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A career in recruitment? Insight into a recruiter’s typical week

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Ever wondered what happens in the life of a recruiter? Clare Thornton gives us insight into her daily life which varies from fielding candidates, securing client meetings, to offering advice on CVs.

Monday: clients and candidates

I start my week by calling a couple of clients to check how their new employees, who started last week, are settling in. I later obtain feedback from interviews that took place in the morning for a recruitment officer within a London law firm; I speak with all the candidates and call my client to discuss in detail. It’s important for me to get feedback as soon as possible as employers need to move quickly in order to secure top quality talent in the current market. In this case two of my candidates were successful and I arranged second interviews for them for next week.

Late afternoon I speak with an HR manager who I placed last month and is now looking to recruit an HR advisor within her new team. Firstly I take a brief of what skills and experience she’s looking for and then arrange a meeting to discuss the role in more detail. Following the call I start to shortlist relevant candidates so that I can present a selection of CVs to her in the meeting.

Tuesday: client relationships

I start my day with a client visit; they are replacing someone who is leaving. I know them well as we have placed various members of their current team. We speak about the role and discuss the job requirements and person specification. It’s important for me to fully understand the company’s culture and the background to the role, as this will help me to compile a more detailed competency framework and vastly improve the chances of employing the right candidate.

We set a timetable for the recruitment process and once I’m back in the office I begin to call several candidates. Those who are interested in the role are put on a shortlist which is sent to the client. I follow up with a phone call so that I can talk them through the selected candidates experience and skills. This resulted in three interviews being booked in for next week.

Wednesday: sourcing relevant candidates

A candidate is back from a year of working abroad and wants to find out about the current jobs market and opportunities available to her; I explain that the market is improving but is still very competitive. I advise her to update her CV and to add more detail about past achievements. I’m currently finding that my clients are increasingly selective; therefore jobseekers need to ensure that their CVs make a great initial impact.

After work I meet with a candidate for a coffee and brief him for an interview I’ve arranged for next week, I also get a chance to invite him to the employment law seminar Hays is hosting. We regularly host events like these as it’s a great way for us to share our expert insight with others. This seminar focuses on TUPE legislation and how we see it impacting on businesses. 

Thursday: communication, advertising and Results

I meet with a new candidate, she was recommended to me by a placement I made last year. We discuss her career background, current aspirations and goals, remuneration expectations and the current opportunities open to her. I’m working on two roles which I think she is a good match for so we agree to submit her details and then set a date next week to catch up. It’s really important that we’re in regular contact and we agree to keep in touch on a weekly basis.

Later I meet with a client who I am working with to fill a senior HR manager position. The specific type of candidate they are looking for is harder to attract therefore I suggest working with our in-house team, Hays Digital & Creative, which delivers specific client-branded candidate attraction advertising campaigns. This involves using a range of digital tools and social media strategies. For this role we suggest advertising on several relevant job boards and set a timetable for their online package.

A job offer has been made to one of my candidates for an HR manager position. I let him know the great news; he’s delighted and verbally accepts. I then let him know that the employer will arrange for a contract to be sent out in the next few days. We provisionally agree a start date and I then advise him on the best way to approach handing in his notice.

Friday: fielding candidates & client research

Every day I receive a large number of enquiries from people looking for a new job or wanting to know about the jobs market. Where I can, I book people in for face-to-face meetings or I call them and have an initial in-depth chat to gain an insight into what they are looking for and their level of experience. It’s always important for me to set expectations with candidates from the outset.

Later I visit three clients in the City; we catch up on how the recession has affected their businesses and how the future looks. I discuss the current signs of recovery in the jobs market and we talk about their HR issues. I explain that confidence is now returning to the market and we’re seeing talented professionals starting to move roles again. HR professionals currently in demand include operational generalists to work in law firms and accountancy practices. Temporary training staff and reward professionals are also sought after.

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