The benefits and challenges of working in recruitment

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 July 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.

Recruiting is a career that you can pursue in just about any industry these days. If you are tempted by a career in recruitment, it's important to determine whether the profession is an appropriate fit for you. Knowing about some of the benefits and challenges can help you to make an informed decision. In this article, we explore the various benefits and challenges of working in recruitment.

The benefits of working in recruitment

There are a number of benefits of working in recruitment, such as the fast-paced working environment and the possibility of receiving a bonus after reaching targets. Yet, these are not the only benefits recruitment offers. Continue reading to find out why working in recruitment can be rewarding:

Good potential earnings

You can earn a substantial income in recruitment because while you receive a base salary, you are also eligible to earn a commission if you achieve your objectives. If you do a good job, your pay increases significantly. This is especially true if you fill positions such as those in sales management and marketing.

Job satisfaction

The satisfaction of assisting a candidate in finding the ideal position motivates most recruiters more than the money. When a recruiter matches a candidate to the right job, it can make a positive impact on the candidate's life and give the recruiter a sense of satisfaction. The recruiter can develop their skills over time, enabling them to achieve more for themselves, the candidate, the team the candidate has strengthened and the company.

Related: What is job satisfaction? (Plus tips on how to increase it)


Recruitment can be a challenging profession. Your recruiting jobs for a company are likely to vary in terms of the position, industry and conditions under which you fill them. This ensures you feel challenged and engaged with your work.


Since recruiters deal with different people every day, their work is rarely repetitive. This is because every conversation they have with candidates is unique. Conversations vary according to the position and level of each candidate. In addition, each candidate's decisions, thoughts, feelings and expectations are always different.

Related: 7 effective people management tips (definition and list)

Diverse options

You can choose how and where you want to work as a recruiter. If you prefer a more structured and consistent career path, you can become an in-house recruiter for a particular company. You can work with an agency or independently as a freelancer if control over your work environment is a priority. As a recruiter and freelancer, you can choose which recruiting opportunities you wish to be responsible for and ensure that they meet your personal preferences.

Potential to develop personal and professional skills

Recruiting is a people-oriented profession, so you learn a variety of professional and personal skills. Interviewing people, gaining new insights, understanding other cultures, observing other behaviours and gaining technical knowledge can provide a lot of learning opportunities. The skills you can develop include communication, relationship building, negotiation, empathy and resilience.

Related: Essential HR skills

Opportunities to work in various markets

Recruiters can work in a variety of industries. This is especially useful if you decide you would like a change, or your goals shift over time. Also, if your industry suffers an economic downturn, you can always change industries. The reason for this is that recruiters adapt their knowledge based on the niche in which they work.


The ability to work remotely allows you to work from anywhere in the world. The experience offers the opportunity to see different places, learn other languages and become acquainted with career paths in other countries. You can develop a much stronger resume through such experiences.

Related: 9 jobs that require travelling and how to get them


A need for recruiters is likely to continue in the future. The hiring of exceptional talent is a constant need, and recruiters remain important to assist industries in finding that talent.

Opportunity for growth

Within recruitment, career advancement is rapid. After gaining experience, you can move from job sourcing to recruiting for senior-level positions. Besides this, recruitment can lead to several career paths, such as executive recruitment and human resources.

Related: Guide: How Do Recruitment Agencies Work? (Plus Benefits)

The challenges of working in recruitment

As with any career, recruitment also has its drawbacks. Consider the following factors before deciding whether recruitment is for you:

Potential rejection

Unfortunately, some candidates may not accept your offer and some companies might not hire your candidate. It's also possible that you may not be successful in contacting every candidate or company. Some people may get a little impatient with you before you have finished your pitch, or you may receive a rejection. The key is to learn to accept rejection, bounce back and move on to the next opportunity.

Related: How to handle rejection personally and professionally

Various issues

A recruiter acts as both an employer and a candidate's intermediary. From the first contact to the candidate's onboarding, it's your responsibility as a recruiter to ensure everything goes smoothly. Candidates not completing the hiring process and employers changing interview dates at the last minute are a few of the issues that may arise.

Inconsistent hours

Recruiters typically work outside of the traditional 9 to 5 workday. This is because most candidates you hope to recruit may not be available during the workday. Thus, it may be necessary to schedule communication later in the evening and sometimes even at night or early in the morning.

High-stress levels

Recruitment requires a lot of multitasking and can be very demanding, which means it's important to ensure you find the time to relax. In an organisation, the recruitment team finds the right person for the job, so there is pressure to get things right. As a recruiter, your job is to find the most qualified candidates for a position, and you may frequently deal with challenging clients.

Related: What are stress relievers? 10 effective stress relievers


A recruiter's career is highly competitive. Occasionally, it may be necessary for you to gain more clients or onboard new prospective clients within a short timeframe. Companies may require you to achieve certain results to maintain your position.

Emotional bonds

You may form emotional attachments with applicants who you feel are well suited for the role or who you like personally. It can cause emotional situations if one of your preferred candidates does not win the position or declines the offer when an employer decides they are the right candidate. Even though these situations can be a little disappointing, the sense of accomplishment that comes from making a successful connection between an employer and a candidate can offset them.

Reduced control

While recruiters act as a link between potential employees and employers, the outcome of their work is beyond their control. As a recruiter, your efforts to fill the position with the right candidate may not go as planned. This could be because a company or candidate makes a decision you don't agree with. As a recruiter, it's important to take a broader perspective on your work. These situations are manageable with effective efforts.

Recruiters' reputations

Most people perceive recruiters in a less positive manner due to experience with other less effective recruiters. Even if you have done nothing wrong, you may be at a slight disadvantage with some candidates. Prior to starting a conversation regarding a job offer, it's important to gain their trust.

People change their minds

Although your candidate may accept the position that you have recommended for them, some candidates may turn it down. This may happen for a variety of reasons, such as receiving an offer from another company or after receiving more information about the position and deciding it's not suitable for them. The key is to remember that you are working with humans and they may make decisions based on their emotions and other factors you are not necessarily aware of.

Related: How to become a recruitment specialist (plus definition)

Pressure to meet targets

The pressure to meet quotas can be a challenging part of working in recruitment. A recruiter's role usually involves setting targets to meet and determining performance based on the targets. The goal may be easy to achieve in certain months, but it may not be possible every month. During these months, your commission may be reduced or non-existent. While this can be a great motivator, it can also be a little stressful.

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