In the past, professions were for life. You finished school, and following a parent’s path or advice from a narrow-minded Career Advisor tried to put a 50 year career behind you in as easy a way possible. Perhaps longing all the while for your annual two week holiday or the day you hung up your headset.
Even if you had multiple employers, your job wouldn’t have changed other than increasing seniority.
And this may be why people sometimes feel a bit trapped in recruitment. But it’s not as hard as it seems to move from a specific job or even, if you’ve truly lost the passion, the industry itself.
In fact you might be surprised by the amount of options you have.
Depending on how long you’ve been in the industry, you’ll have acquired plenty of skills. Some, you might not even realise you’ve attained.
So stop Googling terms like as ‘Cat Herder’, ‘Private Investigator’ or ‘Lead FBI Negotiator’.
You have plenty of skills and attributes to offer any employer. And they’re all transferable.
The skills you’re currently using in your recruitment job are probably as follows:
– Account Management
– Public Relations
– Executive and Personal Assistance
– Event Management
– Industry Networking
– Data Cleansing
– Writing and Content production
– Stakeholder Management
– Team Management
– P&L Management
And probably much more.
Various recruiters will have a higher weighting on some skills than others and be attracted to specific elements of their job more heavily. For example a Principal Consultant not managing a team will have a different skill set to a Non-Billing Team Manager.
The best mindset is, all of your current skills are transferrable. You just need to work out in what way they’re applicable to different industries and jobs. But also, there’s no reason you can’t come back to recruitment. You don’t have to be rigid in your career. You’ve got a lot of years ahead of you. So mix it up. Try things out.
Moving from managing recruitment for your clients, to managing client’s needs of a different nature isn’t a far stretch. After an initial period of learning a new industry, it’s an extremely transferable skill. The ability to manage expectations and then deliver on those is valuable.
You’re already dealing with senior level clients in difficult circumstances and pressured timescales. You’re used to asking questions you don’t want answers to, and working your way out of tight situations.
You sell to people every day. Candidates, clients, colleagues, your boss (trying to get that £400 expense bill settled). Selling another product is a great option. It should in fact, be easier than the job you’re currently doing. Because it can’t change its mind.
The human element of recruitment makes the role extremely rewarding. However, it does mean it can be the hardest sales job out there.
As with any sales job, if you believe in what you’re selling it becomes an easy task.
One of Hunted’s partners SourceBreaker is an ideal cross over for recruiters moving into sales. They sell recruitment software that directly impacts a recruitment company’s success. So using them as an example, you’ll know the value of their product. Not only that, but you know the industry inside out.
You may currently manage events. Be those: interviews, assessment days, client drinks, networking events, team nights out. The pragmatism and planning needed to manage events for others is something you might be able to do. This goes for Project Management too.
Even if it means learning a new skill or gaining a new accreditation, you’ll be more prepared than you think. Recruiters tend to be good with people, good with deadlines, good planners and ultimately realistic.
Through public interaction comes good PR practice. How many times have you talked a client or candidate round from a bad opinion and they’ve thanked you afterwards? You’ll be selling both clients and candidates on the phone; in person and through advertising. You do this with more than one client, every time you pick up the phone. Every single day. You’re already in PR. You just didn’t realise.
Do what you’re already doing, for one client, who you work for.
For an idea on how internal recruitment is different, read this interview. (Spoiler: it’s more strategic)
For RPO type roles, take a look at this role. Working to an RPO model and hiring agency recruiters who want a different way of working is really taking off in the UK.
Partnering on site with clients enables a much more strategic focus at all stages of a recruitment process. And more clients are buying into this method too.
Your job’s diverse, especially if you have all of the above skills and use them regularly. If you work for a startup, one day you might be writing, the next day sales, the next painting the office walls so they’re dry for a meeting on Friday. I know, because I’ve done all of those things in a week at Hunted.
The most obvious avenue of startup would be your own recruitment agency and while this isn’t leaving the industry, you’ll be amazed at how different your life becomes when you manage your own business.
The capacity for this to be a reality is better now than ever before, with set up costs minimal and social media allowing greater access to a larger candidate and client base. Anywhere in the world can become your office.
Did you do a degree in recruitment? Nope, there isn’t one. So if you did a degree, as a recruiter you’re almost certainly not using it. Taking a mixture of your degree and the skills you’ve learned later in life may throw up a really different type of career option.
The best thing about the recruitment skill set is, in reality, you can do anything. Even if you decide on a path where you have to re-train, the years you’ve spent in the recruitment industry will be a massive help.
Moving location may also freshen up the job in a number of ways. Recruitment’s not done the same way in every company and every city. Relocating with your current company or even a new one may breathe life into a your career in ways you may not expect.
I was a Recruiter for over 6 years. At time of writing this I’m a Content Manager for Hunted, sat in New Zealand working in the sun. This is a job I’m not only proud of but love. It’s creative and takes me in different directions, daily. Our team’s now growing and it’s great to be part of something that’s linked to my old job, but different.
Without taking a leap of faith, I wouldn’t be here.
And a lot recruiters know how to write. They just don’t realise they can. If you’d like to do something creative, then whichever path you pursue there’s opportunity. It could be social media. Employer branding. Even marketing. It’s all about engaging an audience.
There’s an absolute world of choice out there for you. You should never feel panicked or stuck in your job. Luckily, recruitment’s evolving. Which means there’s no need to leave the industry just because your enjoyment at one place dips or plateaus.
But if you do decide it’s time for a break or change completely, take heart in the multitude of skills you’ve got. There’s no ruling out recruiting again some day. The key to changing careers is never forgetting what you’re good at. You can even be your own recruiter. Spec yourself in. Sell your skills.
Go get that job!
You’ll always have a home in recruitment if you want one. A massively rewarding, financially fruitful one at that.
Consultant within our London team at Better Placed
Contract IT Recruitment Consultant (Software Dev) at Onezeero
Senior Consultant - UX - Home Based at DNA Recruit
Digital Recruitment Consultant at Orbis Consultants
Technology Recruitment Consultant at Arrows Group