Emma Burke is our Agency Recruitment Manager and with 7 years' of digital recruitment under her belt, she's the perfect person to offer a realistic perception of life within the recruitment industry.
“If recruitment was easy, everyone would be doing it”
If I had £1 for every time someone has said this to me, I would be retired and on a yacht somewhere in the Seychelles right now. Whenever I have a bad day in the office, I remember this quote and it instantly reminds me of why I do my job, and why I love it so much.
I would be lying if I said that I had wanted to be a recruiter when I was younger, however, with a degree in French and Italian, there weren’t many career routes open to me other than interpreting or becoming a spy which sadly didn’t work out for me!
I knew three things when I graduated; I loved being around people, I loved giving advice and I loved helping people. I found it rewarding and it made me happy. However, it frustrated me that I didn’t have a vocation, and I admired everyone who knew what they were going to do when they “grew up”.
CLICHÉ ALERT: I fell into recruitment a couple of months after graduating. I knew nothing about recruitment when I got my first job, so I just assumed that people used the Jobcentre and online job boards.
My new boss informed me that I would be recruiting for marketing professionals and that I would be speaking to people who made TV adverts, creative for billboards and all the marketing for massive brands. I was instantly intrigued and excited, soon finding out that the marketing industry was saturated with some of the friendliest, sociable and talented people that I had ever met. I was able to chat with people all day, give them advice on their job search, CV, interview techniques and subsequently, help them in their career. Score! I was doing something that gave me so much pleasure and I found that highly rewarding. (No, not from a monetary perspective. I actually wasn’t very good in my first job!)
Anyway, it was soon after that, I realised recruitment wasn’t all it was cracked up to be…
I quickly realised that a lot of people disliked recruiters. The industry had negative connotations and stereotypically recruiters were pinstripe suit and headset wearing, money hungry, unethical people, who were ‘talentless’, and just ended up in recruitment because of the financial reward. In turn, I was tarred with the same brush and found that a few people were rude to me. Being a sensitive person, this upset me. There were a lot of issues that would show me that the recruitment industry was a bit dog-eat-dog... CV duplications, unethical practices, mis-selling positions to get people to take roles. These recruitment consultants would usually “win” but at what cost?!
I was told by Managers that I was “too sensitive” to be in recruitment. I instantly disregarded this statement. I believed that you can be amazing at recruitment if you worked hard, had the ability to solve problems, really listen to people, and more importantly, care. If I were in a candidate’s shoes, I would want to have someone on the other end of the phone that had my best interests at heart. I decided that if wanted to be an Agency Recruitment Consultant, I was going to be ethical, honest, ‘a good one’, a trusted partner and just help people as much as possible.
After 7 years in the industry, this is what I’ve learned: Recruitment isn’t for everyone.
The hours can be long. The days can be stressful. People sometimes lie. People sometimes let you down. Some people are rude. You take your work home with you. At night, you dream about trying to find Digital Project Managers. You have to deal with rejection. You have to deliver bad news. You have to work hard. You have to be competitive and in turn, work quickly. You have to juggle multiple projects. You have to have difficult conversations. You have to find unicorns.
It’s a hard job! I’ve not even got into the “sales” element, which is why a lot of people leave recruitment in their first year. Having to cold-call, hit KPI targets, generate revenue. Thinking about all of this whilst trying to manage the above can be tricky.
But the positives outweigh the negatives!
They don’t describe ‘recruitment’ as an emotional rollercoaster for nothing. Recruitment isn’t for everyone as it takes time to build resilience, to build relationships, to build a reputation. You have to live and breathe it and see it as an important career, where you are helping companies find their next talented head, or helping a candidate find their dream role. To me, recruitment is a vocation.
Recruitment is a great career for people looking to be part of an industry that they’re really passionate about, and it gives you the opportunity of getting to know the people in it. Rather than fearing recruiters, you'll become friends with them!
Joining The Candidate was a no-brainer for me. Not only is everyone incredibly caring, passionate and has peoples’ best interests at heart, they are also 100% committed to the Marketing, Digital and Creative industry. We sponsor events, we improve our knowledge and understanding of what we talk to you about, and everyone works collaboratively to find the best solution for the candidate’s requirements.
We’re always looking for people who embody those beliefs. We’re here to ensure everyone has a good experience with us. If you’re looking to be part of an exciting recruitment journey, just get in touch with us on 0161 833 1044 – no pressure!
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