How much does a recruitment consultant make?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 8 September 2022 | Published 30 November 2021

Updated 8 September 2022

Published 30 November 2021

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.

Recruitment consultants are a crucial part of the hiring process for many organisations. They use their interpersonal skills to build relationships with both employers and candidates, matching the most suitable applicants to vacant job roles. As you consider a career as a recruitment consultant, you may wonder how being a recruitment consultant can benefit you. In this article, we answer the question 'how much does a recruitment consultant make?', explore the key responsibilities of the role and the essential skills that employers are looking for.

How much does a recruitment consultant make?

The average salary for a recruitment consultant is £24,074 per year, but the answer to the question 'how much does a recruitment consultant make?' can differ depending on a variety of factors such as experience, location and education. According to the National Careers Service, the salary for a recruitment consultant can range from £16,000 to £40,000. Once you have built up experience within the recruitment industry, you may also increase your salary by stepping into a team leader or recruitment management position.

Related: Top 10 jobs that pay well in the UK

Where do recruitment consultants get paid the most?

Geographical location is one factor that can heavily influence how much a recruitment consultant earns. Recruiters may earn more in larger towns and cities as opposed to small towns and villages in more rural areas. Here is a list of the top highest paying cities in the UK for recruitment consultants:

  • London: £26,174 per year

  • Milton Keynes: £25,639 per year

  • Birmingham: £25,042 per year

  • Norwich: £24,823 per year

  • Manchester: £24,258 per year

  • Leeds: £24,173 per year

  • Reading: £24,088 per year

  • Bristol: £23,390 per year

Salaries of similar professions

Though recruitment consultants can earn a reasonable salary, you may be interested in the earning potential of similar professions. Here are the average salaries of professionals in similar roles:

  • Management consultant: £55,755 per year

  • Business development consultant: £31,549 per year

  • Account manager: £31,259 per year

  • Human resources specialist: £29,783 per year

  • Staffing coordinator: £23,265 per year

  • Sales representative: £26,389 per year

What does a recruitment consultant do?

Recruitment consultants specialise in finding the best candidates for their client's job vacancies. It's the responsibility of the recruiter to attract new candidates and match them to jobs that suit their qualifications and experience level. They also build relationships with their clients to gain a better understanding of their recruitment needs and the requirements of their business to ensure job applicants are a good practical and cultural fit. Some duties of a recruitment consultant include:

  • drafting job advertisements and placing them across a range of media outlets such as websites, magazines and newspapers

  • making use of social media to advertise job vacancies, attract new candidates and provide exposure to potential new clients

  • networking, cold-calling and marketing to attract business from new client companies

  • headhunting to find suitable candidates who may already be employed but would make an excellent fit for a vacant role

  • reviewing applications and CVs to assess candidate suitability

  • screening candidates by conducting preliminary interviews, running background checks and checking references

  • preparing candidates for their interviews by briefing them on the responsibilities of the role, salary and other additional benefits to the job

  • sending CVs and relevant correspondence to clients to inform them of suitable candidates.

  • scheduling interviews between clients and candidates

  • keeping up to date with recruitment policies and regularly attending training to ensure effective selection, sales and marketing techniques

  • negotiating hourly pay and salary rates between the client and candidate before finalising a new job placement

  • searching databases to find suitable applicants for an open position and creating shortlists of potential candidates

Related: How to write a recruitment consultant letter (with example)

How to increase your salary as a recruitment consultant

Recruitment consultants that are employed by an agency typically receive a base salary, which is the minimum amount that each employee takes home monthly. Working in recruitment may also provide you with the opportunity to increase your salary expectations. If you're looking to increase your earning potential, here are some things you could consider when starting your career as a recruitment consultant:

Agency commission structure

One of the largest factors that can influence your monthly earning potential is the commission structure that each agency uses. When taking on a position within a recruitment agency, you may agree on a percentage for each successful candidate you place. This percentage typically varies depending on the level of seniority of the role you are recruiting for and is calculated based upon their annual salary. By regularly placing candidates into senior, high-paying job roles, you can increase your own earnings.

Related: How To Write a Recruitment Consultant CV (With an Example)

Increase your quantity of placements

Placing candidates in senior positions may give you a high commission boost, but you can also increase your earnings by exceeding the quota of successful candidates in a variety of roles. By increasing your number of successful candidate placements, you can develop a steady career progression within your agency. Keep in mind that when placing candidates into new roles, the quality of the applicants is still essential to your success, because commission only applies when your placements start their new positions.

Reach your targets

Your commission may also depend on whether you are reaching targets that are set by your employer. Employers add the commission to your base salary once successful candidates have started in their new roles. Sometimes it's necessary to work for a probationary time period and they may add a commission may to your salary after a rebate period of up to six months. More commonly, agencies operate on a monthly commission agreement. Building up good working relationships with your clients is a great way to receive regular vacancies to fill, thus increasing your earning potential.

Build your experience

As with other professions, salary can depend on your experience in the role and seniority within the company you work for. Many recruitment consultants begin their careers as entry-level recruiters, which has lower pay than their senior colleagues. Over time, and with the development of your recruitment skills, you can raise your basic pay by progressing through the ranks and securing a role as a senior recruiter or specialist.

Related: Top tips for successful career progression

What skills make a good recruitment consultant?

There are a variety of skills that recruitment consultants possess that help them become successful in their roles. This combination of hard and soft skills helps recruitment consultants to find the best candidates for vacant positions while also persuading suitable applicants to work for their client's company. By developing these skills, you can significantly increase your earning potential. Here is a list of qualities that you may want to focus on improving to enter the recruitment profession:

Negotiation skills

Recruitment consultants often act as an intermediary between potential candidates and prospective employers. Typically, the recruiter assists in the negotiation of salary, working hours and other benefits that may make a job role more appealing to a potential candidate. It's important that recruitment consultants work to find the best solution for all parties involved and follow the perimeters set by the client at all times to ensure a positive working relationship.

Communication skills

Recruiters also rely on their excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Recruiters are often responsible for explaining the expectations of a role to potential candidates while also communicating an applicant's capabilities to their clients. Recruiters spend most of their day making telephone calls, sending emails and interviewing people, so it's essential that they convey information both clearly and effectively.

Related: 10 Essential recruitment consultant skills

Interpersonal skills

Much of a recruitment consultant's job is to build relationships with both clients and candidates, so strong interpersonal skills are necessary for success. By making themselves trustworthy, approachable and caring, they can develop a good working relationship with those they approach. Having good interpersonal abilities also helps recruiters better understand the needs of their clients and find candidates who their specific requirements.


Recruitment consultants often multitask while managing various clients and candidates, so organisational skills are essential. Creating a streamlined system to track applications and pending tasks can help you keep on top of your workload. The ability to prioritise tasks according to importance and deadlines can also assist you in maintaining an efficient workflow.

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