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5 Things Recruiters Wish They Had Known Before Starting Their Careers

​Starting a career in recruitment is often a nerve-wracking experience. Before you begin you’ll inevitably have plenty of questions. And not knowing what’s coming is usually the hardest part.
Part of the reason for this is that as an industry, recruitment is widely misunderstood. 
For those curious about what to expect, we asked a selection of Phaidon International recruiters from our offices across the world to lift the lid on the things they wish they had known before starting their careers. Here’s what we learned.

Building Your Network is Vital

In many ways your network is the most valuable thing you have as a recruiter. Because of this it’s important to start building one as soon as you begin your career.
“Network with people from different backgrounds” says Tiffany Wan from our Selby Jennings office in Hong Kong. The market evolves every day so you should spread your contacts far and wide to ensure you’re ready for any developments. 

You’ll find that your leads frequently come from places you’d never have imagined. “You always get help from people you never expect in the beginning” continues Tiffany, so it pays to build strong relationships with as many people as possible.

The Work Culture Isn’t Traditional

“I wish I knew what a workaholic I would become” laughs Hanna Ito of LVI Associates in Boston. “not to say I don't have a healthy work life balance, but I need to learn when to put my phone down outside of work.”

The culture in recruitment is totally different to any other kind of industry, and often likened to a sales office. Sometimes it gets competitive and pressurised, which can drive you to work long hours and give a lot of yourself.

But it’s always a lively, vibrant, and fun environment to work in. And the rewards on offer are worth the hard work. Think uncapped commission payments and celebratory lunches at top restaurants, to paid-for vacations in destinations like Vegas or Ibiza.

Having No Experience is a Positive Thing

For many industries the entry requirements are so high it’s virtually impossible to even get a foot through the door. At Phaidon International we look more at certain personality traits than the experience on your CV. 

You need to be a fighter, competitive, ambitious, and highly driven. The rest we can teach.

Carlos Martinez from our Glocomms brand in San Francisco agrees: “Looking back, I love that I came in so green. I was able to really soak in the advice and training with no prior bad habits.  This helped me pick things up quickly, establish momentum, and eventually get to the part where I'm making things really happen for myself financially.”

There’s No Need for Nerves

While you’re bound to have first day butterflies about starting your new career, there’s really no need to be nervous. Here at Phaidon International we provide you with all of the training you need to make a real success of it.

“Prior to starting, the hiring group did a great job of preparing me for what to expect.” says Jason Newby from our DSJ Global office in Dallas.

“I really didn't come in and be surprised by anything” he adds, “as the leadership really guided us through what to do and how to use the tools provided to us to be successful.”

The Job Teaches You a Multitude of Transferable Skills

As a recruiter you’re like an independent entrepreneur. Yes you have the full backing of the company as well as all the tools, training, and infrastructure you need to succeed. But ultimately your success depends entirely on you.

Thanks to this approach, “you learn skills which are applicable to almost any situation and transferable to an inexhaustible number of paths” says Miranda Jackson from our EPM Scientific Contracts office in London. These skills are valuable in far more than just your day job; the career and life skills you can gain through a recruitment career can help set you up in business, build and lead teams, and even give you the confidence to achieve great things outside of work. 


About Us

Phaidon International is the parent company of five leading specialist recruitment agencies. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates the peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Out continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, we provide contingency, retained search and project-based contract recruitment across 11 offices in 6 countries. Contact us today to learn more about the company and the opportunities we offer.