If you are considering a career in recruitment, or you’d like to know more about what goes into being a recruitment consultant, read on.
Sophie Rice, one of our senior consultants, has shared how a typical day in her life runs. Sophie works in our Office division. She has been with Vanilla since 2007. She works with a wide range of clients predominantly on roles like:
- Office Managers
- Operations Managers
- Executive Directors
- Customer Service Advisors
Let’s hear from Sophie:
Each day actually starts for me at the end of the day before. I know this sounds strange but I finish everyday by writing my to-do-list for the following day. It means I can get on with things much quicker each morning.
In the morning I arrive at the office early and start by reviewing my to-do-list. I prioritise all my tasks and activities so I have a firm plan for the day.
Checking my emails is always top of my list. I get lots of emails overnight containing applicants CV’s for my current jobs, as well as from people who are keen to register with Vanilla. With the types of jobs I work on, I more often than not, receive a large amount of applications. So I have to work quickly and efficiently to review all the CV’s and get them processed on our systems.
We have a 15 minute Office division team ‘huddle’ every morning to go through the jobs we have on. It helps our team to refer candidates to each other. We all meet and hear from so many people and not everyone can be right for a role we are recruiting at that time, but they might be perfect for something that someone else in the team is working on.
If you were to open up any of our heads, they are full of candidates - their names, skills, where they work, what they are looking for. We are storing up years’ worth of information and it comes in handy all the time!
I now get on the phone and start calling applicants to have an initial chat with them. I like to establish their level of interest in the role they’ve applied for, as well as their potential suitability.
It’s amazing how many people apply for a role that actually they are not that enthused about. It’s still great to speak to them though to see if there are any other roles we might be to work with them on.
If I have spoken to a candidate that matches a brief from one of our clients, I will look to set up a meeting with them to get them registered. I prefer to do this in person but if we can’t do that for whatever reason, I will set up a Skype call. The purpose of this meeting is go into further detail about the candidates’ skills, work history, personality, motivations and establish what type of company and role they will be best suited to.
I tend to have candidate registrations and Skype calls booked in for a couple of hours (at least) around this time every day.
Being a recruitment consultant, you have to really be able to tune into people. So in the face to face registration I am looking at not only what a candidate says but how they say it, their body language and assessing whether their character traits suit the roles I am working on.
The majority of my clients tend to look for a ‘personality fit’ over qualifications/experience. So being able to speak to my candidates face to face allows me to get to know them better. So when I put people forward for a role, it’s not just a skills match, I genuinely believe that they would be a great fit for my clients business.
When I have a candidate that I feel would be great for a particular job I contact them to talk through the role and the business it is in. I then look to set up the client interviews. This means more call time to and fro between candidates and clients getting everything arranged and confirmed.
Afternoon offer time. It’s usually afternoons that I get calls from my clients to give their interview feedback from the previous few days. And when its great news and they want to make an offer, I give our office bell a ring and then get straight on the phone to my successful candidate/s.
I like to spend some time on the phone with my candidate congratulating them and discussing the next steps. I will also liaise with the client again to make sure there is an agreed start date and that they have all the necessary information required to send my candidate a contract and get them started in the job.
My job isn’t over when an offer has been made. I spend time every afternoon staying in touch with my recently placed candidates (and the clients) throughout their period of transition – between job offer and start date. This can be a tricky period where people can get cold feet, so it’s my job to help everything stay on track. I am also on hand to offer advice and support even after a candidate has started their new job.
During my day I will also liaise with clients, either for a general catch-up, to set up interviews, de-brief after an interview with one of my candidates or to chat about their hiring requirements. I will also look to develop relationships with new clients often through cold-calling or social media.
Generating new business is often seen as the most challenging part of being a recruiter, you are trying to win over someone who doesn’t necessarily want to speak with you and who might not be recruiting at that time. This is why personality is very important in this job. You have to grab their attention and be resilient.
I also use this time to speak with any active candidates that I’m working with to either go through preparation for an up-coming interview or perhaps discuss feedback after an interview they’ve had. I like to keep in regular contact with my candidates as it builds on the relationship and, like with cold-calling clients, you have to gain their trust – you are a key factor in their job search and they want to know that you are working hard for them.
I now spend time writing the job adverts for our website, social media, job boards etc. They are to help attract interest in the roles I’m working on.
It’s now that time again when I begin preparing for the next day - I write my to-do list. I always have my notebook nearby throughout the day to make sure I am on top of any tasks I need to complete and that I make all my arranged calls.
Recruiting for the day isn’t over once I get home. It’s often difficult for candidates to talk to me during the day when they are at work. So I’m often making calls in the evening to candidates arranging interviews, giving feedback etc.
Recruitment is very fast-paced, demanding and incredibly challenging on a day-to-day basis. It’s not a 9am-5pm kind of job. You need to use so many different skills every day and wear lots of different hats. It’s not the job for everyone. Although, I love it and the rewards and job satisfaction are there for those willing to work hard. It can be a great career.
If you'd like to discuss joining Team Vanilla, check out our dedicated 'Work For Us' page