January 18, 2018 - Comments Off on My First 18 Months in Recruitment

My First 18 Months in Recruitment

Before joining the world of recruitment, I had a number of preconceptions of what it might be like.

I was expecting a driven and fast-paced environment where I would constantly be learning and challenging myself and in that sense it has lived up to and exceeded my expectations.

What surprised me was how much of a ‘people’ job it is. I spend all day speaking with different people from all over the world and helping them in one way or another, whether it’s assisting a client to find the perfect person to join their team or working with a candidate to find their dream job. It’s a big fat recruitment cliché but it’s a great feeling to help change someone’s life for the better and to give them an opportunity they might never have given a second thought, or to help them find the perfect person to enhance their team.

I am sure there will be many more lessons in recruitment (and in life) to come – but here are a few things my first year and 6 months have taught me:

1.      Quality not quantity

It is better to share 1 great CV with your client than 3 average ones, or to represent your candidate for 1 great job you know you they will love than put them forward for 3 they’re not quite right for (and probably don’t want).

Clients and candidates will remember you and you should make sure it’s for the right reasons.

(This can be difficult when you work in a KPI driven environment – see my Director Ian’s blog – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/single-most-important-kpi-ian-james/)

2.      Honesty is always the best policy

Whether it’s telling a candidate “I’m sorry I’m not working on anything right for you at the moment” or telling your client “She’s interested in the role, but you should be aware she is also interviewing somewhere else”.

Any deviation from the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will come back to bite you. Your candidates and your clients will always appreciate honesty and transparency and people who like and trust you will want to work with you again and tell their friends and colleagues about you.

3.      Don’t be afraid to ask loads of questions

….or to say “I don’t know”.

I remember my first couple of weeks in recruitment as being busy, exciting and interesting but also overwhelming and confusing. Swallow your pride and ask every single question that comes to mind no matter how silly it might sound in your head (loads of mine were silly when I asked them out loud as well…)

4.      Listen Carefully

Ask your clients – What are they looking for? Why have they struggled to fill this role? What kind of service do they want from you? Ask your candidates – Why are you unhappy in your current role? What’s your ideal next role? Do you have any doubts or concerns?

If you ask all of the right questions from the word go and really listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it you will understand that person and their needs much more fully.

In turn, if your clients and candidates feel you are listening carefully and care about what they are saying, they will trust you more and be more honest.

5.      If you’re not 100% sure – get a second opinion.

I often ask my Director – “This is what I think I should do/say, what do you think?”

When you are so heavily involved in a process, and invested in your candidates’ and clients’ interests, sometimes you have blinkers on. Taking a step back and having a fresh pair of eyes or ears can make all the difference and help you see things from a different perspective.

6.      Make all of your communication Clear, Concise and Friendly

Before I press send I ask myself few things:

– Is my email clear about what I am trying to communicate and what information/action I am looking for from the other person?

– Can I communicate the same message in fewer words?

– Am I managing to get my point across without compromising on politeness and professionalism?

7.      Find the right working environment for you

Every recruitment firm is different, and your success in this industry and enjoyment of your job will depend on how well your own values and personality fit with those of the people you are working for and with.

At Milburn Lewis we have one and only one KPI – interviews on the board and it’s up to you (within reason!) how you meet that target.

We run our own desks in every sense. Though there is always help and advice on hand if you’d like it, decisions are our own to make and instincts are our own to follow.

If this sounds like an environment that would suit you we are currently hiring for several roles. If you are interested in starting or furthering your career in recruitment then reach out to either of my directors for a confidential conversation.

ian.james@milburnlewis.com paul.cuthbert@milburnlewis.com

Published by: Sarah Radford in Blogs

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