Hi! I’m Nicky. I grew up in Hungary and moved to the UK almost a decade ago. Like almost all changes, living in a new country was challenging at first, but it’s also been extremely rewarding and fun.
Fast-forward nine years and I’ve started an amazing new job as a technology recruiter at Burns Sheehan. This is another new adventure with a huge learning curve, so I thought I’d share with you what it’s really like starting a career in recruitment.
This is a photo of me shortly after joining Burns Sheehan !
I expected recruitment to be a challenging career before I started. The recruitment industry doesn’t have the best reputation – long hours, stress, and rejection come as part of the package - and, let’s face it, any role which involves dealing with people all day long has its ups and downs. If you’re talking to people all day long, it’s inevitable that some will be rude, dismissive and flaky and others will be passionate, friendly and inspiring.
Like skittles, you never know what flavour you’re going to get.
My first day in recruitment
My first day in recruitment was nothing short of scary. I heard words I’ve never heard of before, or words I had heard before used in completely new ways. Pipeline… boolean search…. knockout questions…what on earth were these people talking about??
Then I was introduced to a few tools of the trade: the recruiters’ side of the job boards, the telephone, the database and received some basic training in areas such as candidate screening and sales techniques. After a week or so, I was resourcing for a senior consultant in my team- finding suitable candidates, calling them, selling the opportunity and preparing their CVs before they are submitted to the client.
After I learnt the basics I realized I loved recruitment, but not the company I was working for. That's why I changed jobs to work for Burns Sheehan, which has a longer and more structured training scheme. After ‘graduating’ from the training scheme, you don’t have the responsibilities of a fully-fledged recruitment consultant, but once you’ve proven your ability to consistently place candidates into new roles and deliver a good service you’ll be promoted to ‘Delivery Consultant’. This is when things get quite exciting – you’ll start thinking about where you want to specialise, you’ll take on more roles, you develop more market knowledge, and your financial targets (and earnings) should increase at a similar rate.
What I’ve Learnt So Far
To be successful, recruiters need to develop a broad and refined skills set
I quickly realized that there was so much more to recruitment than I previously had thought. Sourcing candidates is not about finding any old talent, it’s about finding the right talent for the right role and the right role for the right talent. And recruitment is not just about finding people: it’s about growing and maintaining those relationships to build a high calibre network. To be a successful recruiter you have to fine-tune a vast number of hard and soft skills, you need to develop true expertise in your field, you need the time-management and organisational skills of a machine, and you need to be able to problem-solve on your feet to maintain control of the process and deliver a great service.
Every Recruitment Business is Different
I also learned that different recruitment businesses can have vastly different attitudes towards the industry, which can affect the way the consultants work, the work culture and the commission scheme. The first agency I worked for wasn’t right for me, but luckily I was able to land a job with Burns Sheehan to continue pursuing a career in recruitment.
When I started interviewing for Burns Sheehan I realized that this company bucks most recruitment stereotypes. Burns Sheehan prioritizes relationship-building, quality over quantity, and delivering a good service over everything else. It’s not as cut-throat, competitive or money-hungry as the other recruitment agencies out there. And because Burns Sheehan hasn’t been built on KPIs, cold-calling or micromanaging, everyone here needs to be really self-motivated and creative in order to find their own way to achieve their goals. This makes for a great office culture – the people here are driven, friendly, diverse and collaborative, and there isn’t any competitiveness or office politics.
There are lots of reasons why I love working in Recruitment!
1. No day will ever be the same.
One day you could be in the office all day searching for and speaking to candidates, the next you could be out on client and candidate meetings, negotiating offers and winning new business. What remains constant is that you’ll always be juggling a number of different roles, meeting new people every day, learning more about your market and improving your skills as a recruiter.
2. Time really does fly by!
I never thought I could do an office job in my whole life. Ever since I was a kid I have struggled to sit still for longer than an hour; two at the most. But I’ve never had that problem here. Being busy all day long talking to people and providing a great service makes the time fly by. I leave the office at the end of the day feeling like I’ve only sat at my desk for an hour or two.
3. You share an exciting journey with your candidates.
Sometimes I feel a bit like an X-factor judge. I whizz through a mountain of CVs, seeing who can make it to the bootcamp (i.e the phone call with me), who can then proceed on to the next stages, and who will get that final deal. It’s exciting to share the journey with the candidates and meet so many talented people along the way.
4. The earning potential is amazing.
And then I haven’t mentioned the money. We all like nice things, right? I’m a bit obsessed with clothes and fashion… My dream was to walk into stores and not even look at price tags…because yano…I can afford that now…. and it is such an amazing feeling when you’re earning enough commission to be able to do that. It shows all that hard work pays off. So whatever it is you end up buying with your commission, you will be so proud because you know it’s a result of all the hard work.
It’s not always rainbows and unicorns though…there has to be a bit of rain to make a rainbow.
There are days where everything seems to go wrong. Candidates pull out, clients change their minds about the role, or the vacancy gets filled seconds before you were going to present the client with a fantastic CV… I’ve already had several near placements that didn’t work out at the final hurdle, even though I did absolutely everything I could.
When this happens you just have to carry on and remember there might be a better deal just around the corner, and learn what you can do next time to make sure it goes through. I think that’s why it’s especially important in recruitment to have a specific goal to drive you forward, so even if you do get those rainy days, you bounce back.
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in recruitment, and Burns Sheehan sounds like the sort of company you’d like to work for, you should definitely send us your CV. Nicci’s training scheme here is amazing. It doesn’t force everyone to become one type of recruiter, but provides the tools and techniques to become the successful recruiter you aspire to be. Recruitment is an ever growing industry that offers great challenges and great rewards. I love my team and what I do, and I’m growing every day. If you work at Burns Sheehan one thing is guaranteed, with the right mindset you will flourish.
That’s all from me for now folks!
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