What are some popular misconceptions about the recruitment and human resources industry?

You might think you can spot someone who works in recruitment or human resources from five miles away. You might have heard about the two most popular images of recruitment consultants:

  1. The overly-serious and slightly irritable jobsworth. A person who sits in a sterile office on your local high street; a grim spectre who informs you that you won’t be able get a temp job this summer because you don’t have “six months’ office experience”.
  2. The shark in a suit. A person obsessed with commission and nothing but commission; a deplorable human being who calls you ‘mate’ in a blithe attempt to appear friendly, and whose conversation button is permanently stuck on the ‘liar’ setting.

Similarly, you may think that the people who work in human resources are administrative staff who let the taxman take money out of your pay cheque every month, and just happen to know the private business of everyone in the company.

If this is what you think, then we’re here to tell you that you are wrong! So before you make the decision to get into recruitment and human resources, you should firstly discover what it’s really all about.

What does working in the human resources and recruitment industry involve?

It’s all about people. No company is run entirely by robots (in fact, some companies don’t even use robots at all…shocking!), so the one thing all businesses need is people. Recruitment and human resources staff are therefore absolutely essential to every single company or organisation. They hire the right people, retain the right people and develop them throughout their careers, making them even more right.

Everybody’s working life is influenced by recruitment and human resources professionals. When we get paid, when we get a job offer, when we go on a training scheme, when we have a telephone interview, and even when we retire and start living off our pension, it’s all down to the people who work in recruitment and human resources. Without these people, the complex world of work would not be able to function.

The folks who work in the industry are genuinely friendly and have excellent communication skills, bags of confidence and great organisational skills.

Taking the recruitment career path…

Recruitment consultant roles are actually similar to a lot of sales jobs. Yet, rather than selling cleaning products or cars, they are selling people. Consequently, recruitment is a much more challenging sales occupation. People change their minds, change their circumstances, or get better offers from elsewhere. Don’t let that put you off, though: it’s an exciting career full of ups and downs, highs and lows.

Luck can play a factor, but the best recruitment consultants make their own luck through hard work and mental agility, by networking and building relationships. A recruitment consultant’s life is driven by targets, and they can potentially make a lot of money from lucrative commission and bonus schemes.

Taking the human resources career path…

Human resources is such a broad area of work. Some HR professionals take the general route and do a bit of everything, whilst others even get to make the decisions on how a company’s employment structure should be organised or changed.

Some HR guys organise the hiring of new staff and help to train and develop talented employees throughout their career, whereas other members of the HR team use their social, emotional and psychological skills to help improve and maintain the quality of an employee’s working life.

If you’re a people person, whether you have persuasive skills akin to Jedi mind tricks, you’re the don or donna of organisation or you’re just really good at making people happy, there may be a career in recruitment and human resources with your name on it.

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