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A Day in the Life of an Associate Recruitment Consultant

11 Oct 2017
Finlay Hutchison

While studying at Newcastle University I found that conversations with recent graduates revolved around their new jobs, but I somehow never actually found out what it is they did on a day to day basis. In this blog post I hope to give some clarification as to exactly what it is an Associate Recruitment Consultant does. I’m part of Eden Scott’s first ever graduate intake, so I suppose there were a number of firsts along the way for both parties. I also hope to give an insight into the office environment within which I operate. Furthermore, I’ll touch on some of the advantages and disadvantages that I have been exposed to when working in recruitment.

Before I begin, let me make one thing clear right away. Regardless of what you may have heard about recruitment, we were not given the Yellow Pages and told to work out way through it. Well, at least not at Eden Scott. Instead, I was greeted by friendly faces and a warm welcome.

Insight into the role of an Associate Recruitment Consultant

Allowing for an initial week of introductions, enjoyable lunches, the odd bit of compliance and general learning of procedures and systems, I’ll delve into the reality of graduate recruitment. My second week involved a lot of candidate calling, CV formatting, uploading information the system and the shadowing of consultants doing business development. I have come to realise the reality of the job entails so much more than this. I quickly learned that a key requirement to be successful in recruitment is the ability to effectively manage your time. With limited hours in the day and an array of pressing needs, time management is essential to ensure the completion of tasks. With this in mind, I’ll briefly explain the range of tasks one can expect to encounter as a graduate recruiter.
There is no getting away from it; time on the phone is an essential part of the job. Whether you’re calling candidates to update them on their current application or you’re catching up with a longstanding client about their upcoming recruitment needs, being on the phone is an integral part of a recruiters’ day. That said, the fast paced recruitment environment requires that your attention is usually in about five different places at once.

I have also found that the onus to perform lies directly on you. Before I started I often heard phrases such as ‘you build your own desk’. Safe to say my expectation of trips to Ikea were a bit off the mark. I didn’t fully appreciate the meaning of building my own desk until I started the work. In essence, it means choose a niche within a market and target that. You become an expert in the field, you know the clients who are looking to grow and therefore recruit, you know the pace of the market, and you know the candidates in the field. It becomes your own little bubble and you have the sole responsibility to manage its’ success. As far as the recruitment industry goes, if the desk does well the business does well, and you receive the financial remuneration to match. In recruitment hard work truly does pay.

 

The office environment

My experience so far is that everyone in recruitment is fairly like-minded. They all want to succeed, they’re passionate, resilient, and relish competition – whether that is against yourself or others in the firm. I found the presence of scoreboards in the office to be refreshing and thrilling. You know exactly where you are poised in the business, and where you can aim to be. The job has a certain moreish aspect to it.

One aspect of office life I enjoy in particular is the daily interaction with others, whether it’s on the phone, meeting a candidate for a coffee, on clients’ premises, or occasionally being treated to a client lunch. We’re encouraged to meet every candidate and to physically see the clients’ operation. It always amazes me how much you learn by simply visiting a company and being talked through their specifics. The value in this is limitless. It affords a complete understanding of the client brief and to appreciate the fundamental skills that are require of their new hire. It allows us to understand in detail not only the job role, but also the cultural fit they seek.

Since starting at Eden Scott I’ve been helped along the way, received great training, been exposed to a variety of situations, and generally been able to develop my recruitment skills. One thing that I haven’t had the displeasure of experiencing, is micromanagement. I’m lucky enough to be working in an organisation that encourages freedom and the ability to self-manage, with a guiding hand as and when needed.

I can’t speak for the rest of the recruitment industry as to whether or not this is the norm, but I know that having this freedom allows me to pursue opportunities that I see fit and make decisions for myself. By no stretch of the imagination does this mean I always make the right decision. What it does do is allow me the freedom to make my own mistakes and subsequently learn from these. I find this to be an invaluable lesson as I’ve always been a firm believer of learning by doing, which is the environment in which I’m lucky enough to be in.

Hopefully next time you’re having a conversation with someone and they say ‘I’m an associate recruitment consultant’ you’ll have a better understanding of what their job entails. Having said that, this is just my personal experience - their role could be entirely different to mine. All I can say is that I’m enjoying Eden Scott and that I’m excited to see what the future brings. So if you like challenging work, meeting and interacting with people, opportunities to make decisions for yourself and the potential for financial rewards, then recruitment may be for you! If you find I’ve left you with more questions than answers I’d love to chat. Feel free to contact me on finlay.hutchison@edenscott.com or give me a call on 0131 550 1115.

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Finlay Hutchison
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