what is a recruitment consultant?

A recruitment consultant mediates between a client company and a job-seeker to find a good fit between the two. The job contains an inherent sales component, as you are selling the client to the candidate and vice versa. Furthermore, you must operate as a salesperson when promoting your services to paying clients. A client pays for your ability to act on their behalf and find ideal employees for their opening.

As a recruitment consultant, you communicate with client companies and job seekers. If the candidate has a question surrounding the recruiting process, you liaise with the company to answer the job seeker's inquiry.

You also need to understand an employee's position in the client's company. The client depends on you to shortlist candidates and suggest the best fit. Therefore, you need to help them find reliable employees who can transform their business.

Many recruitment consultants work in human resources to gain experience. Your role has a strong sales component that differs from conventional sales jobs. You don't need to convince someone that they need your product. Clients and candidates are attentive to your work and are anxious to close a deal. With companies constantly searching for high-quality personnel, there is no shortage of work. Growth opportunities abound as there are levels to the recruiting field. A driven recruitment consultant will go from entry-level sourcing management to finding top executives for major corporations.

Would working as a recruitment consultant suit your people skills and negotiation abilities? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a recruitment consultant role.

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average salary of a recruitment consultant

According to National Careers, a recruitment consultant earns an average salary of £16,000 at entry-level. When you gain experience, your earnings can increase to £40,000. Apart from basic wages, a recruitment consultant also enjoys various benefits like housing and transport allowances. Most companies offer opportunities to increase your earnings through overtime pay and yearly bonuses. Some recruitment consultants are paid on commission and earn an agreed percentage of the salary of any employee they recommend successfully to a company.

what factors affect a recruitment consultant's salary?

As a recruitment consultant, your salary varies based on experience, skills and location. A recruitment consultant in an entry-level position earns less since they have limited experience and skill. As you build your experience, more clients trust you with recruitment, which increases your commissions and basic salary. Your employer and the types of employees you recruit also affect your salary. For instance, if you recruit top-level executives for your clients, you will likely earn more than recruiting entry and middle-level staff. Your compensation package is better if your salary includes commissions for successful job placements. The location also affects your earnings. Large cities with huge demand for employees increase the demand for recruitment consultants, which translates to better earnings.


Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches
Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches

types of recruitment consultants

Recruitment consultants differ depending on the companies they work for and the payment method. Some of the common recruitment consultants include:

  • in-house recruitment consultants: as a recruitment consultant, you can work in-house and focus on recruiting for one company. You headhunt potential employees, conduct interviews and onboard new workers.
  • external recruitment consultants: you work for a human resource consultancy firm. Your job is to find employees for different clients. That means you spend most of the year writing job descriptions, advertising vacancies, shortlisting and interviewing potential candidates.
  • contingency recruitment consultants: as a contingency recruitment consultant, you receive payment when a successful candidate is hired. You receive a percentage of the candidate's first-year salary.


working as a recruitment consultant

As a recruitment consultant, your primary duties are to provide clients with the best candidate for their position while maximising closing rates for your agency. Want to find out more? Read on for information about your career prospects and a typical day as a recruitment consultant.


education and skills

Explore various ways of becoming a recruitment consultant:

  • university course: you can join the recruitment consultancy role with a degree in related subjects like marketing, human resources or public relations. Some recruitment agencies specialise in specific careers. For instance, you can become a recruitment consultant for engineering firms if you have a background in engineering.
  • apprenticeships: you can find intermediate apprenticeship courses for recruitment consultants in human resource agencies. Combining on-the-job training with coursework improves your job prospects.

skills and competencies

A good recruitment consultant combines a diverse skill set that helps them source quality candidates for clients. As a recruitment consultant, you will need a high level of emotional intelligence and practical skills to deliver results.

  • excellent communication skills: you will be receptive to what clients need and what makes candidates happy. You will put candidates at ease while obtaining all the relevant information regarding what they can offer the client company.
  • relationship-building: you will establish clear communication with clients and candidates and build strong relationships. The recruiter-candidate relationship is important to discern whether the person across from you is a good fit for the position. At the same time, you will foster trust with clients. This guarantees that clients will want to work with you in the future.
  • goal-oriented mentality: as a recruitment consultant, you work to deadlines. Clients are looking to hire high-level employees as soon as possible. Having a goal-oriented mentality is a must for producing results for clients.
  • effective negotiation skills: the closer a hiring approaches completion, the more each side looks forward to cementing their demands. As a successful recruitment consultant, you will have the ability to mediate between clients and shortlisted candidates. Salary, benefits, working hours, time off and other points of contention result from your ability to negotiate on behalf of the client and the candidate.



FAQs about working as a recruitment consultant

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