By Amanda Ashworth
If you are a recruiter you’ll know that most of us get here unintentionally. It’s never anyone’s childhood ambition, it just sort of happens when someone, somewhere sells you the dream. My love of recruitment begun at the tender age of just 20 when I started my own childcare recruitment business. It seemed a little crazy to some but I reminded them that I was ambitious, plus what better way to learn about the business!
I spent a sizeable chunk of my career working for a large international agency. This offered excellent training and exposure to the industry that I needed, acting as the stepping stone (felt more like a ten mile bridge really) that sent me off on a recruitment voyage to discover and learn about different sectors, from engineering to digital
When the recession fell upon us, I watched as recruitment took a big hit. The future of recruitment agencies was labeled as ‘uncertain’ and still is by some. But many positives have come from this, as recruiters have been forced to up their game and offer better value,. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I discovered the wonderful world of social recruiting. It’s a platform that has changed recruitment forever and is only going to continue to advance and offer more exciting recruitment approaches.
I often talk (whether blogging, being on a discussion panel or literally talking to anyone who will listen) about the benefits of social media and the way that it is changing the industry for the better. A key point is the social factor. Social media is making recruitment more fun than ever before. You have access to different recruiters opinions and insights and the crowdsourcing techniques on offer are vast and still growing. Most of us now have access to a huge pool of candidates that you could only have dreamed about before.
These are just some of the factors that are making recruitment less of a career path that you just fall into like I did, and more of a choice for Generation Y to consider and aspire to. I truly believe that as recruiters, we have a duty to work as advocates of our industry. It’s a job that rewards you based on how much you put in, which means the moneymaking potential is there for the taking.
Recruiting is a career choice for people people; you need to be able to communicate and self motivate. It’s a demanding job and honestly, it’s no easier than working with children or animals, which people so fondly like to warn you against.
Like any job, recruitment offers its good and bad points. I’ll start with the good because I think that if your highs outweigh the lows, then you are in the right place. And for me, the lows don’t even come close.
I’m nosy by nature and knowledgeable by nurture. I love building relationships with clients and candidates and I’m genuinely interested in everyone’s story. I understand that changing jobs can be one of the most stressful aspects of a person’s life but the reward of placing someone who you have developed a relationship with, offers no better feeling. Not to mention the absolute buzz of actually making a placement and smashing targets, which never get less thrilling.
No two days are ever the same and that adds excitement to the job, but of course there are always off months. Targets might not be met or it might take that little bit extra time to find the ideal candidate. Unfortunately I am one of those people who wears their heart on their sleeve and then takes the job home with me, but these types of lows just add to my motivation and drive.
We are perceived as ‘just’ sales people (which I hate). We sell people. And although technically the profession is about making sales and hitting those targets, I have met very few recruiters who actually reflect the stereotypes given to recruiters. We have feelings and emotions, and speaking on behalf of most recruiters, we do care about our candidates.
Having stepped away from a billing role, my newest position in marketing works for me because it suits my lifestyle as a working mother and caters for my need to work on exciting projects with great companies and clients. Recruitment does involve long hours and hopefully it’s not too far away from adopting agile working structures to retain more people with the need for flexibility in the workplace.
I’ve moved into the marketing and community-building side. Like with everything I do, I’m passionate about this and I’m excited about what is to come. 2013 is set to bring exciting industry shakeups and with all the disruptive technologies around, I’m already watching recruitment evolve.
One of my main focuses in my career right now, is to continue to support the growth of social media the role it’s playing in the industry. I have high hopes that it will one day become mainstream and become the norm. Whatever happens with this ever changing industry, I know that one thing’s for sure – once a recruiter always a recruiter.