Top 6 Lessons I learnt as a Recruiter

When people create their CVs they usually list a series of tasks that they performed in their jobs. Smart jobseekers also know about the power of including their main achievements in their CV. Would it not be great if there would be also a section in which candidates would actually share the lessons that they learned at various stages in their career? In this blog post I would like to share my personal lessons I learnt as a Recruiter some years ago.

# 1 - You will never be able to satisfy everyone.

Whether you are working as an agency recruiter or in-house corporate recruiter you will always have a higher number of jobseekers and much smaller number of job offers. As a consultant you will first focus on “placing people” for companies and then “finding jobs” for people, no matter how many great candidates you have lined up.

# 2 - You need to be quick.

Recruitment is a fast paced industry and neither companies nor candidates just rely on one source when they are looking for a candidate or a job. If you come across a good candidate for an open vacancy don’t wait too long to forward or invite the person for an interview and make a job offer. If you hear about a company’s hiring needs don’t waste any time and present your best candidates as soon as possible. There are plenty of other job applicants and agencies who are waiting for the same great opportunity. If you don’t act quickly, someone else will do it, remember! Nowadays competition is tough.

# 3 - Not everyone is reliable.

Being a matchmaker (connecting jobseekers with companies) will make you realise that once in a while one of them will let you down in the last minute. Companies might tell you that they already found a candidate. Occasionally it also happens that candidates will inform you that they already found a job, or they are not interested in the job anymore or simply don’t turn up to their interview. If this happens then it also reflects negative on your company. Clients might not approach you next time when they are looking for new hires due to this episode. You might feel like having wasted a lot of time for nothing. Being resilient and efficient is therefore particularly important in this job.

# 4 - Not just the first impression matters.

Don’t be blended too much by peoples’ first brilliant interview performance. If you really want to judge someone try to meet this person at least three times in different environments (office, restaurant, park etc.). You might be surprised to see that very few people would be consistent at all times in the way they present themselves.

# 5 - It teaches you important things about life.

Dealing with people can teach you a lot about life too. The recruitment business is a people business, therefore you get to know quite a lot about peoples’ situations and lives. Sometimes you will get to know the problems they are facing and tough times that they are going through.

One episode that is still fresh in my mind was a candidate that we found for one of our clients. He was a carpenter, coming from Poland and trying to get some work in Italy. I knew that Polish people are considered ad hardworking and reliable. I never imagined that one day we would have a candidate who - due to his poor financial situation - had to ask us for a cash advance prior to his first working day. That experience made me really feel happier about my own life and the job I had at that time. I learnt to be more considerate of other peoples personal circumstances.

Another episode was were we hired two twin brothers to work in the same company. They made both initially a brilliant impression when we hired them but after one month we were quite shocked when one day we had to learn from the newspaper that one of them got arrested because of sexual harassment.

# 6 - It’s a target driven environment.

Another memorable experience was when a Manager from the Head Office in Milan came to visit our agency. I still remember the very first question that our team got asked. It was not the one you would expect, such as “How are you doing?” but “How many candidates were you able to find last week?” It made us all one more time aware that we are in the target-oriented peoples’ business in which figures (and thus revenues) matter first.

Last but not least, I would like to say that there are two moments that I found always highly rewarding and satisfying in this job: 1) when you find a company who wants you to find great talent for their vacancies and 2) a job candidate who gets a job offer due to your coaching and recommendation. It is definitely worth a try and earnings can be great if targets are being met or even exceeded! 

Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a passionate Public Speaker, eBook Author, and a freelancing Online Content Producer. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 18 years of international work experience in Italy, the UK and India.