I Want to Work In … A Recruitment Agency


Recruitment agencies are used by large employers who wish to "spread their net" as widely as possible when recruiting graduates or specialists, and by smaller ones which do not have the personnel resources to carry out their own recruitment. Employers expect agencies to put forward candidates with specific qualities or abilities related to the job. This can restrict opportunities for new graduates without significant work experience - some agencies specify six months experience in a relevant field.

The work is a mixture of sales and HR recruitment and selection activities. It is fast moving and well paid and an increasingly popular choice for graduates.

PROFILE: Recruitment Consultant

INVOLVES: Matching job-seekers with employers' vacancies. Assessing candidates' skills & employers' requirements. Liaison with recruiters & potential candidates (either of whom may contact you or be contacted by you initially) & acting as the link between them.
EMPLOYERS: Recruitment agencies; Selection divisions of management consultants.
RELATED JOBS: personnel manager; careers adviser, media sales representative.
SATISFACTIONS: Involvement with people; insight into different businesses; helping clients to obtain a good job.
NEGATIVES: Pressure to meet targets.
SKILLS: Verbal & written communication, persuading, negotiating, listening.
ADVANCEMENT: Promotion to manage a team - branch - area or to work with clients at higher levels of seniority, e.g. executive search.
DEGREE: Any degree subject acceptable but business/personnel related degrees may be useful. Relevant subjects for specialist consultants, e.g. Accounting, Law.
VACANCY SOURCES: National press; Trade press, e.g. Professional Recruiter; Interviewer; Selection
TIPS: Need to present a businesslike appearance & show knowledge of the commercial world. Some previous work experience may be helpful


Also see the Occupational Profile of a Recruitment Consultant at www.prospects.ac.uk/links/RecConsult

Agencies which recruit graduates as trainee recruitment consultants.

I applied for the job online using my CV and covering letter, and received a call back out of the blue to discuss my CV and subsequently invite me to a telephone interview. 

The telephone interview was mostly about why I wanted the job, what skills and experience I had, standard interview questions. A few weeks later they invited me to an assessment centre which lasted five hours.

On the day they firstly introduced the company to us, some of the main aspects of the job and the company's history and values. They then split us into groups of four and gave us 15 minutes to produce a basic business plan for a sandwich shop in London - luckily only basic maths was required and they told us what to include, then asked us questions about our plan at the end of our presentation.


Web pages which list agencies

Further information


Last fully updated 2012