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University to Recruitment: The do's and don'ts

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about 1 year ago

by Patryk Kowalczyk

University to Recruitment: The do's and don'ts

The University Days

Almost 4 years ago to this day I found myself completing the last exam of my 3rd and final year of university with no idea where I wanted to go next, what career options I would be interested in or even how to go about exploring these. 

Whilst studying at University it’s extremely easy to get caught up with the fast paced nature of studying, maintaining a social life and often living away from home which often leads to no time left to consider your career prospects when the magical 3 years eventually come to an end.

Many upcoming graduates this year will be in a very similar position to the one I was in 4 years ago.. A situation where you aren’t convinced that pursuing a career directly correlating to the course you picked back when you were 18 is even a passion of ours anymore and you are left with no back up choice. 

In truth, I, like many others in my field, stumbled across recruitment when I found myself scouring page after page on indeed trying to find graduate level roles that don’t didn’t require “5 years of experience”, that would offer a high earning potential and would actually give me a shot at a real long-term career.

I wanted to use this blog to highlight some of the Do’s and Don'ts that I learned the hard way almost 4 years ago when I first applied for a graduate level recruitment role. 


Find a company that matches your values

There are over 27,000 recruitment agencies in the UK alone all of which offer different incentives, packages, career paths and most importantly, values.

Finding an agency whose culture aligns to you, is one of the most important factors to consider. What you get out of recruitment both in terms of earnings, career progression and job satisfaction will all stem from the culture and environment established.

Recruitment, as stress free as it seems with all the holiday incentives, lunch clubs and commission paychecks, can be a very stressful role especially within the  first 12 months. Making sure that you are surrounded by like-minded people who push and motivate you on a daily basis will have a dramatic impact on how you get through the “low’s”, what you learn from these and how quickly you develop as a recruiter. All of which have an impact on your workplace wellbeing and career aspirations. 

Having the “best commission structure” or the “biggest pool table” are cool but they won’t help you develop as much as having the right environment will.

Explore your options

Following on from my previous point, making sure you find the right fit for you mean you need to explore as many options as you can before committing.

Every agency will offer a different career progression plan, salary, benefits and culture and so it’s important to weigh all of these up before making a decision. From personal experience I would highly recommend speaking to “Rec2Rec” consultants who will help to guide you through your search and hopefully present you with options that will allow you to make as informed a decision as possible.


Be prepared to work hard

“The harder you work the luckier you get” is a term my Managing Director has preached to me and everyone in our business since day 1 and he couldn’t be more right. 

Recruitment is all about learning from your mistakes and the people around you, developing strong relationships and becoming an expert in your market. All of this takes time and will not come to anyone without dedication and hard work. The most successful recruitment consultants are often in that place because they are prepared to outwork their competition, take on constructive feedback from others and learn from their mistakes.


Don’t expect everything to always go well 

Recruitment is often a rollercoaster ride, no matter if you’re a trainee consultant or a senior with 5 years of experience. In recruitment we deal with people which means that things are sometimes out of your control and you have to be prepared to go through some bumps in the road on your way to success. 

You must have the right mental outset that allows you to push through the lows and back into the high’s of recruitment.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When entering the world of recruitment you quickly realise that there’s a lot more to the profession than just “finding people jobs”. 

The more you progress into your 360 recruitment role the more plates you will have to spin and, often you’ll find yourself in a situation where you don’t know how to go about completing a certain task. 

As a manager I can vouch for the fact that the goal of every recruitment leader is for their team to develop and the best way to do this is to ask questions about things you aren’t sure about or need support on. Real leaders within the field would never turn down their team members when they need support on anything and will always be happy to answer any questions or help. 

Don’t be unorganised 

Following on from my last point, once you really get your feet under the table in a 360 recruitment role you’ll find yourself in situations where you have a number of different roles to resource for, meetings to attend and admin work to do.

Being organised with your time is a key skill in many professions and recruitment is no different. Having a day plan created every single morning is an awesome asset to yourself and will be a huge help in ensuring you complete all of the activities that you had planned for any given day.

Round Up

All in all, recruitment is an awesome career opportunity that offers a mix of strong financial compensation, job satisfaction and a varied day to day role.

I think taking the leap into the professional world when leaving University can be really daunting but if you enter a business that offers you the right support structure and environment the transition can often seem seamless and highly rewarding. 

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