Recruitment consultant

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Recruitment consultants assist employers to identify, select and recruit staff for their vacancies, and help individuals find and gain appropriate employment.

Much of a recruitment consultant’s work involves selling the services of their agency to potential clients, normally by ‘cold-calling’.

Recruitment consultants are also responsible for:

  • negotiating contracts

  • headhunting

  • interviewing and assessing prospective applicants and matching them with vacancies at client companies

  • screening candidates and drawing up shortlists of candidates for clients to interview

  • organising interviews and selection events

  • making arrangements for the advertisement of vacancies

  • helping applicants to prepare for interviews

  • building relationships with clients.


Qualifications and training required


There are routes into this career for both graduates and school leavers. For graduates, a degree in any discipline is acceptable for entry into the profession, although a qualification in a relevant subject such as human resources, marketing, psychology, business studies or management can be advantageous. For specialist recruitment agencies, a degree related to its specialism such as law, accountancy or engineering may be required.

There is strong competition for vacancies at graduate level, so relevant administrative, commercial, sales or HR work experience is normally beneficial. Experience appropriate to the recruitment area may be necessary in some fields such as law, accountancy and engineering.


Key skills for recruitment consultants


  • Good sales skills

  • Confidence

  • Energy

  • Commercial awareness

  • Excellent presentation skills

  • Verbal communication skills

  • Organisational skills

  • Teamworking skills.


Typical employers of recruitment consultants


  • Regional and national recruitment agencies

  • Local independent agencies

  • Specialist agencies that recruit in specific areas such as engineering/accountancy

Large employers, particularly in sectors such as banking and law, also employ in-house recruitment specialists.


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