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Industry Insights

Why Work in Recruitment?

26 May 2022
Written by
Helayna Lowe

Whether you have a professional background in a completely different field or you’re fresh out of university, taking the leap into a recruitment career can be a rewarding challenge.

So, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to give you a real insight into what working in recruitment involves, including revealing the harsh truths. Here at Conspicuous, we look at recruitment as a rollercoaster. It’s important to understand the highs and lows you’re signing up to before you begin your career to ensure it’s right for you.

That being said, if you read this blog and consider the hard work to be worth the rewards, you may just have what it takes for a successful, lucrative and gratifying career.

What is Working in Recruitment Like?

Working in recruitment requires an entrepreneurial mindset. You’ll receive training and mentorship from your colleagues but, on a day to day basis, you will need to be a self-starter to hit your all-important targets and career milestones.

You’ll be part of a team but need to answer for yourself. At Conspicuous, our consultants are given the training, support and guidance to succeed but also have the autonomy to manage their own workload. Your team will always be on hand to help, however, as is the case in every recruitment role, you need to be accountable. It’s not enough to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk too.

When it comes to the work itself, the best description is varied. One day you can be meeting clients, the next setting up or hosting interviews, and the following negotiating contracts for your candidates. The job is sales focused with some admin and marketing. The range promotes continuous learning and development, allowing you to experience boundless personal growth.

One thing that outsiders often don’t realise about working in recruitment is that each month the results from your output can be dramatically different, making it easy to become frustrated when you’re having a downturn. You can’t always be on a high but being resilient and looking to the future rather than dwelling on disappointing months is a trait that some of the most successful recruiters share.

How Does Commission Work in Recruitment? / Is Recruitment a Lucrative Career?

It’s no secret that the level of stress that comes with the job is, generally, not worth the basic salary. After all, its reputation as a seriously lucrative profession is what initially attracts almost every recruiter to the role. This reputation comes from the commission potential.

But don’t be fooled, commission isn’t handed to you on a silver platter. In fact, for the first 6 months, the work is some of the hardest you will do and you could be earning little to no commission. This will be demoralising, but, if you push through this, you will begin to build connections in your sector, start placing candidates and reap the rewards.

One of the enticing aspects of recruitment is that you can control your own earnings through commission. You’re incentivised to work harder and smarter whilst remaining positive through bad times because it could result in hitting your targets and making your commission. This can be great motivation for ambitious recruiters.

Agency to agency, commission rates can vary, but here at Conspicuous, we have the best commission structure we’ve seen in the industry to ensure your potential isn’t capped. And, we also utilise competitions and weekend trips to bond and reward our team when we hit our targets.

What are the Challenges of Working in Recruitment?

Recruitment is not ‘easy money’ - especially at the beginning of your career. There are extreme highs and spectacular lows and we’d be remiss to not identify the lows for aspiring recruiters.

Particularly in your first few months, you’ll learn by making mistakes.

This is encouraged at Conspicuous, but we also understand that the setbacks will feel disheartening. It’s worth noting that everyone goes through this and resilience is essential to making it as a recruiter.

While setbacks are more frequent in your first year, that’s not to say that the challenge will stop once you’re an experienced recruiter. There will always be obstacles, but these will change as you grow. To begin with, it might be placing your first candidate, then increasing your client base, and eventually managing a whole team. As a recruiter, you need to learn to manage high-pressure situations.

Another challenge as you begin your recruiting career is burnout. If you’re fresh into recruitment you’ll have no client base, no reputation, and no commission -  meaning you need to build it from scratch which involves hard work and some late nights. Being constantly full steam ahead is exhausting and can seem fruitless in the beginning, but, pushing past this is something every successful recruiter has done.

Plus, you’ll have to battle against the negative stereotypes that can come with recruitment. Traditionally, there’s been a reputation of ‘sleaze’ amongst recruiters which some people struggle to see past. Many individuals and businesses have worked hard to rehabilitate the industry’s name, but you might come up against candidates and clients who want to write you off before hearing you out due to your job title.

Rejection like this can feel harsh, but it’s the nature of the job. You’ve got to be able to hear bad news, process it, and move on ready to be on top form for conversations with candidates and clients.

These are universal struggles that you shouldn’t take personally. When times get hard, it’s important to lean on your team and accept their support and advice as they’ve all been there too. You’ll pick up industry know-how from your colleagues and, with practice, these challenges will become easier. 

Not everyone thrives in this kind of environment, but so long as you’re adaptable, creative and confident you can move beyond the challenges and experience the benefits.

What are the Benefits of Working in Recruitment?

Despite the difficulty you will face at the beginning of your recruiting career, the benefits can make it all worthwhile.

First and foremost, the money. Though most people won’t enter such a demanding role for money alone, it’s often a factor. The money isn’t awarded based on seniority, qualifications, or company politics but instead based on how much business you win, which can work in the favour of young and talented recruiters.

And, when you place someone, commission isn’t the only reward.

The ability to help someone you’ve built a relationship with in finding their dream job is unmatched. You can change lives and share their excitement as they secure the position. It doesn’t stop there either. When you call to ask how their first day went and get to hear how well they’re settling in, all the hard work pays off. Plus, years later when they’re looking for their next position, candidates get back in touch because of the positive impression you made. Few careers offer the opportunity to build genuine relationships like recruitment.

Additionally, the culture in recruitment companies often makes for a great working environment full of comradery and fun. Your colleagues are the only people to understand everything you’re experiencing, which helps you to bond. This is intensified by the rewards that you share with your teammates, like company lunches, day trips, and holidays abroad that help you to build real friendships with your colleagues.

Recruitment isn’t just a job, it can be a fulfilling career. If you’re open to learning and have a good work ethic, you’ll quickly be able to climb the ladder, transitioning into positions of responsibility based on performance and merit rather than qualifications. Many recruiters find this and the incentives highly motivating, allowing them to thrive.

How to Start a Career in Recruiting?

A key part of starting a career in recruitment is finding the right company to join. In such a demanding role, it’s essential to find a business that is willing to give you the best training, environment, and wellbeing support. It’s worth remembering that even with the best support network it will be a hard job.

At Conspicuous we provide consistent support to our newcomers as they learn the ins and outs of recruitment. There will always be rejection in the role, no matter how talented you are, so starting with a thick skin is beneficial. Other than this, being able to effectively communicate will get you far. Everything else can be taught on the job.

In terms of steps you can take to fast-track success in your new roles, our biggest recommendation would be to build up your LinkedIn profile and network so you’re visible to potential candidates and clients. Ensuring that you appear professional, approachable and authentic can help create those essential first leads.

We haven’t sugar-coated the recruitment experience, so if, regardless of the hard work, the recruitment rollercoaster still appeals, you may be just what we’re looking for!

At the core of each of our Conspicuous recruiters is the appreciation of our core values; integrity, honesty, collaboration, communication, accountability and continuous learning.

If this is aligned with your values, you won’t find a more supportive place than Conspicuous to begin your recruiting career.

Does the prospect of joining our team excite you? Get in touch with us today.

Contact Vanessa Lowe on +44(0) 7825 138 621 or email

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