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What made you decide to choose a career in recruitment?
I studied Psychology at university and hadn’t initially thought about a career in recruitment until my second year where I decided to do some work experience at a recruitment company. Once I graduated I started my job search and wasn’t sure about what I wanted to go into but I knew I wanted a career that would offer me progression opportunities. I liked that recruitment offered me control of my earnings so I applied for a graduate scheme and was put in touch with Sellick Partnership.
Why did you choose to work at Sellick Partnership?
The first thing that attracted me to Sellick Partnership was their awards and accreditations. They had recently been recognised as one of the 100 Best Workplaces™ in the UK by Great Place to Work® UK, which showed me that they must really care about their employees. Having researched Sellick Partnership further, I realised they offered so many benefits including a training and development programme. This was really important to me, as I was a recent graduate and really wanted to develop my knowledge on the recruitment sector and learn the trade. After speaking with Simon, the Internal Talent Manager, I realised they had a really clear progression path for me and a great commission structure. I also learned that they hold regular social activities to all employees, which really helped me to settle in and build relationships with my colleagues.
How did you find your first year in recruitment and what challenges did you face?
Recruitment can be very challenging at times, and you really do have to have the patience and drive to want to succeed. If you are determined then it can be the most rewarding career. I get to help candidates find their dream roles, which is the best job satisfaction! The main challenge I faced within my first year was learning to not take things personally. If a candidate decides to accept a different role or counter offer then you have to respect that it is the best decision for them, it is nothing personal to you. You cannot control people, you just have to do your best to understand them and what they want out of their career. Recruitment can be hard, like any role there are lots of ups and downs but the highs massively outweigh the lows. Bad days can affect your earning potential, which can be difficult and stressful but as long as you have a positive attitude then you really can have a successful career in recruitment.
You started at Sellick Partnership as a graduate and have been promoted twice, progressing to Principal Consultant – how did you work your way up the recruitment ladder?
Hard work, dedication and determination! When I first started working as a Recruitment Consultant I worked really closely with my manager to learn the market and understand the legal sector. I was initially worried that I didn’t know much about the legal sector, however I put a lot of effort in to learn about it. In recruitment you get out what you put in, so if you try hard and are passionate then naturally you are going to progress. Sellick Partnership has a really clear progression route, so I knew straight away what I wanted to work towards. I had regular reviews with my manager to understand what my goals were and how I could achieve them.
What are your top 3 tips for graduates who are starting their careers in recruitment?
- Get as involved in the industry as you can and immerse yourself into your chosen sector. For me that is legal recruitment and I regularly keep myself updated with the latest news to ensure that I know what issues my clients are facing. This way I can make sure that I find the right talent they need for their business. I also like to stay connected to all of my candidates - recruitment is all about networking and having good working relationships. The better I know my candidates, the easier it is for me to find a role that is well suited to them. I want to make sure that any placement I make is suitable for both parties. This not only helps with my own personal reputation in the recruitment industry, but also gives me job satisfaction to know that I have helped someone find their dream role.
- Help others and they will help you – although recruitment can be very entrepreneurial by nature it is important to make sure you are communicating with your colleagues and sharing knowledge. This is also a great way of building up your network, your colleagues may know a candidate that would be a really good fit for a role you’re working on. It’s also important to ask colleagues for advice. They will share the same experiences as you and may be able to help when you have questions about the industry or need some down time away from your desk.
- Don’t give up! I have heard that some people think they will earn commission straight away as a Recruitment Consultant but this isn’t the case. As with any role it does take time to learn your trade and build up your network. Sellick Partnership’s training scheme has really helped with this and has taught me how to build my own desk. Resilience is key – it’s not about quick wins in recruitment, it’s about hard work and determination.
Tell us more about what is involved working as a recruitment consultant.
My day-to-day role involves keeping in touch with my clients and candidates. Even if my client doesn’t have a vacant role, or if my candidate isn’t ready to make a move yet, I call them to see how they are and build relationships. I am very personable and like to speak and understand people’s wants and needs.
I also like to ensure I keep in touch with client and candidates on LinkedIn. I try to offer career and sector advice where I can. One thing I have been working on over the past 12 months is offering advice on a legal recruitment specific online magazine column. This has allowed me to help people who may be undecided on what step to take next, or what they need to do in order to have a career change. I know the market very well, so sharing this experience really gives me job satisfaction, and Sellick Partnership has given me this platform.
Structure your day and be organised, make sure you plan each day and what it is you want to achieve that week or month. Set yourself goals to work towards and have an overall aim. This will help to keep you focused on your work. Finally, make sure you cover your whole market. I don’t just cover one specialism within legal recruitment, I look at the market as a whole and what is available to me.
Alternatively, you can check out our latest internal vacancies here.