Working in HR and Recruitment is fast paced and competitive. But the rewards can be great. So what does it take to be a Recruiter? And what’s a day in the office really like?
Natalie Lester, an in-house HR Administrator for a Recruitment team, talks to Jobulo about the industry and offers some career advice.
Tell Us How You Got a Job In Recruitment?
I worked my way up from a Data Administrator to being the Team Manager within a training company who deliver apprenticeships within the workplace. I spent a lot of time with our HR Manager and became interested in Human Resources and decided to look into how I could begin a career in it and what options were open to me. I found that I could study a CIPD qualification for a reasonable fee at a local college one evening a week over one year. I was accepted onto the course and half way through I decided it would be advantageous to be working within an HR department. I applied for a position as an HR Administrator within a recruitment team at a local business that do all of their own in-house recruitment; and although I had no previous experience of recruitment I managed to sell myself and gain the position.
Is In-house Recruitment Different to Working For An Agency?
I have not worked for an agency myself but colleagues have and I understand that agencies often have very high targets but are generally good at rewarding financially when these targets are met. Working within an in-house recruitment team you get to know the managers you are recruiting for and build relationships with them.
What Is a Typical Day Like at Work?
I will deal with general queries ranging from candidates wanting to know when they will hear about an interview or job offer to managers wanting to arrange interviews. We also deal with a lot of queries from agencies who want to provide us with potential candidates and charge us a large amount of money for this – in our business we do not use agencies as we resource for all our own positions. I use our database to update roles for advertising and use Microsoft packages alongside a system we have to log any enquiries.
What’s The Most Challenging Part of the Job?
Informing candidates that they have not been successful and giving them constructive feedback to enable them to interview more successfully in the future. Dealing with upset candidates can also be very difficult. We occasionally encounter candidates who have not managed to find the venue and I am always surprised when people are late to an interview or don’t turn up. We have sometimes had managers quite angry with us as we arrange the interview so not showing up can make a candidate and us look bad. I think this re-affirms the need for candidates to prepare before an interview, to always check where the interview is the day before and always be early.
What Skills Do You Need to Succeed in Your Job?
You need to be very well organised as we, on occasion, start one task and stop half way through to deal with a problem or urgent task. To be able to do that without making mistakes is essential. Accuracy is vital too. The job involves a lot of data entry and time management and when you are arranging interviews, you need to ensure everything is planned to perfection.
What Advice Would You Give to Someone Wanting to Work in Recruitment?
It can be a very busy environment to work in, you won’t ever be bored and the days pass extremely quickly. Within a large organisation like the one I currently work in the work is very process driven and transactional. If you want something changed it can take a long time for this to be approved by all levels and can be frustrating. If you want more variation in your role then looking at slightly smaller organisations might be a better idea as the role will involve more elements of HR/Recruitment than being within just a recruitment team.
Can You Share Some Job Interview Tips?
Always research the company before applying and before interview – it is good to be able to ask questions about the business and team you might be working in. It will also help you decide if you want to work for that company, not everyone works in the same way and not every job will be the right one for you. Read the job description and person specification before interview – if they are conducting a competency based interview this will be based on what these documents say. Think of examples of when you have met these requirements in the past. If you don’t know an answer to a question, ask to have a think about it and try to remember back to it at the end of the interview. Avoid being negative in an interview and think of positive reasons why you are moving employment e.g. I want a new challenge. Essentially try to think clearly and remain as calm as possible, listen to the question and if you’re not clear ask for further explanation. I also think that after an interview you should always ask when you will hear back – you don’t want to be left unsure of your position. If you are unsuccessful ask for feedback – use this to help you to prepare for the next interview. Don’t be disheartened – there are a lot of applicants for every job at the moment so you won’t get every job you go for first time but if you keep learning and looking you will find the right role for you.