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My Transition; working for a High Street Agency to being a Sales Specialist Recruiter...

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June 30th 2014 was my first day in recruitment, and I can be completely honest in saying I was unaware and naive to what my actual job was going to be. I saw a sparkly OTE figure on an advert, thought “I would love to earn that much money” and clicked apply. I had no idea what I would be doing, I knew the basic ‘finding people jobs’ and ‘finding jobs for people’, but not the specifics.

Off the back of some 3 or 4 solid weeks of training, and with my mind robotically programmed to the High Street expectancies, I was beginning to get the idea of it. Call a company (any company), pick up a job (any job, be it in a warehouse or a HR director), arrange a price (at a discounted, not negotiated, fee), find an ideal candidate (or throw mud at a wall until it somehow sticks) celebrate the rewards you will have to do 2 to 3 more times that month to hit your target.

I loved the job, the buzz of hearing how well an interview had gone, and then mentally putting that fee on your figures without hearing from the client. To finding that CV which was a needle in the haystack, and you had been looking for, for weeks, and doing the exact same thing with your figures.

That being said, I also hated the job. The cats that passed away so a candidate would have to cancel their interview, the candidate who wouldn’t answer or return your calls, the client who tries to bring the cost down after offering a candidate, the client who shouts at you because a candidate did x wrong or said y in the interview, the clients who said they ‘wanted to see more candidates, even though you have repeatedly told them these candidates do not exist’, the gatekeepers who tell you to email ‘info@’, to which they will ‘forward on to the correct people’ (they didn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t even have access to that email account).

As far as I was concerned, the cons were beginning to outweigh the pros, and so I began looking elsewhere to find something new. A few applications left, right and centre, and I found myself sitting in front of the management team here, being resold the recruitment dream. It was different this time though. A new outlook. I knew what I was doing, I had the skills, it was just a case of fine tuning them. The thought of joining CPI Selection was compelling, so I did.

Now I was working for a specialist recruiter, I was only talking to candidates who knew what they were doing, we were talking numbers and targets, successes. I was talking to Sales Managers and Directors within businesses who were only interested in 1 thing, “is the candidate you are selling me, going to make me money”. It was a completely different kettle of fish, and I was beginning to specialise in a specific field, and was beginning to grasp a better understanding and a better focus in my job. It wasn’t throwing a net out and hoping I would catch fish, it was hunting, and targeting what/who I wanted to work with.

The different between being a specialist sales recruiter, and a High Street recruiter, is the same difference between being Picasso and just completing a paint by numbers you bought at the pound shop.

Both are technically paintings.

Sam Hyde 

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