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Admin, HR, legal

Recruitment consultant

Recruitment consultants help employers find suitable staff, and match people to permanent and temporary jobs.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Recruitment consultant jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • 'cold call' - make contacts and connections to generate new business
  • interview and test job seekers, to create a pool of people ready to fill vacancies
  • match candidates to suitable jobs
  • screen and shortlist candidates before employers interview them
  • meet targets for the number of vacancies taken or the number of people placed into jobs
  • keep records of clients, employers and vacancies
  • negotiate your agency's fees
  • 'headhunt' - find and approach candidates for executive or specialist jobs

Working environment

You could work in an office.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

As a graduate it's possible to enter recruitment with any degree, although some employers may prefer a subject related to the industry, like:

  • human resources
  • marketing
  • public relations

Some recruitment agencies specialise in a particular type of work so you may be expected to have a relevant degree or industry experience in that area.

For example, a degree in pharmacy or a background in pharmaceutical sales could help you get into pharmaceutical recruitment.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could start on an intermediate recruitment resourcer apprenticeship and work your way up, or do an advanced apprenticeship as a recruitment consultant.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

You could start as an office assistant in a recruitment agency and work your way up through on-the-job training and promotion.

Volunteering and work experience

You could develop your understanding of the recruitment industry by getting some experience. Whether you're studying or looking for work, you could try:

  • work experience
  • internships
  • temporary employment

Getting relevant work experience in areas like marketing, sales or public relations can also help you develop some of the skills needed for this role.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a recruitment consultant as experience is highly valued by employers. With the right skills and attitude you could enter this job without a degree. If you have knowledge of a particular industry, this can be useful for working in specialist recruitment agencies like social care, engineering, construction or pharmaceuticals.

More information

Career tips

Whatever your qualifications, you'll be expected to have great sales skills and be able to communicate with people at many different levels.

You'll also need excellent customer service and teamworking skills.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a recruitment consultant from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

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With experience you could move into business development or management, or set up your own agency.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of human resources and employment law
  • administration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work on your own
  • business management skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of English language
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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