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How To Get a Job in Recruitment

1 Oct 2013
Lindsey Boxall

Think you’ve got what it takes for a career in recruitment?

The appeal of a rich and glamorous lifestyle is why many people initially apply for a role in recruitment, whilst others simply fall into it. However recruitment is much more than schmoozing and building relationships; fundamentally it’s a sales job which requires skill, acumen and a lot of hard work.

Although I’ve been working in recruitment for several years, one thing that I’ve discovered is how notoriously difficult it is to recruit recruiters. This is largely down to the following reasons good recruiters require a vast skillset, in which only some of it can be taught. Determining who has what it takes in an interview can be somewhat tricky.

So what are the skills that a wannabe recruitment consultant needs to succeed in an interview and what are you being tested on? Remember this is your first opportunity to show you've got what it takes for an incredibly rewarding career in recruitment. Check out my top five selection criteria below.


Are you driven? Are you passionate? Are you tenacious? Of course you are. However to be successful in recruitment, you really need to be determined to succeed.

This can require a streak of a competitive nature, but it mainly comes down to being able to build relationships quickly, think on your feet and be resilient.

It’s very important to understand and empathise with the candidate. With so many horror stories surrounding candidates’ experiences with bad recruiters, a good recruiter is able to put themselves in the shoes of the job seeker and understand their worries and frustrations. A large part of what a recruitment consultant does is provide constructive advice to help candidates find a role that is right for them.

Remember, you’re dealing with people’s careers here.


Is this beginning to sound like you? Whilst there’s no university course offering a degree in recruitment, it does require a level of skill.

Whether you’re meeting candidates or clients, you need to be an incredibly strong communicator. This doesn’t necessarily mean depending on “business chat”, you need to understand how to establish a rapport with the person you are communicating with.

Recruiters are excellent problem solvers. It’s a fast paced industry and requires people who are able to think on their feet. How are you going to find that one in a million candidate for a complex role? You'll need to be able to think innovatively and use your commercial savvy.

Work Ethic

Recruiters are notoriously hard workers. Those new to the industry can be shocked at the long hours required, determination and a strong work ethic are needed to get ahead.

You’ll be expected to fully understand your area of expertise, which requires research and training. Put the hours in here and you’ll definitely reap the rewards later down the line.

Starting on a new desk requires effort in order to develop your personal brand and yield results.

Team Player

Whilst recruiters at Eden Scott are autonomous for their own work load, it’s important that you are able to work well with others.

At Eden Scott we promote a collaborative working environment in which colleagues can share advice and support one another.

Furthermore, you shouldn’t just be in it to win it for yourself. Our consultants all share a common goal for Eden Scott to grow and succeed.

Commercial Ability

Like I said in the beginning of this article, recruitment is a sales job; therefore it requires an excellent commercial attitude.

Good recruiters are natural sellers. This is not your typical sales approach; it’s about using non-aggressive sales techniques to get the desired results. You should be upfront, transparent and honest, with the ability to monetise what you do.

Ready to Apply?

If you’re determined to make it big in the world of recruitment, then apply for a career at Eden Scott. We have offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and are always keen to speak to those interested in starting their career with us.

To search all of our latest job vacancies, or to simply get in touch with one of our Directors, click here.



Lindsey Boxall
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