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recruitment career paths

The Recruitment Career Path. Where Will it Lead You?

If you’re interested in a recruitment career there are multiple career paths and types of agencies to consider, from person-centred roles to business management positions. But first, the most important decision to make is whether to pursue recruitment at all.

It takes a certain type of person to enjoy and excel as a recruitment consultant and you’ll need to decide if a recruitment career is the right fit for your personality, strengths and skillset.

Are You Right for Recruitment

The ability to be relationship-focused and to build rapport quickly with people of all ages and backgrounds is one of the most essential skills you need to be a successful recruitment consultant, says Leah Lambert, former recruiter and now career coach. She says a successful recruiter will also have the following skills and personality traits:

You need to be results-oriented

“To be successful in recruitment you need to be tenacious and motivated by achieving monthly or quarterly targets and getting bonuses.”

You should be adaptable and able to think on your feet

“Recruiters need to be intuitive to get a real sense of whether a candidate is going to be the right cultural fit for their client.”

You have excellent negotiation skills

“Recruiters need to have the ability to influence and negotiate as there are many times where they do the negotiation between parties on details of the (job) offer.”

You’re a natural extrovert

“Recruiters are generally in meetings or on the phone most of the day dealing with people. Therefore, it helps to be an extrovert; someone who gets energy from meeting and interacting with new people for most of their day.”

You’re energetic and don’t mind noise

“Recruiters also need to enjoy working in a fast-paced, energetic and often noisy environment. Most recruiters work in open-plan offices where people are on the phone talking much of the day. If you are looking for a quiet environment … recruitment is not for you.”

You’re able to work under pressure

“Recruiters need to work well under pressure to meet targets and the expectations of demanding clients.”

If you can identify with most of these traits, then a career in recruitment could be the perfect career for you.


Types of Recruitment Agencies

Once you’ve decided a recruitment career is right for you, you’ll need to find your workplace. There are many different types of recruitment agencies to consider if you do decide to take the recruitment path.


Internal/Corporate Recruitment

The internal or corporate recruitment agency is an in-house recruitment department, often found in large corporate organisations. As an organisational recruitment consultant, you will hire new candidates to fill roles as they arise. Internal recruitment focuses on recruiting from within an organisation before advertising externally. If you value the stability of working on a salary this type of recruitment agency is for you.


Temp Recruitment Agency

The temp, or temporary, recruitment agency fills temporary roles for organisations to cover staff shortages or absences. Businesses seek temp agencies for fast and efficient staffing solutions during busy periods or due to staff leave entitlements. This type of agency will provide a high-volume, fast-paced environment where you’ll meet lots of people on a daily basis.


Traditional Recruitment Agency

The traditional recruitment agency is the most common and works on contingency, which means you get paid when a client hires your candidate. As such, you’ll spend a lot of time finding the perfect candidate and will offer support with their application and interview. If you’re self-motivated and results-oriented, you’ll succeed in this agency.


Executive Search Recruitment Agency

This type of agency is home to the ‘head-hunters’ of the recruitment world. If you decide to embark on a recruitment career in executive search recruitment, you’ll find a highly skilled and experienced candidate for an organisation. In this agency you’ll be responsible for the premier recruitment market, where competition and salary are high.


Niche/Specialist Recruitment Agency

In the niche or specialist recruitment agency your focus will be on a specific industry, such as digital or technology. The advantage of working for a specialist recruitment agency is that you become highly skilled at filling roles within an industry sector.


Outplacement Recruitment Agency

The outplacement recruitment agency finds opportunities for employees who are exiting an organisation, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. You will help former employees transition into a new position or career and adjust to the job market. In this role you will offer support, counselling, tools and motivation to help candidates find new careers. You’ll need empathy and patience in this role, as you may even be a shoulder to cry on.


Types of Recruitment Careers

There are many different recruitment careers and opportunities to advance as a recruitment consultant. Generally, you can go in two directions: the ‘people’ or ‘business’ path. These careers are both equally unique and highly respected professions in recruitment.


The People Path

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

This is an entry-level recruitment role and is where most recruitment careers begin. You’ll be learning the ropes and discovering your direction in a recruitment career. It’s at this point you’ll know whether recruitment is right for you.


Recruitment Consultant

In the next phase of your recruitment career, you will be responsible for attracting candidates and matching them to roles you have available with client companies. You will build relationships with clients in order to find the best possible candidates to meet staffing needs.


Principle (Lead) Recruitment Consultant

This is a senior role in a recruitment agency. If you’re a principal   consultant, you’ll be responsible for trainee and recruitment consultants. You’ll also be the main contact between important clients and your recruitment agency. This is still a people-oriented role and will require hands-on recruitment consulting.


The Business Path


Recruitment Manager

This is the position you’ll move into if you take the business route in a recruitment career. A recruitment manager works closely with recruiters to manage sourcing, interviewing and employment processes. This role will see you managing recruitment to ensure qualified employees meet an organisation’s current and future staffing needs.


Associate Director

An associate director is a senior position responsible for leading all recruitment for an agency or organisation. This position involves hiring, training, managing and evaluating the work of other recruitment or human resources staff.


Executive Director

This is the most senior role in a recruitment career and is the result of several years of experience in mid-level recruitment roles. This position is a high-level managerial role, responsible for heading up various departments in a recruitment agency or department within an organisation.


Australian Online Courses

You can start your recruitment career today when you enrol in a professional development course with Australian Online Courses. There are over 400 personal and professional development courses available, covering a multitude of industries. Simply visit us online or contact one of our friendly Learning Consultants today on 1300 762 221.


Certificate of Recruitment

Certificate of Recruitment Consulting

Certificate of Human Resource Management – Certificate of Recruitment