Over the past few months I have achieved the first steps into a long and enjoyable career in recruitment with my new company Executive Network Group. Consequently, I am writing this today to explain the not-so-easy feat of attaining your first step into a career in recruitment, through the eyes of my success.
By no means do I consider myself an expert, but I do believe in my case, the proof is in the pudding. My strategy has clearly worked as I was selected for the role along with another 11 lovely people out of over 500 applicants. I have also been fortunate enough to have been working on a recruitment to recruitment desk over the recent past, experiencing from the other side just exactly why some of the methods I used translate well to a company…
The most important step in gaining any role, in any company, anywhere, is always the next step. Therefore, your first point of call for gaining a new role in recruitment is being prepared for a phone call from companies you’ve applied to. In other words; be active. In recruitment to recruitment, upon calling trainee recruitment applicants I was able to distinguish between active candidates for a role in recruitment, and that of candidates who simply want a ‘job’ by asking one simple question: Why recruitment?
A motivated candidate will have prepared correctly for the questions and will know exactly what to say, but won’t be too rigid like it’s scripted – it should come natural.
The real question here is what do you know about recruitment and what makes you right for it? The simple and easy way to answer this effectively is to firstly; research the recruitment profession and the key competencies it takes to be a successful recruitment consultant. Secondly; self-assess. Consider whether you’re actually right for recruitment? And finally; strategise your pitch to align with those competencies. This question is also your first sales pitch – a vital ingredient for any recruitment consultant’s skills. If successful, in most cases, the next step will be a face to face interview
In any interview process, some questions that you will always come across are; tell me a bit about yourself? What makes you right for this role? Why us? These are probing questions that instantly distinguish between motivated candidates and unmotivated ones. A motivated candidate will have prepared correctly for these questions and know exactly what to say, but won’t be too rigid like it’s scripted – it should come natural. These questions are also an extension to the opportunity to sell yourself. Recruitment is essentially a sales role and if you’re unable to sell yourself (who you know better than anyone), how on earth would you be able to sell a candidate to a client, or a vacancy to a candidate?
When a company is listening to what you’re all about they don’t want to hear what you’re good at. They want to hear how that feature you have can benefit them.
A great method I used which I feel seriously helped me get hired was Feature Advantage Benefit or FAB. When a company is listening to what you’re all about they don’t want to hear what you’re good at. They want to hear how that feature you have can benefit them. When they asked us what makes you right for ENG in our final assessment day, I stepped up with a graceful confidence knowing I had prepared well for this, through the use of FAB. The feature(s) I sold myself on were my personality and ability to build rapport with people, enabling a personable conversation, finding out the recipients needs. The advantage was that my employers will be able to trust in me to go out and meet clients, speak to candidates, represent the company well, and provide the best service. The benefit is that through my feature and advantage I will be able to strike the best deals. So, in summary, find your Unique Selling Point (or USP) and rock it!
Always remember that the most important person in this process is YOU! You are the person recruitment consultancies are ever so desperate to get their hands on. Never undersell yourself, learn to value yourself. So don’t take that bar job because it is easy! Don’t take that job working for your friend because it is easy! Take recruitment because most importantly you are up for a challenge and because IT. IS. HARD!