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How hard to get into a good firm

#1 How hard to get into a good firm
30/12/2007 17:21


Hi guys,

I am a uni student and am looking at getting into recruitment when I'm done, however is it something you get into straight after graduation or do you work in an industry such as engineering for 2 or 3 years then you apply for a job in recruitment.

Also what are entry requirements roughly for the decent firms.

Thanks guys,


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#2 RE: How hard to get into a good firm
31/12/2007 22:26

Alex to Johnny (#1)

According to my experience, I say:

Network, network and network!

It is not about what you know but who you now!

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#3 RE: How hard to get into a good firm
01/01/2008 01:16

RecruitMax to Johnny (#1)

There are a lot of recruitment jobs available and it is fairly easy to get a job as a recruitment "consultant" with any of a number of firms immediately upon graduation with almost any qualification, or none. It's a sales job, so ability and willingness to make 200 cold-calls a day is more important than any particular qualification.

There a limited number of recruitment firms that run formal graduate training schemes and even fewer with decent reputations. Badenock & Clark are one of the better ones, and can afford to be more selective, but soft skills and hardheadedness are still more important than qualifications or particular achievements.

It is possible to apply for a job in recruitment after 2-3 years, but there is no real advantage as without prior recruitment experience you will still start at the bottom. Any contacts you have made with company recruiters may still be useful, although these will be limited unless you have been working in HR.

You might also want to look at executive search and selection firms. They tend to be more reputable and selective - opportunities for fresh graduates are as researchers rather than consultants, and it is more difficult to progress without some experience and strong networks in the market you are focussing on. A few years of work experience, or completing a graduate scheme beforehand, is a good way to start off. Entry requirements are generally 2:1 from a respectable red-brick uni (an MBA can be advantageous in establishing your network and gaining credibility), plus good A-levels. Decent firms include Odgers Ray & Berndtson and Heidrick & Struggles.

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#4 RE: How hard to get into a good firm
02/01/2008 15:46

Mars A Day to Johnny (#1)

Speaking as a recruiter/headhunter I would certainly disagree with some of the points RecruitMax makes; there are some firms out there still operating on the 200 calls per day method, but then they are probably hiring rubbish individuals who sit around in red braces longing to be in Wall Street, or else are hired for their almost neanderthal levels of aggression whcih some pocket lining pipsqueak 'Manager' will be translating as 'drive' while massaging egos amid huge staff turnover.

A decent firm will take an intelligent approach, based in quality of contact, building your market and sector expertise over time and concentrate on making the right calls to the right people. I certainly don't make anywhere near 200 calls p/day.

When you interview with firms in recruitment bear in mind that the industry is very diverse, and essentially the people are the product much like MC - what you see in interview will be quite indicative of what it is like, so if you get a pressure/stress interview that is what you will get; likewise a more discussional interview etc.

Recruitment is a great sector to work in if you have an entrepreneurial mind set as you eat what you kill, and how well you do that is down to you; most firms will train you, either through apprenticeship with an experienced recruiter 1 - to -1 or on a training programme, or a mix of both styles, and each is effective. If you have a decent mind, are ambitious, energetic, friendly and level headed you will be fine.

2 top tips:

1. The recruiters who are talking about themselves all the time and blowing their own trumpets are not the big hitters - money talks as they say.

2. Lucky biscuit for today is... Hob Nobs.

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