-By Will Burden-
It’s most likely that at some point in your career, you will have been in contact with a recruitment consultant or two. Perhaps you may have needed the services of a recruiter at some point, and benefited from their efforts. On the other hand, there may also have been a time when this may not have been the case; you probably found their approaches more of an annoyance than anything else.
In any case, whatever your experience of a recruiter, good or bad, each consultant is different. It may not seem like it, but we are just regular people… your average Joe (or Jo). Every individual in every office has their own opinions, values, beliefs, and ways of working.
Like in any industry, there will always be the good, the bad, and some in the middle… it is our job to ensure you view recruiters from Oyster us as the former.
What I had heard about recruitment
Truthfully, I hadn’t heard an awful lot about recruitment until I started my job search.
Nevertheless, after speaking with various people, and scrolling through 20 pages of Google for hours on end, a few traits became apparent: uncapped commission, long hours, quick progression, social events, target/KPI driven, and a ruthless nature.
Quite a mixed bag, right?
There are elements of truth in all of these points, although some are exaggerated and some are dependent on the environment/company you are within.
From my experience, commission is endless. The harder you grind and the better you do, the more money you’ll make… simple!
The hours are longer than in some other industries and you will have to accept that. Fortunately, working in a company that is aware of that fact and offers support and flexibility wherever they can, more than makes up for it.
Quick progression is real. I have seen people rise from a trainee consultant through to a senior in just over a year. Progression ultimately comes down to you, and if you represent the company’s values whilst exceeding your targets, you’ll quickly rise up the ranks.
Holidays, company drinks, meals out, parties, fitness and wellbeing… there’s always some social event just around the corner. These types of incentives are pretty standard for recruitment. Nonetheless, I challenge any company to do it better than Oyster!
Targets and KPI’s do come part and parcel with recruitment. As in any sales job, it is a way to measure activity and highlight strengths and weaknesses. No way to avoid this one I’m afraid.
When people talk about recruitment, it is often suggested that the industry has a ‘ruthless nature’. Personally, this has not been my experience. There is a possibility that this changes from company to company, and maybe Oyster just do things better. I have always felt safe and supported whenever I have hit a rough patch; as long as you keep your head up and continue working hard, you will not be left behind.
Did I have any reservations before starting as a recruitment consultant?
I had a mixture of emotions coming into recruitment. In a more general sense, this was my first full-time job, so that was a daunting process in itself. There would be no more sleeping in until 2PM, and Netflix would have to take a backseat to my career.
In reality, the transition into full-time employment was much smoother than initially suspected. Once I got in the routine of my new working arrangements, which didn’t take long, I quickly adapted to my habitat.
As you can probably gather, much of my reservations about a job in recruitment were less related to the industry per se, but more so in respect to full time employment as a whole.
As mentioned above, I had heard about traits of recruitment before starting; whilst I did have some reservations over a few of these points, the prospect of commission, holidays, and a social atmosphere near enough cancelled these out.
My experience of Oyster’s recruitment process and The Academy coming in
After surviving the assessment day and the following interviews, I received my offer to start with Oyster. Coming in on my first day was less challenging than first expected. Where as in other jobs I may have been coming in by myself, here I was part of a group of 11. This was a massive help because, even though we were plucked from all walks of life, we all had being new within the company in common.
This support base from my peers was especially helpful throughout the initial few weeks of joining.
In respect to the Academy, it really does help you get to grips with the role. There is, roughly, a 50/50 split between classroom teaching and learning on the job. You are not expected to be a professional from the first time walking into the office; the academy is there for you to learn, ask questions, and harness developing skills. At the end of the 12 weeks, one recruit will be awarded the winner of the ‘Oyster Academy’… always a fun afternoon out!
Although the Academy only lasts 12 weeks, your training doesn’t come to a stop after that. Whether you are at Trainee or Principal level, Oyster implements sporadic training sessions that all consultants can take advantage of.
Moreover, with the inclusive and welcoming nature of the managers and other staff, there is always someone who will be able to help with any query you might have. You are encouraged to continue learning and developing well past 12 weeks.
Highs and lows…
Should you begin working at Oyster, you will quickly realise why we go through ‘highs and lows’ every Friday. Highs and lows happen in this industry, and so going through them with your team encourages you to realise firstly that we are not alone in these experiences, and it helps build resilience – so important within this industry.
I can definitely say that I have had my fair share of both highs and lows. One thing I have realised, which is why I have stuck around, is that the highs outweigh the lows. As long as you keep your head up, you’ll do alright in the end.
What have I learnt?
Throughout my first year in recruitment I have learnt a lot. With the trials and tribulations that arise within an industry like recruitment, I have learnt to be resilient and always keep striving forward. It cannot always be plain sailing; having the right mind set when encountering a difficult situation is key and will play a huge part in any consultants’ development.
Aside from learning the ins and outs of the day-to-day functions of the role and realising that hard work is key, I have also learnt that balance is essential. Whilst you should always be looking to do your very best, having a hobby outside of work and having some down time to yourself really does help. Nobody can keep going 24 hours a day; giving yourself that time to do something you enjoy, alongside staying healthy and rested, really keeps the motors running.
Finally, I have learnt that everyone has the potential to do well. Recruitment really is a meritocratic industry where you get out what you put in.
What’s next moving forward?
Moving forward, my main focus is to be promoted to Senior Consultant. It is not too far away now, and over the coming months could potentially be achieved. I definitely need to harness some of my working practices to achieve this and I need to ensure that all credentials are met; however, Oyster has given me the confidence to believe that I will be able achieve this.
Aside from working towards promotion, I want to continue growing my personal brand within my industry. I have found that, over the past 6 months, clients and candidates alike have begun to know my name and request my services more and more. Over the next 6 months, I want to continue promoting Oyster, and myself, within my sector to increase my market share.