This post was written by Hannah Sheppard, one of our Digital Recruiters. Get in touch with Hannah via LinkedIn or Twitter

Recruitment. It’s a word that gets thrown about quite a lot in the months following graduation from University. I found that the vast majority of things associated with recruitment had negative connotations. This is the reason that, when I decided to pursue a career in recruitment, most people’s reaction was “REALLY?” My parents thought I was crazy! I had a good job in a reputable company and they could not understand why I would want to leave to pursue recruitment.

A couple of months later I found myself sat in the Burns Sheehan office in the heart of the City, being grilled about why I wanted to go into recruitment. The simple answer, I probably didn’t quite know, but it felt like the right opportunity for someone with a desire to learn, and it offered a very attractive salary package. Obviously, that wasn’t my answer exact at the interview.

Fast-forward to now, and I’m six months in to my career in recruitment, hoping to share with you the candid, warts-and-all story of my experience so far.

My initial role was as part of the Burns Sheehan Accelerator Programme, where we (the four graduates) were guided through a comprehensive training scheme by our amazing teacher, Nicci, without whom, I would not be here today. She taught us everything, from our first phone call to how to win new business. We had sessions with her each week and we all sat on the “newbie desk” together. It was like being a baby recruiter - essentially, she was our mother hen!

When we found out Nicci was leaving to return to her homeland abroad, you can imagine our thoughts. How were we going to survive?! Who would we ask our ridiculous questions? Who would support us and protect us from the scary recruiters? The training programme was invaluable to my learning, but the imminent departure of our Trainer was going to be the first of many setbacks thrown my way during the process of becoming a fully-fledged recruiter. Nicci left at the end of our training programme and all four of us are still here, which is both a testament to her skill as a Trainer but also to our resilience.

When I got my first offer for a candidate I was ecstatic – to be honest, I felt that it was a lucky break (I am notoriously lucky – ask my friends). The offer came through on a Friday afternoon, so of course the candidate took the weekend to mull it over. That weekend was one of the most stressful times of my career to date, obsessing about what her decision was going to be – all in all not very enjoyable if I am honest. I came in on the Monday to a rejection of the offer – she had been counter offered! For my first offer this was not an ideal situation. In fact for any offer this is not an ideal situation, but it certainly gave me a taste of how disappointing recruitment can be at times.

When I eventually got an offer accepted by a candidate, it seemed like the best feeling in the world! I’ve actually met this candidate recently, after 3 months of trying to pin him down, for a coffee. He is a great guy and really enjoying his role. It made me feel incredible that I had been an integral part of him finding his dream job. This goes to show the whirlwind of emotions that Recruiters go through – often on a daily basis.

At the end of the day, recruitment can be the best and the worst job. The ups are amazing – even something as small as someone praising your work can make your week – but, trust me, no one can prepare you for the downs. All too often, my lunch breaks are spent discussing CV’s that we have had no feedback on or candidates that are just not answering our calls anymore. I still struggle to get my head around why people ignore recruiters, but that’s just part of Recruitment life’s rich tapestry.

Recruitment teaches you to be unbelievably resilient, and helps to develop relationship building skills in a way that I don’t believe any other role can offer. There’s no doubt that it’s an amazing career - I get to speak with new people every day and find out about things I never knew existed as I learn more about my industry. I am constantly meeting candidates and clients from all walks of life, giving me insight in to how different businesses work and more importantly, how different people work!

I can honestly say that I do not regret my choice to join Burns Sheehan one bit. Recruitment isn’t the easiest or most fun job in the world; it is difficult, stressful and unpredictable - however, the perks can be endless. The people I work with here, who have put in the dedication and hard work it takes to succeed, are manifestly reaping the rewards. One of my colleagues spends £180 a month on his gym membership, another goes out for at least 6 meals a week (and we are talking Gaucho level cuisine)! Burns Sheehan is honestly the best company I have come across in my time in Recruitment. It is a business that is built on relationships. The passion that our Directors demonstrate when they speak about their business, and how they’ve built it from the ground up, is a huge inspiration to me.  

I’ve heard, “Stick at it for 2 years and you will be flying”. 2 years seems like a long way away for me right now, but I’m excited to see what the future holds - here’s to the next step in my career! Stay tuned for the follow up to hear how the Graduate Trainees have been getting on.  

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