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 £60,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 5% more Recruitment consultant jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • ‘cold calling’ companies to generate new business
  • interviewing and testing job seekers, to create a pool of people ready to fill vacancies
  • matching candidates to suitable jobs
  • screening and shortlisting candidates before employers interview them
  • meeting targets for the number of vacancies taken or the number of people placed into jobs
  • keeping records of clients, employers and vacancies
  • negotiating your agency’s fees
  • ‘headhunting' – finding and approaching candidates for executive or specialist jobs

There are no set entry requirements.

Previous experience in sales, marketing or customer services, or the right skills and attitude, could help you get into this type of work. 

Some new recruitment consultants are graduates. You can enter recruitment with any degree, although some employers may prefer one more closely related to the industry they find staff for, like human resources, marketing or public relations.

You could get into this role through an apprenticeship.

The Institute of Recruitment Professionals has more information about becoming a recruitment consultant.

£16,000 to £60,000

Starter salary: £16,000 to £20,000 (trainee)

Experienced salary: £38,000

Most recruitment consultants earn a basic salary plus commission.

These figures are a guide.


You’ll usually work standard office hours. In some jobs you may need to work outside office hours, contacting clients or interviewing candidates.

The work is mainly office-based, but you’ll also spend some of your time visiting your client companies.

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:

  • excellent communication and customer service skills
  • good sales and negotiation skills
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet targets
  • good organisational and administrative skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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