Recruitment can be a tricky and complex process, especially when various vacancies need to be filled at once. Resourcers and recruitment consultants are responsible for the hands-on search and selection activities, but someone else needs to be there to oversee everything, manage the recruitment team and work closely with clients to understand and satisfy their recruitment needs. Enter recruitment managers.
Some large organisations employ recruitment managers in-house alongside the human resources department. These guys manage every stage of recruitment and candidate selection for their organisation, attracting talent, vetting candidates and advising the business on the best recruitment practices and processes.
Some recruitment managers might even focus their efforts solely on graduate recruitment.
Other recruitment managers work for independent recruitment agencies, building relationships with clients, developing recruitment solutions and managing a dedicated team of recruitment consultants.
On a day-to-day basis, you might be responsible for direct team management, business development, drafting job specifications, creating job adverts, analysing CVs, training junior recruitment consultants and offering advice to business professionals on recruitment policies.
Salary & benefits
It’s unlikely that you’ll begin your career as a recruitment manager. Indeed, most people start off as a trainee recruitment consultant. At this level, you can expect to earn a basic salary somewhere between £15,000 and £22,000.
Basic salaries tend to be quite low at all levels, since recruitment consultants also receive attractive commission payments, bonuses and other incentives, based on their achievement of revenue targets and new business acquisitions.
Consultants with more than two years’ experience can earn salaries of around £20,000 to £30,000, not including commission.
Eventually, as you progress into a recruitment manager position, you could earn up to £45,000 and above.
Working hours can be long and irregular, including extra hours during evenings and weekends. This is natural given the sales-oriented nature of the job. Travel outside the office to meet existing clients or develop new business opportunities is also a regular occurrence.
However, most employers allow employees to make use of flexible work arrangements, as long as business requirements are met.
A degree is not necessary for entry into the recruitment industry. However, some firms may prefer recent graduates with drive, ambition and a solid work ethic. There are no restrictions on what degree you can study, although studying recruitment-related disciplines such as human resources may be useful.
The emphasis is more on drive, tenacity, resilience, confidence and a general aptitude for sales, marketing and customer service.
Prior work experience in recruitment or any customer-facing field is usually preferred, since entry-level competition is stiff.
Training & progression
Structured training and development programmes vary from organisation to organisation. However, graduate schemes are provided by many medium-sized and large recruitment firms, such as Hays, Michael Page and Randstad.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is another professional body which provides bespoke recruitment-specific qualifications.
Career progression depends on your ability to reach targets. Most people will start out as a trainee recruitment consultant or resourcer, before moving into an account management or team leader position. After that, you will be given the opportunity to become a fully-fledged recruitment manager.
Alternative career options include independent consulting, teaching and training, or niche market specialisation, e.g. CEO-level headhunting.