8 reasons to consider pursuing a career in recruitment

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A recruitment career might appeal to you if you enjoy working with people, finding solutions, helping organisations find the right talent for their business and working in a goal-oriented environment. Recruitment is fast-paced, exciting and challenging, and it offers an interesting career with varied progression routes. By understanding the benefits of pursuing a recruitment career, you may find that it's a good direction for you. In this article, we explain what a career in recruitment involves and list eight reasons you might consider this career yourself.

What is a career in recruitment?

If you enjoy working with a range of people, you may have an interest in pursuing a career in recruitment. Recruitment is the process of targeting, attracting, selecting, interviewing and hiring the right candidates for a job. Some recruiters work for in-house teams, but most work for agencies or consultancies and fulfil recruitment functions for individual clients. Clients may require a variety of services. For example, recruitment agencies source temporary, temp-to-perm, permanent and contractor candidates for available roles. They also offer services such as recruitment technology and software, employer branding, training development and outsourced recruitment administration.

Recruiters develop in-depth knowledge, experience and skills in areas such as talent acquisition, interviewing, screening practices and modern hiring practices, which are increasingly technology-based. Some recruiters move into executive search as their careers progress, focusing on face-to-face skills and networking to source senior talent for directorships. Recruiters work closely with clients to understand what sorts of people they require for their organisation and their minimum desired requirements. Once they've confirmed these requirements, they proceed with a series of recruitment tasks and processes to generate a list of candidates for potential interviews.

Related: What is a recruitment consultant and what do they do?

What sorts of people pursue a recruitment career?

Recruitment is a fast-paced and exciting career with a strong focus on targets and client satisfaction. Recruiters tend to be outgoing, confident, diligent and committed to career advancement. The work tends to involve outbound sales and cold-calling, so resilience is essential. Good recruiters can also work under pressure, develop an entrepreneurial spirit, work independently and build strong relationships with clients and candidates alike. Recruiters often enjoy an intellectual challenge, as the role is increasingly systemised, tech-driven and requires advanced problem-solving.

Despite this, every recruitment agency employs a variety of recruiters with their own skills, experiences, personalities and preferred working styles. Diversity is also important to the role, particularly as clients also vary and like to work with different kinds of recruiters. Ultimately, if you enjoy performing, delivering, working hard and deriving your income through results, recruitment may be an interesting career option. Recruitment is also increasingly tech-driven, so there are possibilities for careers in recruitment technology development and deployment.

Related: Guide: how do recruitment agencies work? (plus benefits)

8 reasons to consider pursuing a career in recruitment

There are many reasons to consider a recruitment career. Here are eight reasons that may appeal to you:

1. Opportunity to develop a broader career

A recruitment career provides you with a wide range of skills and experiences and a strong business understanding. These experiences help you grow professionally. Essential skills such as time-management, perseverance, communication, organisation and critical thinking are also extremely transferable to other roles and industries. Recruiters tend to be confident, knowledgeable and driven self-starters, and these skills alone are attractive to employers in any industry.

Recruitment agencies tend to promote internally, so there are various opportunities for successful recruiters who enjoy their work. There are opportunities to work abroad, set up your own firm or move into leadership or specialist roles like executive search. As you gain experience and skills as a recruiter, you have the option to either progress internally or apply your value to another field in the future.

2. High earning potential

Recruitment is a high earning role, even for entry-level positions. The national average salary for a recruiter is £27,275 per year. The national average salary for a recruitment manager is £37,781 per year. It's worth noting that these are base salaries and actual earnings are likely to be far higher, as recruitment roles have a high element of commission payments. Recruiters tend to have uncapped earnings, so motivated and hard-working recruiters may earn attractive salaries with bonus payments and commissions.

Recruitment agencies also offer full-time benefits such as health insurance, pension plans and paid holidays. Independent contractors can build similar benefits into their own employment contracts. For example, an independent contractor might ask to enrol in a client's employee benefits programme if they're working for that client for a longer period. The role often includes entertaining clients and networking, so these are further perks to consider.

3. Entrepreneurial skills and opportunities

Many successful recruiters eventually start their own recruitment agency or consultancy, occasionally in a niche field where they've gained substantial contacts. Many of the tasks delivered by recruiters are transferable into entrepreneurial roles. These skills include self-management, portfolio management, sales and marketing, drive, organisation and the achievement of financial targets.

As you gain these skills, you gain an insight into what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and you may decide to operate as an independent recruitment consultant. You might also eventually switch to an in-house role in recruitment, training or HR, or transfer into an entirely different business function, such as sales. If you eventually work as an independent contractor or set up your own recruitment agency, the financial rewards are potentially even greater.

Related: 10 essential recruitment consultant skills

4. Array of interesting duties

Recruitment tasks vary wildly, and working days tend to look quite different depending on the current client base, portfolio size, client needs and stages of the hiring process. This can be interesting, engaging and motivating for recruiters, and the diversity of activities may provide further enjoyment and fulfilment at work. The sorts of tasks recruiters might do on a given day include:

  • contacting potential candidates for a client assignment

  • identifying existing and future hiring needs for a client

  • sourcing and nurturing an applicant pool through social media, networking sites, private networks and databases

  • screening potential candidates before interviews with phone calls and assessment processes

  • delivering employment and reference verification checks

  • arranging interviews with hiring managers and communicating details to clients

  • discussing potential roles with candidates

  • creating and listing job advertisements

  • pitching new business and candidate leads

  • producing client analytics such as interview lists and role metrics

5. Lively, competitive work environment

Recruitment is competitive, but it's usually quite a friendly competition. Many recruiters enjoy this atmosphere, finding it a powerful incentive to do their best and excel in their field. The competition encourages recruiters to reflect on their own performance, keep learning new skills, model and test behaviours they see in other successful recruiters and constantly evolve to do better.

The recruitment work environment is usually lively, fun and team-based, and the industry has a vibrant social life alongside work. If you enjoy working with others in a targeted environment while maintaining an independent approach to your work, recruitment offers much stimulation and energy.

6. Work over a number of platforms

The recruitment industry is always evolving, and the technologies used to recruit people are constantly updating. Today's recruiters still use the telephone to pitch to and work with face-to-face networks, but the role also includes a heavy focus on social media, professional networking sites and candidate databases. Recruiters use video calls, messaging systems and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to engage, screen, pre-interview and manage candidates. Recruitment now involves a number of technical skills, and these are highly transferable.

7. Chance to solve problems for people

Recruiters have a positive impact on others. They help clients find the sorts of talents they require to grow their organisation and be successful. They help candidates find the right role at the right employer, where they feel valued, enjoy success and gain support for their professional development. This is very satisfying for recruiters who take pride in their own excellence. Solving problems and helping others also boosts your emotional satisfaction and professional fulfilment. This may help you feel a greater sense of pride, purpose and well-being.

8. Independent working

Recruiters tend to work independently and are self-starters with an intense personal drive. These skills evolve and refine over time, and the ability to think for yourself, take appropriate action without detailed guidance and consider risks and rewards are valuable in any role. Recruiters often progress quickly to management positions, and the independence they gain in their work alongside their ability to make decisions are skills that all employers value.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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