The Hardest Lessons to Learn in Recruitment

There are plenty of ways to get into recruitment. Whether you were a plucky grad ready to take on the world or an over-confident salesperson climbing the ranks – we all came to the same conclusion. Recruiting isn’t easy. In fact, stumbling into the reality of recruitment can be a little painful for some but it’s something we all go through. These are the hardest lessons to learn in recruitment, how many can you relate to?

Any trainees or grads reading? You’re going to want to pay attention to this!

Lesson #1: You Are Not Special

This one takes a little getting used to. You might think you’re unbeatable at sales. You might even be ultra-proud of your first class hons degree. It doesn’t get you anywhere here. You walk in to the recruitment office on the same level as everyone else. You hear the horror stories and think you’ll get through unscathed. You’re wrong.

Your skills and intellect are the bare minimum required. Now, you need to work hard to get the basics right. Success comes from your ability to nail the little things, not your inflated ego.

Lesson #2: You Were Mis-Sold a Dream

This one depends on which agency you’re in. If you fell in love with the prospect of countless free holidays, huge commission payments, Michelin star dining and a live-fast die-young lifestyle, you were mis-sold a dream.

Reality’s not the same. Expect at least six months (maybe even a year) of tireless hustling before you can even begin to consider looking at these type of perks. Been told you can earn £100k in year 1? Forget it!

Lesson #3: Attitude is Everything

Success or failure? Despair or resilience? It all comes down to your attitude. This is one of the leading causes of recruiter resignations. Everyone can handle rejection if you’re expecting it to happen.

You will go through rough times, they happen to all of us. It’s how you deal with it that sets you apart. If you’re not able to dust yourself down and carry on, you’ll give up.

Lesson #4: Hard Work Earns Money

There are plenty of cushy jobs out there where you can barely turn up and still get paid. This is not one of them. This is an industry where there is an absolute correlation between hard work and high earnings. Put a shift in and see the rewards. Successful recruiters with a low work-ethic don’t exist.

Lesson #5: Hangovers Are an Occupational Hazard

No one loves a drink more than recruiters. Going out on a Thursday has become a rite of passage for the office. But you’ve still got to be on time come Friday morning. Unless you’re in the hospital having your stomach pumped we’ll see you bright and early, ready to work.

Lesson #6: People Don’t Like You

You can blame this on the phone bashing recruiters of the past. Unfortunately, recruitment has a bit of a sour reputation. No matter how different the industry is these days, perception can be the same. When you tell people you work in recruitment, they will make certain assumptions about you.

Moreover, a lot of candidates and clients (if you’re cold calling) just don’t like you. Don’t take it personally, we’re sure you’re a lovely person really!

Lesson #7: Commission Isn’t Sustainable

Okay, bear with us on this one. When you work in recruitment for a few years and climb up the ladder, commission is your best friend. The problem is, it’s not regular and it certainly isn’t guaranteed. If you’re looking to settle down, buy a house or start a family, it can cause some uncertainty.

Your pinnacle shouldn’t be top biller. Look beyond and set your sights on management. That’s where you’ll find the larger base salaries and better financial security. Plus, you’ll earn a commission on your team’s earnings which makes a tasty added bonus.

Lesson #8: You’re Going to Do it All Over Again

No matter how bad it can get, we keep going. Success is a drug to recruiters, it’s what we crave. The lows may be crushing but the highs make everything worth it.

Those who make it in recruitment are able to take a bad month on the chin and come out the other side more determined. It takes a certain type of person to succeed in recruitment – if you’re stubborn and utterly incapable of accepting defeat, you’ll do okay!

If you’re looking to take a step in recruitment, we want to hear from you. Have a browse of our job board to get a feel for the type of vacancy we have on offer.

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