A career in recruitment

Recruitment is a dynamic, fast-paced and highly competitive industry which offers exciting career opportunities to the right people. With recruitment careers across a number of sectors and great professional development prospects, it’s no surprise recruitment is a career of choice for over 100,000 people in the UK. 


High performing industry

In the UK, the recruitment industry delivers £35.1 billion of value to the economy, and is predicted to grow by 18% over the next two years. As a recruitment professional you will play a key role in boosting economic growth by placing the right candidates in the right roles across a variety of sectors.


Variety of roles and career opportunities

Recruitment positions commonly fall into five levels:recruitment resourcer, senior recruitment consultant, recruitment manager, and recruitment team leader or director.

Opportunities for career development vary depending on the size and structure of the organisation you are in or hoping to join. A recruitment consultant will generally enter the industry as an apprentice,trainee consultant or resourcer, working in a branch with a relatively small team. From here, a consultant can progress to senior consultant and then to branch manager.


The IRP is here to support you throughout your career, with industry updates, networking, our qualifications, training and continuing professional development


What does a recruitment consultant do?

Recruitment consultancies attract candidates on behalf of their clients, matching them to specific criteria on a temporary, contract or permanent basis. They operate in virtually all sectors of the employment market.


Recruitment consultants are the vital link between candidates and clients, and often advise on strategic as well as operational requirements. Main aspects of the role involve attracting business from client companies using sales, business development and marketing techniques, and building on relationships to become a trusted recruitment advisor. Candidate relationships will also be developed through similar means, and recruitment consultants can become a trusted advisor for candidates.


Key personal qualities

Confidence, negotiation and strong communication skills are important attributes for a recruitment consultant. It also helps if you’re motivated by problem solving, and can feel a sense of satisfaction from helping candidates and clients through the recruitment journey.

We’ve created generic job descriptions to help you get an idea of what to expect in a recruitment role. Read our Recruitment Resourcer job description, and Recruitment Consultant job description for more information.   


What qualifications do I need to work in recruitment? 

The recruitment industry generally welcomes candidates from a range of educational backgrounds and there is a great future for those with the drive and determination to succeed. Some employers may have dedicated career development programmes for graduates or those wishing to progress quickly. You can also undertake an apprenticeship in recruitment.


To build on your academic achievements, the IRP have developed industry specific qualifications for which you can study. You can also download the IRP Career Routeway prospectus.


If you are looking to join the industry - ask yourself the questions below:


If you have answered yes, recruitment is for you!


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