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 role is fast-paced and can be demanding, as many Consultants are 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 though 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 are based in an office, though you may need to travel and meet with clients. Alongside this, office hours are usually between 8.30am – 6pm, however, you may have to work later, especially to contact candidates who are 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 identify 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

Where could you be in five years’ time?

The role of Recruitment Consultant is a key stepping stone for a long and fruitful career in the recruitment industry. In fact, as you progress, you’re likely to become a Senior Consultant, followed by promotion to Account Manager. If you choose to progress into a more managerial position, you could find yourself becoming a Team Leader, followed by a Branch Manager.

Depending on the size of the recruitment agency, there may also be possibilities to progress to a role as an Area Manager and then a Regional Manager.

Best part of the job…

Working as a Recruitment Consultant can be a very rewarding career, and you’ll know that you’ve been instrumental in helping candidates to find work, in addition to knowing you’ve met your client’s needs.

What to prepare for…

At times the role may involve working long hours, especially if you’ve got targets to meet. You may also find yourself working in a high-pressure environment, so you should be able to keep a level head.

Key qualities

To succeed in this role, you’ll have to be energetic and resilient. In addition, you’ll be confident making new business leads, and you’ll be target-driven and tenacious. As a Recruitment Consultant, you should be outgoing and creative, as you’ll need to attract new candidates and clients using a variety of methods.

Check out our Recruitment jobs to see what else is required!