With less than a month to go before I bid adieu to the wonderful world of recruitment, I thought I’d pull together a small list of things I’ve learnt in those ten months. By no means do I deem myself a proper recruiter (I was a resourcer who’s had a go at a 360 role), nor do I think I’ve stayed there long enough ‘to have seen it all’ but here are some things I’ve picked up along the way.
1. Having a thick-skin goes a long way, a little sincerity goes a longer way. When sincerity is met with crass rejection, then we’re back to step one: grow your thick-skin.
It’s a tough balance – taking numerous rejections and still being able to get back on your feet and be as sincere on your next call. It’s equivalent to being hit by a dodge ball right in the face and still managing to get up with the same amount of motivation, only to be hit again, this time in the balls.
2. Recruitment is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. (Thanks, Forrest Gump.)
You get nasty people on a good day and you get responsive and chatty ones on a bad day. Just relax. If it’s been overall a shitty day, there’s always tomorrow.
3. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, sometimes
If you think unscrupulous behaviour only applies to recruiters, think again. Before getting into recruitment, I knew my existence would eventually be questioned by a lot of professionals who’s already had enough of it. Most of them somehow think recruiters are out there to rip off everyone. Within a month, I realised this is a common misconception especially by those from outside the industry. Some probably do but there exist legit ones who do work hard to make sure you get your fee’s worth… We break our backs and stay longer hours to find clients quality candidates only for us to find that they will go behind our back, leave us in the dark and employ them directly – forgetting that this has to work for us as a business too.
4. You are not ‘it’. Always strive to improve yourself.
There is always someone who’s going to be better than you. Fact. And that person is probably hustling whilst you’re too busy being complacent. Tons of applicants think they are ‘it’ and they’ve ticked all the boxes, they might do but they’re forgetting the fact that they’re not the only ones who can operate a Mac. Whatever craft it is you’ve chosen to go with, hone it. And don’t ever stop. (I should probably start doing this myself…)
5. Time is your most valuable commodity.
We’ve all heard of this one before, perhaps one too many times but I’ve come to acknowledge this just now. Performing more than one role in my post, there were times when I saw myself caught in a perfect storm: incoming applications to process; this and this person needs getting back to; the consultant wants to arrange an interview with so and so; this client needs a freelancer immediately; I’m short of candidates so got to find more THEN THE PHONE RINGS. All in under a minute.
There came a time when I just wanted to bang my head on the keyboard hoping it will make it all go away, when all that’s needed is a little chill pill. If you dip your fingers in one too many pies all at once, calm down, push the pie to one side and choose which fingers are worth licking first. Bad analogy. What I’m trying to say is, a lot of people and tasks unfortunately can end up being a waste of time. Prioritise, allocate time wisely, constantly seek ways to be more efficient.
6. Sales calls or bold cold call conversations, whatever you want to call it, often start with the weather or the weekend.
Funnily enough, a teacher is also likely to ask you this on a Monday morning. I just find this amusing. If anyone knows of any killer conversation starters, please share.
7. Remembering names. Such an important skill and yet surprisingly overlooked.
Communication, relationship-building, negotiation skills… all essential. You keep seeing the same attributes and skills required to be a top-notch recruitment consultant (insert other professions here) but I personally think this basic skill should also be up there as it makes such a huge difference.
8. Always keep in mind: the next one is (probably) the gold.
Some things are not meant to be. No matter how hard you try, it’s just not for you. But do keep the above statement in mind.
9. To those who say recruitment is only about the money, it isn’t.
During my post, I’ve seen people come in and out the recruitment door with no guarantee of securing a job. Some we’ve not managed to help and can only offer sufficient advice to, some we’ve had an impact on. It might just be a foot in the door, their next step on the ladder or a significant move – needless to say, some recruiters do genuinely want to help and earning commission once a job offer is accepted, well, (incoming word play) that’s just a bonus.
10. Recruitment can be so much fun but it’s not for me.
Featured image: Etsy