Suzanne Alden tells us about working as a recruiter …
How did you get into recruitment ?
I’d worked in sales for a while and was recruiting for a role on my team via an agency. I met with the recruiters who were sourcing candidates for me and really liked the sound of what they did so decided to try it for myself!
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
There is never a dull moment! It’s such a people focused job and I love building long lasting relationships with both candidates and clients. I’m quite inquisitive so really enjoy finding out about what people do in their day to day roles and their long term ambitions. I also love problem solving and there’s nothing like being able to tell a candidate they’ve been offered their dream role and helping clients find a great new employee to join them. It’s such a varied role and there’s always something to keep you busy.
What skills do you need to have to be successful in recruitment?
You definitely need to be able to be super organised and have the ability to constantly prioritise and re prioritise throughout the day. Managing candidate and client expectations through constant communication is also key so you really need to be a people person! You must be able to work in busy environment and have a sense of urgency when it comes to getting roles filled. You must also be able to work under pressure and not let it get to you when things don’t go to plan!
What was the most difficult job you have ever worked on?
There’s been a few! I’ve worked on roles that are highly confidential and I haven’t been able to disclose much to candidates which always makes things tricky! Often junior roles can be the hardest to fill as its not always about experience and what’s on the CV, it can be more personality and drive and finding the best team fit.
What is the most common mistake people make on their cv?
Often, people don’t put enough information on their CV’s and worry about keeping it to just two pages. I think it’s important to get as much relevant information on the CV as possible in a clear and concise way (without waffling!). I also think it’s important to tailor the CV towards each role your applying for to emphasise specific skills required and this very much goes for cover letters too, generic cover letters are not going to help you get your dream job. Get a friend to read through and feedback to you on whether they get a good understanding of your role and make sure you haven’t missed spelling or grammar errors. Remember, your CV is your passport to your next role so make sure it’s perfect before applying for roles.
What would you say is the best way to prepare for an interview?
Research!! Companies will always expect candidates to have researched the company in a lot of detail and must also be able to demonstrate what they can bring to the role they are interviewing for. Think about what you have to offer and why you want that particular position. Also, have a good list of questions prepared as the interview is just as much for you to find out about a company role as it is for a company to find out about you. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to interviews as there’s nothing worse than being late and feeling flustered when you arrive!
What is the most memorable job you have filled?
Probably the first role I filled at Boyce, it was a great feeling and the candidate was over the moon.
Why would a company use a recruitment agency when they can always recruit themselves directly?
Recruitment takes a lot of time and you have to constantly network to keep a good pool of candidates. We meet all of our candidates before submitting for roles so shortlist candidates for the clients we work for. Working with a specialist agencies will ensure you have access to a wider reach of candidates and the help you need to source the best people in the market. We’re also here to help with managing the whole process, from organising interviews to briefing and negotiating salaries.
How many recruitment agencies do you think a candidate should register with?
It’s always good for candidates to register with a few agencies that specialise in their area of work as we all work with different clients. However, candidates must be careful to only apply for each individual role through one agency as it can reflect badly if there CV’s get sent over a number of times for the same role.
What help/ service should a candidate expect from a recruiter ?
Candidates should be able to build a relationship with their recruiter and be treated as an individual. We aim to build long term relationships and work with candidates throughout their careers. We’re here to help and advise so always keen for lots of communication and happy to answer any questions. A good recruiter should be able to offer advice, guidance and most importantly support throughout the job search from briefing on roles right through to helping to negotiating salary. Job hunting can be very time consuming and stressful so we are here to help through every stage of the process.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about a career in recruitment ?
If you enjoy a busy and varied role and can work under pressure, go for it! Find a sector you are passionate about as it’s great to work on roles and with clients you find interesting and exciting. Although it’s stressful at times, recruitment can be incredibly rewarding and gives you the opportunity to become a real expert in your field.