How to become a Recruitment Consultant

Recruitment Consultants are a vital link between clients and candidates; as a Recruitment Consultant, you’ll work to attract suitable candidates to roles within client companies. You’ll spend time building up relationships with clients, in addition to advising candidates on training requirements and salary rates. The position is fast-paced and can be demanding, as many Consultants will be set monthly targets.

Average salary

Starting salary £16,000 + commission

Required qualifications

There are no mandatory qualifications for becoming a Recruitment consultant. However, a degree in one following subjects may be preferred:
  • Psychology
  • Business Studies
  • Management
You may also find that many employers will prefer experience over qualifications; however, if you choose to work in a more specialist role, e.g. IT Recruitment Consultant, a relevant degree may be required.

Key skills

  • Commercially aware
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Strong verbal and written skills
  • Proficient IT and numeracy skills
  • Ability to work independently and stay self-motivated
  • Strong negotiation and sales skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet targets

Useful work experience

Experience within the recruitment industry will always be advantageous if you’re looking to become a Recruitment Consultant; often your experience will be more valuable than your qualifications. Gaining first-hand knowledge of the industry through an internship or temporary work will give you the edge, as employers will often seek this from candidates.

A typical working day

Usually, Recruitment Consultant roles will be office-based, though you may sometimes be required to travel and meet with clients. Office hours will typically be between 8.30am – 6pm, however, you may be required to work later, especially to contact candidates who may be unavailable during working hours. Though roles within different sectors may entail different duties, there will usually be a list of general responsibilities, such as:
  • Using sales and marketing techniques, in addition to networking to attract business from client companies
  • Visiting clients to build and develop relationships
  • Developing a thorough understanding of clients, their industry, their work culture and environment
  • Advertising vacancies by composing adverts in a range of media, such as newspapers, websites, magazines
  • Headhunting – identifying and approaching suitable candidates who may already be in work
  • Potentially using candidate databases to determine the right person for the client’s vacancy
  • receiving and reviewing applications, managing interviews and tests and creating a shortlist of candidates for the client;
  • Briefing the candidate about the responsibilities, salary and benefits of the job in question
  • Organising interviews as requested by the client
  • Negotiating salary rates and finalising arrangements between clients and candidates