Survival tips for new recruiters.


I remember my first day as a new recruiter. I was suited and booted and ready to go. I was excited and feeling sick all at the same time .. I guess I was a little nervous to start my new adventure. Previously in my interview I heard all the good things about recruitment; thrill of the deal, feeling great when getting a new client, helping someone secure that dream role, lavish lunches, top performers clubs, company nights out, drinks, tailored suit club, being very very financially rewarding and the list went on and on. However I was also told about the bad parts as well; long hours, hours on the phone, recruitment competitiveness – however the positives out weighed the negatives.

The first few months were all about learning the market, the language, cold calling effectively, sourcing candidates, sourcing new leads, candidate databases and a lot more. It felt as if I was being thrown information at a 100 mph. It was interesting to say the least, I was very lucky as I had an inspirational manager and a great team. I did make my first deal 3 weeks into my career … I guess it was luck more than anything else, but I still felt I had a lot to learn.

Here are a few tips to survive as a new starter:

  1. Call – The first call can be daunting I know that. Weather it is to a client or candidate, do it. Your manager has entrusted that you will deal with that particular market and they have faith that you will succeed. Like anything it gets a lot easier with practice.
  2. Question – Everything! If your not sure even about the smallest thing ask. I guarantee in your group of new starters someone else will have the same question. By asking questions you accelerate your learning and development. Your manager will understand and will make time to answer all your questions. Your new once – so take advantage.
  3. Learn – When you start off, you don’t have to know everything about everything. You don’t have to know everything about the industry your working, take your time. Firstly learn to source and match candidates to client briefs, the rest will come.
  4. Business development – Get used to it. You have to do it. Your survival in the recruitment industry depends on your billings and eventually your ability to train and develop people. BD is key to growing a desk. It’s uncomfortable to begin with, but once you repeat it, it will get a lot easier. By dong BD everyday regardless of the amount of roles you have, you will find your pipeline never drys up and you have constant business coming through.
  5. Admin – As a 360 recruiter starting out your expected to do your own admin. I admit I was guilty of having poor practices when it came to admin, my attitude was that I was a top performer and the admin could wait. Don’t do that. When you start out you don’t really appreciate the CRM system and the use of call sheets. CRM systems are there to make your life easy so its important to record all the information you get, think of it like this can, you remember everything about a 100 new clients on a few bits of paper and in your head? Make time everyday – just one hour to get your admin done.
  6. Help – You will be most likely when you start have a buddy or a experienced recruiter that you will be able to ask questions – do that. Again your only new for so long take advantage, grab 5 minutes ask questions and learn. Ask other colleague – they will be happy to help. Its important to get tips from everyone. The more you learn the better you will become.
  7. Lunch – Make sure you take your lunch break. I know its easy to sit through your lunch and solider through it. I was guilty of doing this, I was so focused on what I was doing, I would work through and I found that I was tired and more importantly not really being that productive. Make sure you take 30 – 60 mins to get away form your desk to eat and get rest from the computer. 30 minutes makes a big difference you will come back feeling a lot more energetic.
  8. Time – Your not going to become a expert or superstar over night. Take your time and learn. Recruiting is a sill, an art form and that’s the way you need to treat it. Dealing with people can be erratic because essentially, we wake up in the morning and never know what mood were going to be in. By taking your time, you will learn everything and more importantly how to deal with people. Don’t worry about churning out results – go for the long haul. Don’t rush, when new recruiters do that they start to cut corners, become sloppy and start to stress. Learn good habits and speed up later.
  9. Socialise – One of the best things about being a recruiter is socialising. Its important to go out with your colleagues and get to know the team better. Be careful when drinking – don’t make a show of yourself in front of your new colleagues, you don’t get that first impression again and you don’t want to do the walk of shame to the office the next day.

Its important that you don’t run on empty. Recruitment is fast paced and moves at 100 mph. In the early days its easy to get overwhelmed, remember you have your whole career to make an impression.


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