experience whatsoever. I also still had my friends’ comments at the back of my mind, although I was determined to find out about the recruitment industry for myself.
On my first day, the Director, Paul, asked me if I knew what a job board was. I can laugh now at the mild panic I felt. After two weeks of shadowing a fellow consultant, I can also laugh at the horror I felt when he told me to jump in at the deep end and start finding prospective candidates by contacting established, experienced consultants on my own to discuss their next career move.
In hindsight, getting online, calling candidates and getting stuck in was the perfect way of learning about the industry.
During my first few days at the office, one of my tasks was to source a number of trainees for a high profile client in Cardiff. After a visit to the client’s office, I had a clear idea of what it was they were looking for and set to sourcing some strong candidates to get the ball rolling. The first-day-nerves were gone. Driven by the excitement of filling vacancies and cementing my place within the office*, I threw myself into the task.
And here I am now. I’ve made three placements in my first seven weeks with Permanent People, with more in the pipeline, and really do feel like I fit in at the office. I’ve been promoted to consultant, and I genuinely believe that this is the industry that I belong in. I’d recommend it to anyone.
*The copious amounts of coffee and rich tea biscuits also helped.