What can you expect from a career in recruitment?

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Let’s be honest. Historically, recruitment has been seen as a career you fall into, rather than seeking out.

The IRP are working towards changing this stereotype and want to make recruitment a career of choice.

Recruitment is often portrayed in a negative light. We’ve all heard stories of money-crazy recruiters who are in it for themselves and don’t work with their candidates or clients in mind. But in reality, when you actually speak to recruitment professionals, this is far from the truth.

The long and short of it is – recruitment is one of the most people heavy jobs out there. Yes, your ultimate task is filling roles and making money for your business. But you can’t do that if you don’t understand the people you’re working with.

Not only do you have to understand your clients motivations for hiring and exactly what they’re looking for, you have to completely understand your candidates, what they’re looking for and their motivations in looking for a new role. You have to understand it all to match people successfully.

We are clearly all about loving recruitment and think it’s one of the best careers out there. It’s all well and good for us to say it, but what about hearing from our members on the ground?

In the first of a series of video profiles, we spoke to recruiters at different stages in their careers to find out why they got into the industry, what their job is like and what they love about it.

Common strands that shone through were the love of recruitment’s fast-paced and varied environment, working with people and the chance for progression. What more do you want from a career?

Ulrika Lawrence is a junior recruitment consultant, juggling work with studying for her apprenticeship:

“I had done a lot of sales…I wasn’t enjoying it very much and I didn’t like the fact that there wasn’t a lot of variety in the roles…I wanted to find something a little bit different where I felt like I was actually helping people, and thought recruitment would be the kind of fast-paced, varied environment I could really contribute to.”

“Some days will be purely speaking with candidates, other days will be purely speaking with clients and other days might be a client visit… spend a couple of hours with a client and just understand what their needs are.”

“(I love) the fast-paced environment. It’s not boring at all, there’s always something different. People. I love being social, it’s a great job to be social in. The progression. There’s so much room for progression within recruitment and there’s just so much room for growth. So it’s nice to know that you’re not in a dead end job at all.”

“I think it really helps to set you up with some great life skills.”

Polly Stevens is a sales manager:

“(To work in recruitment you must be) hard-working, tenacious, motivated, and be someone who is really willing to get their head down and crack on.”

“When I first joined recruitment I thought it could be a stop gap – it could be something whilst I’m waiting for my career to start, but it can be a really good career.”

“(I love) the team spirit and rapport, you get a lot of banter, a lot of vibrant personalities and it makes coming to the office really interesting. It’s not just a 9 to 5 job where you’re sitting there doing admin all the time or repeating the same process every day.”

Damian Hicklin is a sales director:

“A typical day is quite frenetic, it’s never the same…it’s about engaging with my management team, spending time at desk with the people they manage, getting out and seeing as many clients as I can, bringing in business for team…overall it’s delivering a budget and helping our clients and talent”

“(I enjoy) making people more successful that I think they realise they can be. Recruitment helps you push the boundaries, get outside of what you think you can do, and for me that’s the best part of it.”

“(I love) people engagement, reward and the variety…recruitment is about people, and whether that’s talent we represent, clients and internal, colleagues and customers, it’s always about people.”


Recruitment is a career path worth considering. It’s a place where you can quickly move up and have great success while doing something worthwhile. Not many careers out there boast that. It’s a job in which working hard means you’re rewarded, in more ways than one.

It is tough. It’s a roller coaster, and you will suffer setbacks. But what makes it so rewarding is your reaction to those setbacks, how you move forward and get that success next time. Sometimes no matter how hard you work, your perfect candidate may decide to drop out at the last minute. And that’s challenging. It’s a risky job but one you can be proud of succeeding in.

Let’s smash the negative stereotype that’s dogged our industry for too long. The financial rewards are great, but that’s not the only reason we love our industry. At the end of the day, we have an opportunity to transform lives. And really, there’s nothing more rewarding than that.

The IRP website has a dedicated Help & Advice section, which gives more information on recruitment as a career through our job descriptions, and offers guidance through our IRP Professional Guide series.

This week the REC released new research ‘Planning for growth’, all about attracting and retaining talent and includes a look at salaries and benefits. View the key findings in our infographic.

Remember to tell us in the comments below why you love recruitment and join the conversation on Twitter #iloverecruitment #careerofchoice

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