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Recruitment Strategy

Career Progression in the Recruitment Industry

7th June 2022 | by: James Baker
Career Progression in the Recruitment Industry

Whether you're thinking of pivoting in your career or are about to graduate and want to try your hand at becoming a professional recruiter, a career in recruitment is one of the most lucrative and personally rewarding paths you can take. But what about career progression?  

Career progression in the recruitment sector differs significantly from other industries. In general, recruitment professionals enjoy fast-tracked paths to advancement and benefit from clear progression plans and achievable KPIs to keep levelling up their careers. Let's explore the benefits of career progression in the recruitment industry further and what that progression path looks like to help you decide whether recruitment is right for you.  

Progression pathways are clear cut 

Many companies don't offer clearly defined career progression pathways, leaving employees wondering when their next raise or promotion will be. In most cases, you may only have the opportunity to progress when a senior employee quits. However, in the recruitment industry, career progression is much more transparent.  

In a recruitment agency, you'll understand precisely where you can go in your recruitment career and what it'll take to get there. And for the most part, you'll enjoy a much faster timeline to progression than in other professions. Depending on your performance, you may even lead teams within 6-12 months.  

Recruitment offers higher earning potential 

You're probably well used to the typical salary + yearly bonus formula standard across most industries. In these cases, no matter how every employee performs, they earn the same money. However, in recruitment careers, you can enjoy unlimited earning potential with uncapped commission and impressive bonuses for reaching your targets.  

In that sense, your success really depends on how bad you want to succeed. High performers earning over 100k a year are not unheard of in this industry; it just takes hard work and perseverance. Though you may begin on a smaller salary of between 35-40k, you could potentially double or even triple that salary in year one with bonuses and commission.  

Gain the skills you need for progression elsewhere 

In today's fast-moving world, it's not uncommon for people to have several careers throughout their lives. This is why transferable skills are often more important than qualifications or experience for many employers. And with recruitment? You'll have transferable skills in abundance.  

Not only will you understand the art of selling, pitching, and managing client relationships (important skills for many career paths), you'll also gain a unique understanding of how to nail interviews. Whether you want to make an external or internal career move, knowing how to navigate the interview process successfully is a lifelong skill you'll master in recruitment.  

Recruitment agencies heavily invest in development 

There is a clear link between the learning and development opportunities your employer offers you and your career progression in any career. The more you grow, increase your value, and expand your skills, the more likely you will keep progressing until you reach the top.  

Recruitment agencies champion a learning and development culture, so you can expect ample training courses, workshops, and online classes to help push you along your career progression path. 

A snapshot of your career progression pathway 

So, what exactly might your career pathway look like in a recruitment company? To help you understand what kind of roles you can naturally fall into at a recruitment company, check out our basic career progression guidelines below. Remember, in this industry, it's more about performance than how long you stay at the recruitment company; this is just a guide.   

0-6 months: Trainee Recruiter/ Resources  

For those new to a recruitment agency, you'll typically begin your career by shadowing more senior recruiters and mainly be in charge of sourcing, screening, and selecting appropriate candidates for your colleagues' roles.  

6 months - 1 year: Recruitment Consultant   

Within your first year at a recruitment agency, you will likely be promoted to a Recruitment Consultant position. You'll focus on building relationships with clients, managing the candidate and client-side of the recruitment process, and generating leads. 

1 - 18 months: Senior Recruitment Consultant  

You'll land a Senior Recruitment Consultant role at this stage, and your responsibilities will expand to include team building, training junior recruiters, and helping others with their personal development goals.  

18 months – 3 years: Management Consultant 

Within your first three years working at a recruitment agency, you'll likely achieve a Management Consultant role where you'll liaise directly with clients on a more personal, customised level to help them strategise and achieve their broader recruitment objectives.  

4 – 5 years: Associate Director 

Having gained a few years of experience, you may progress to a more strategic Associate Director position, where you'll be tasked with overseeing the development of a specific department within your recruitment company. You'll undertake more big picture initiatives, like expanding to new locations or making strategic business decisions. 

5+ years: Director 

 As a Director, you'll be pivotal in shaping the future of your recruitment company and leading large teams. You'll help support business growth while evaluating and improving recruiting functions such as talent acquisition to increase efficiency and profits.  

Want to break into the recruitment industry? 

What a wise choice that will be! With a faster career progression timeline than most industries, attractive salaries, uncapped commission, and invaluable transferable skills, recruitment really is one of the best ways to make decent money and have fun while you're at it!  

If you're target-driven, a natural salesperson, confident, and eager to learn, recruitment may just be your calling! So if you're fresh out of uni or about to be and want to take advantage of career opportunities within the UK's best recruitment companies, we'd love to hear from you.  

Get in touch with us today to see what's out there and find the perfect recruitment job for you.  

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