Careers in Recruitment

Recruitment consultancy has become a career of choice for both new graduates and experienced people looking to transfer into more challenging, sociable and lucrative work.  We thought it would be helpful to include some facts about the job of a professional services recruitment consultant  for people without recruitment experience. Come and see us to discuss your CV in more detail.

Q. What does a Recruitment Consultant do?

A. The job of a Recruitment Consultant is a business to business sales role, performed in a highly consultative way. That means we have to win new business from companies, identify their staffing requirements, fill the jobs and then manage the relationship with the clients to win more business from them in future. Do not under-estimate how hard this sales element is!  Some jobs are harder to fill than others, depending on how much demand there is for those particular skills. You may already have the right candidates on your database, you may need to headhunt them from their current employment, or you may advertise in the papers or online, or a combination of these. You may need to source them from abroad for UK or international clients, so foreign languages are always helpful. You will be taught how to select the right candidates by proper interviewing and other assessment methods.  During the process, you have to manage clients’ and candidates’ expectations and make sure they are blissfully happy with the service you provide so that they always give you their business in the future.

Q. Do I have to sell?

A. Yes.  Most Consultants have to win new business and build client relationships so a natural grasp of sales processes is important.  Even if you start your career as a Researcher in a Headhunting firm, with no client business to win, you will need to cold-call companies to identify target individuals and then call them to pitch your opportunity.  You must be confident on the phone and thrive on working to targets. 2009 is a tough year to find vacancies so sales skills are particularly important.  Do not consider recruitment unless you would also consider some other form of sales career.  This is not an HR job and you need a thick skin to deal with the rejection!

Q.What does it take to be a good Recruiter?

A. Recruitment is the ultimate “people” business and most successful Consultants love the interaction with others, the fast pace and the high energy of our industry.  They are natural net-workers.  Every firm has different hiring criteria which we can advise you on.  As an example, when we hire our own people at Perriam and Everett this is what we look for:

  • An engaging, impactful, personality with good manners.  Do we want to go on a long train journey with them?
  • Are they extremely sharp commercially? We like evidence of an active brain, not just an education
  • Do they have a strong work ethic?  Over the years our most successful Consultants have all had at least one-self employed family member who showed them that success comes from hard work and 100% dedication.
  • Are they completely trustworthy?  Our core value is integrity and we have to have a strong gut instinct that new hires will be impeccable with their word and their actions.

Q. What are the career prospects?

A. There are really three routes to choose from, which often overlap.  One is management, where you lead a team of recruiters specialising in a discipline like accountancy, marketing or financial services recruitment.  Often you will lead business development activities, and, as well as being responsible for your team’s revenues, you will have your own performance targets.  Another career option is that you will recruit at increasingly senior level as you get more experienced and end up placing main Board Directors.  The final route is to work as an internal recruiter at a large company and this can lead to roles as Head of Talent or Head of Resourcing.  Perriam and Everett place people at all levels and all disciplines so we can help you at any stage of your career.

Q. What can I earn?

A. Basic salaries at entry level vary from £20,000 to £30,000 depending on your previous business experience and the environment you are in.  There are always commission and bonus structures and roughly you should earn a quarter to a third of the revenue you bring into your company.  Recruitment is well paid and you should expect to earn considerably more than your peers in other jobs.  However, be prepared to work long hours (8.30 to 6.00 is standard but high performers will work much longer than that) and be under considerable pressure to hit targets and take great care of your clients and candidates.  Part of the pleasure of the job is that the harder and smarter you work, the more you earn.  You will get plenty of training and support but the effort is down to YOU.

Q. Why should I get my recruitment job through Perriam and Everett ?

A. We started business in 1992 which makes us the longest established “recruitment to recruitment” company, anywhere.  So hopefully we know our stuff!

  • We only work with organisations that train and develop their staff properly to ensure they become successful as quickly as possible.  We monitor this carefully and will stop dealing with companies if they don’t live up to our high expectations.  We have been an accredited Investor in People since 1997 and advise our clients on appropriate training for their staff.
  • Companies that hire through Perriam and Everett pay a fee and consequently are demonstrating their commitment to investing in Trainee Recruiters.  Their attrition rates are lower than their competitors – we know because we measure this scrupulously. They come to us because they want the best possible entry level recruiters for their firms.
  • We meet all our candidates and all our clients, regularly. We interview you, give you advice and feedback and will brief you thoroughly on the clients we will introduce you to and what they expect from you.  You will always be prepared for interviews. There are about 9,000 staffing companies in the UK operating in every business sector.  If you are good, you will get several job offers and we can give you unbiased information to help you decide which is the best opportunity for you.  We constantly need great candidates to send to our clients and our business has been built on a network of referrals from previous – very satisfied – candidates.  (And we give £300 of gift vouchers for every successful referral!).
  • We have a bespoke psychometric test which measures your behaviours against a sample of average recruitment consultants.  This gives you advice as to whether this is the right industry for you and what your development areas could be. Candidates like to show their test results to prospective employers to demonstrate they have the ability to be great Recruiters.

Here’s some feedback from one of our clients:

“Hydrogen Group plc is a leading recruitment and talent management consultancy, recently named as Britain’s Top Employer by the Guardian newspaper and consistently a Best Company to Work For by the Sunday Times. We have also been named the Number One company in the UK for training & development, by both the Sunday Times and the Guardian. We are always keen to talk to people interested in starting their career in Recruitment. To succeed with us the core attributes you need to display are high levels of drive, tenacity, business awareness, ownership, and relationship building skills.

Your initial role will be as a researcher on our search team, where you will identify target populations of candidates and call them with the objective of meeting with them to talk through their career options and the roles or organisations they would be suitable for. From here you will progress into a Consultant as quickly as you can hit your targets; on average this takes 3 months. Earnings are unlimited with uncapped commission and bonus and many of our trainees earn over £50K in their first year.

Hydrogen Group plc has worked with Perriam & Everett for over 5 years and during this time has enjoyed a true partnership relationship. A number of trainees placed by P&E have progressed rapidly to senior positions within the business and we have come to trust their judgement and work closely with them.”

Head of Talent Management
Hydrogen Group plc

Q.  What’s the next stage?

A. Call us on 020 3287 7347 or 07968 424 651 to find out more and arrange to meet us.  Email your CV to


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