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What to expect in your first year as a recruitment consultant



If you’ve ever considered a career in recruitment but were unsure about the career path, you’re in the right place. We spoke to a Head Recruiter to find out what it’s really like, from the highs to the lows and everything in-between.

Meet Anna, Director and Head Recruiter.

Anna Hodges, Director and Head Recruiter of Purple Squirrel, says her career in recruitment was a fortunate accident. “It seems to be a common story amongst many recruitment consultants,” she says.

In fact, Anna didn’t know anything about recruitment when she began working at a small IT consultancy firm as a Team Coordinator. But it was this role that opened her eyes to the fast-paced nature of the recruitment world. “I quickly realised I loved the pace, interacting with a diverse range of people, and the opportunity to talk!”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The feel-good factor of genuinely helping people, especially the ones who are a bit left-of-centre and don’t fit into a specific box. After five years, I still love it! I love talking to people all day and learning about what they love to do.

How about the elusive work/life balance?

Being a recruitment consultant allows me to work flexible hours and locations. I’ve worked everywhere from Fiji to Queenstown. I can even spend time with my kids at school.

So what’s the downside?

My phone’s always ringing! It’s crazy and it’s busy and you must have a thick skin sometimes. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Top 5 Tips For Becoming a Successful Recruitment Consultant

1. Do some self-assessment. You can take a personality questionnaire, such as JobOutlook Career Quiz. Or, Anna suggests the following exercise:

  • Write down three things you LOVE about your current job
  • Write down three things you WISH you could do in your job
  • Now, go to a job search website, such as Seek
  • Type in keywords based on your six See what comes up.

There might be positions you didn’t know existed. Companies call the same role by different titles. For example, “sales” is account manager, business development manager, sales representative, sales specialist.

You’ll start to get a feel for the types of jobs that interest you and can narrow down your search to location and industry. When opportunities arise you’ll be able to make enquires knowing you’ve done your homework.

When you do make contact, Anna says make sure you have specific questions you want answered. “A recruiter’s pet hate is when people say, “I just want to know a bit more about the job!”

Anna says she’s a people person. So building relationships are key to her perfect position. So she’d search ‘relationship management’ and ‘client engagement.

2. Ask yourself, what motivates you? For example, do you like working in a structured environment with set processes? Or are you more of a self-motivated person? This will give you insight into what type of company suits you.

3. Research recruitment companies before applying. Like all businesses, they all have different cultures and structures. Choose those that best match your values, experience and personality.

4. Get some ‘real-world’ experience before stepping into a recruitment role. You need a tough skin in this business and handling rejection is part of the package.

5. In the beginning, write a script for communicating with candidates. This script should have a list of questions to prompt you if you become stuck, lose confidence or get off topic. It happens!

Day in the Life of Head Recruiter Anna Hodges

Morning (6am)

Check emails/phone for anything urgent

Family jobs


Reply to emails

Follow-up on existing candidates in process

Get feedback from clients on interviews held



Screen new candidates

Interview screened candidates



Social media work (e.g. Load new videos onto my Facebook page to give candidates and clients real tips they can use in recruitment).

Proactive emails about current candidates


A Career in Recruitment

Does this sound like a career you’d enjoy? If you’re considering a position in recruitment now’s the time to act.

In Australia, the recruitment industry is enjoying steady growth as employers increasingly invest, attract and retain top talent.

In a snapshot, Australia’s recruitment industry is worth $11 billion dollars, consists of almost 7,000 businesses and employs 92,000 people (courtesy of IBIS World).

So, if you’re ready for a new career, why not start today. You can enrol to study the Certificate of Recruitment ConsultingAdvanced Certificate of Human Resources/Advanced Certificate of Recruitment, Advanced Certificate of Recruitment or the Certificate of Recruitment,  with leading education provider Australian Online Courses.