What is Recruitment?

Getting calls from recruiters is commonplace for graduates and recruitment agencies can be a valuable source in your job search, but what is it like to be on the other side of the telephone?

Meet Eliot, a recruitment consultant from Warwickshire.


Why did you go into recruitment?

“I got headhunted myself. I went into recruitment after I got a phone call from one the guys at work. He explained to me the different stuff they do, such as tours of different companies and recruiting for a wide range of jobs.”

What did you expect on your first day?

“I didn’t really know what to expect as I had never worked in recruitment before or even in an office. So I had to go off what I was told at interview. I thought that it would be about learning the ropes and meeting everyone, which it was.

Since day one, everyone has been really welcoming and supportive. If I ever need to ask anything, I know I can go to anyone in the office and they would help without hesitation.”

What are the common misconceptions people have about your job?

“People often think that recruitment agencies are only focused on commission, but I find great pleasure in helping people find a job if they’ve been searching for a while or getting them a pay rise working with new and exciting companies.

Another misconception is that recruitment agencies are an unnecessary expense, meaning that basically we are just the middle men, which we are but recruitment agencies help with around 60% of all jobs people are currently working in. We build good relationships with clients and candidates, and then help the right people find the right job.”

Did you consider going into recruitment when you were younger?

“I had never thought about recruitment until I got that phone call.

When I first started my boss said, “no one grows up planning to work in recruitment” which is probably true. Most of my colleagues were doing some sort of sales job and had never thought about recruitment until they were spoken to about its potential.”

What was your career journey beforehand?

“When I finished school, I went to college to study Mechanics, as I loved cars and motorsport since I was five years old. Once I completed my course I worked as a car valet. While there, I saw the sales side of the motor industry and thought that I would prefer to become a salesman instead of a mechanic. I perused that for a while whilst working at a car dealership, where I talked to customers about the cars and took them on test drives.”

Is there an opportunity for training?

“As this is my first recruitment job, as well as many of my colleagues, we have an external coach that comes in for monthly one-to-one sessions to help us better ourselves in every way. Any time that I start doing something new, the coach will train me up and develop my skills so that I know how to do every task.”

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

“I am currently a Resource Consultant. I am hoping to become a Manager of some sort, whether managing new consultants or just having a more senior role within the company.”

What was the application procedure like?

“It was pretty straight forward, I had a brief telephone interview where I was told about the company and what I would be doing in my role. The first stage interview was focused on my background and any skills that would help me with a role in recruitment. The second interview was with the same people, as well as the HR manager. She asked me questions about my working style but there was also the opportunity to ask her any questions I had.”

Describe a typical workday?

“I wake up at 7am and get ready for work.

I get into the office at 8am and start the day by checking my emails. I look through the applications I have received overnight. Next, I search all the job boards and our database to find people suitable for the other jobs available. I will talk to clients about roles they are hoping to fill, and then arrange interviews between clients and candidates.

If candidates have been for interviews, I will speak to the clients about what the candidates did well and how they could improve in the future. I will then talk to candidates about whether they have been successful or not.

I head home around 5pm and can often switch off from work once I go home. Sometimes I have to call people in the evening, but otherwise I have the evenings and weekends to myself.”

How could you describe your job in 3 words?

“Interesting, busy, challenging.”


So if you’re working in sales or enjoy building relationships with a range of people, why not look into recruitment. If it doesn’t sound your cup of tea, why not check out our job listings and see what else there is out there. The middle men can help after all.


*This interview has been edited


Eleanor Booth is a Cambridge Graduate who likes taking on the big issues and players. Check out her personal blog here and her LinkedIn here.

Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.