How You Can Actually Make £100k in Recruitment as a Graduate

When graduation season rolls around, it’s time for recruiters to get busy. There’s always a huge boom of grad opportunities we rush to fill. Graduate job ads like to sell the dream. There’s always talk of the £100k earning potential, quarterly trips to Ibiza or USA, and of course the amazing company culture. None of this is inaccurate. It is possible to earn £100k in recruitment – but it’s not as easy as you think. It’s time to dispel a few myths. Here’s how you can actually make £100k in recruitment.

A Six Figure Salary

You’re not going to earn a six figure salary in your first year. Forget it now, it’s not happening. You’re probably not going to earn it in your second year. Realistically, it’ll take three years of hard graft to get £100k. If you want it and you’re willing to work for it, you’ll get it. This is the beauty of recruitment. You get out what you put in.

Can You Actually Make It?

The recruitment industry has a pretty high staff turnover. Not because it’s a hire and fire industry but because of dropouts. Many, many grads will start the job and leave before their probation is up. It’s not an industry just anyone can turn their hand to.

You’ll see the words ‘determined’, ‘competitive’ and ‘resilient’ thrown around a lot to describe the ideal recruiter. These words are so overused they’ve become clichés in the industry. Having said this, it’s not without good reason. The hardest part of making a six figure salary is actually sticking with the job throughout the tough times and low points.

Get the Day-to-Day Right

When you find yourself sifting through CVs, building leads and cold calling for hours, it can be easy to forget why you’re doing it. It can be easy to lose sight of that big round £100k figure in the distance. Stay focused and nail every step of the process. A good job today can lead to a deal next month.

The Road to £100K

So, how can you find yourself at £100k? Here’s the realistic progression to expect (remember, all positions and industries vary, this is only an approximate guide):

Year 1 (£30k – £40k)

The one thing we tell all grads is to expect nothing but basic salary for six months. You’re probably going to start on about £20k. This will likely rise to approximately £25k after nine months when you should expect to step up from Trainee to Consultant. In the second half of your first year, you should be billing. If you’re successful, you can enjoy about £15k in commission on top of your base. It’s not £100k but it’s not bad for your first year after uni!

Year 2 (£50k – £60k)

Your second year is when you can really expect your billings to take off. To get £50k, you’re going to need to bill £150k. This sounds a lot but realistically is only £12.5k a month – an average of 1.5 deals per month. You should be looking to make the jump from Consultant to Senior between 12 and 18 months in the job. By this time, you should be sitting pretty with a £30k basic.

Year 3 (£60k – £100k)

By the third year, you can start looking at £100k as a realistic figure. To do this, you need to be billing around £300k annually. That equates to about £6k a week, or three £40k positions placed in a month. You should also be starting to consider management options by this stage. The sooner you get a team, the more likely you are to make big money. Typically, a manager will make 3% – 5% of what their team bills. Management opportunities will also give your basic a considerable boost too.

The Secret to Earning £100k in Recruitment

There’s a secret to getting £100k in recruitment and it’s a lot simpler than you think. Be consistent in your billings! Performance generally peaks and troughs for the first few years. This pattern will never lead to big billings. A bad month will off-set any chance of making £100k. Don’t go for glory and burn out. Instead, bill at the same rate regularly and you’ll notice the difference in earning potential.

The most experienced recruiters will allow for dropouts. This is a natural part of the recruitment process and something that should be accounted for. Don’t let it get you down, move forward and learn.

Other Considerations to Make

Your earning potential doesn’t only hinge on your own performance. It comes down to the type of company you’re in.

Every sector is different, think about where you’d like to work. Look for the most buoyant markets. Once you spot a trend of growth in a sector, start applying and secure a position. The more growth there is, the more opportunity of filling vacancies.

If you haven’t got a desirable commission structure in place, you’re not going to make any real financial progress. Ideally, you should be making about a third of what you bill.

Find the right company for you. At RULE, we listen to what you want from a position and find you the best match. We like to think quality triumphs over quantity so will only work with the very best agencies and candidates. If you have a genuine desire to be successful in recruitment, we’ll find you the right opportunity. Browse our job board to get a feel for the type of vacancies we currently have on offer.