“I don’t think I could be a recruiter, I’m not very salesy and I hate cold calling”.
Understandably this is a genuine concern for some people when thinking about working in recruitment. But let me tell you that I am definitely NOT very ‘salesy’ and I haven’t made a cold call for around 2 years. For some people, recruitment has a bad reputation (probably based on firsthand experience) and there are definitely still recruitment companies that are focused on being salesy, and who have cold calling as a fundamental part of the job.
However, at Beyond The Book, it’s all about relationships; they are at the heart of what we do. If you have considered a career in recruitment but have heard bad things, then I would ask you to put those thoughts to one side and keep reading.
Here are the real qualities that you need as a recruiter:
1. You will love building relationships
Whether you are talking to candidates or clients, relationships, old and new, are key. You will love picking up the phone and getting to know new people as well as meeting face to face for a coffee and a chat. You will enjoy meeting new people and developing new relationships. You will also love nurturing existing relationships. Relationships drive what we do. It is my favourite part of my job!
2. You will enjoy account management
You will need to be organised and enjoy talking to your clients, managing projects and updating your clients regularly. You will enjoy spinning lots of plates and dealing with changing priorities. No two days are ever the same and, although we have to plan our time, we need to accept that plans can change!
3. You will enjoy helping others and want to make a difference
As recruiters, we are not changing the world, however, we are helping people at a time where they are making important life decisions. Candidates may come to us when they are going through a tough time. They may have been made redundant, relocating, be looking to return to work after being on leave, or just looking to make a step up in their career. Or they might just fancy a change. We help people find their perfect work home. As recruiters, we are also helping clients who want to bring new people into their team.
What we do really makes a difference to people’s lives, and our candidates and clients are genuinely grateful to us. You are working with people at an emotionally charged time and so being empathetic is key.
4. You will be resilient
You will need a level of resilience - or be open to adopting this. Recruitment is hard; it can be tough when things don’t go to plan and we are working with people, who have their own feelings and agendas, and will make their own decisions. You can be doing the very best for your client, controlling the process in every way, but the candidate may accept a counter offer or accept another job. You need to be able to enjoy the highs and bounce back after the lows. We call it the ‘recruitment rollercoaster’ because it really can be that up and down.
But, at Beyond The Book, we are a team, and we celebrate the highs and pull together in the lows.
Some recruitment myths:
1. You have to be ‘salesy’ to be a recruiter
At the end of the day, you are selling. You are selling your services to clients and selling opportunities to candidates. However, if you forget about the sales, and spend time genuinely getting to know both your clients and candidates, you don’t feel like you are selling - you are match-making. You are so bought-in to your clients, that it is an absolute pleasure championing them in the market to candidates. The candidates you put forward to your client are so right that you can’t wait for them to meet.
We do have targets, but they are there to guide you and actually, most jobs do (and all companies!). We work as a team and if you adopt the strategies and processes that have been proven to work, you will achieve and exceed your targets.
2. You have to apologise to clients for calling them
I used to start a client or candidate call with, "I am sorry to bother you", or, "I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch", then I stopped myself. We are helping our clients and candidates and there is no reason to apologise. Not everyone wants to hear from a recruiter, and that is fine. Not everyone wants to hear from an insurance provider unless they are looking for insurance. Not everyone wants to hear from a gardener if they don’t want their garden doing, and not everyone wants to hear from Tesco unless they want to do their food shop. But there are lots of people who do want to hear from us and so we prefer to talk to them, and we don’t apologise for it.
3. You have to have recruitment experience
Experience in recruitment can help, however, it isn’t necessary. At Beyond The Book, knowledge is just one of the things we really value and most of the team have come from the industry. We have Social Media Managers, Account Managers and Creatives. If you have a genuine passion for the Marketing, Creative and Digital sectors, along with a passion for people and relationships, then you can be a great recruiter.
4. You have to cold call
No, no and NO. I haven’t made a cold call in 2 years. I stopped doing them because they made me feel very uncomfortable and, more importantly, they don’t work. You may get a quick win but any call you make should be warm and well-intended.
At Beyond The Book, we focus on building our brand on social media, connecting with new people, writing content and spending time becoming a specialist in our market. We champion candidates in the market, and, from all of these activities, we attract new clients. We also work with our clients on an exclusive basis to ensure commitment.
Clients work with us because they want to, not because we have called them chasing down some jobs! We want to work on committed, not transactional, business.
5. You have to be a really competitive person
Again, you can be and that is ok. But you don’t have to be. I am quite competitive; mostly with myself, but that is what drives me. I want to do a good job for my candidates and clients, and this is why I love what I do. Some people are money focused; some just love what they do, and others just love the recruitment buzz. You don’t have to be competitive to be a good recruiter, but you do need to want to do the best for your candidates and clients.
If you are considering a career change and would like to find out if recruitment is for you, then