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7 Tips for Graduates Starting in Recruitment

​Starting in a graduate recruitment role at any company is bound to cause you some anxiety. Sometimes all you want is a few words of reassurance from someone who’s been there and done it. So where better to get that advice than from a selection of Phaidon International recruiters who have walked in your shoes? 

We asked recruiters from across our global offices what their top pieces of advice would be for any graduates starting their career in the industry. Here’s what they said.

Determination is Key

Determination will take you a long way in recruitment. Sure, there are a raft of other skills you need, but this one trait will be central in your journey to success.

Guy Burch from Glocomms in Berlin advises “be resilient and don’t take rejection personally!” while Daniel Teo from our Selby Jennings office in Singapore agrees;‘grit’ is the “most key trait in any successful individual, in any industry or sector”.
Everyone’s first year in recruitment is tough. But those difficult times will give you a strong foundation for the rest of your recruitment career.

Ride Out the Frustrations

Recruitment is never plain sailing and you’ll often find that there are situations that don’t go to plan. Learning to deal with this is part and parcel of the role, but don’t be afraid to acknowledge your disappointments.

There will undoubtedly be times in your career when you’re at a low ebb. Tiffany Wan from Selby Jennings in Hong Kong admits “at some point, you will cry in this job. It happens to us all.” But it’s crucial to ride these periods out and learn whatever you can from them. “These frustrations in work set us up for success.”

Be Patient and Chase Your Dreams

Goal setting is a big part of accomplishing what you want to as a recruiter. It’s important not to limit yourself, because anything is possible.
A perfect example of this is Harry Youtan who took less than a decade to rise to the position of CEO at Phaidon International.

“Don't settle for anything less than what you believe you're capable of” advises Hanna Ito of LVI Associates in Boston. “Stick things out, be patient with the job process, make it your passion and chase after it!”

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Fails to Work Hard

It’s an old adage but it’s so true when it comes to recruitment. You might have all of the raw materials to make a great recruiter, but if you don’t put in the graft you’ll struggle to make it.

“Always realize that there are people out in the world working towards what you want” cautions Carlos Martinez of Glocomms in San Francisco. 
“If you work harder than them you don't have to be better at your job, but because of your attitude you can beat them to the spot.”

Your Success is Down to You

Recruitment is often said to be the ultimate meritocracy. How much you earn and the direction in which your career progresses is all down to hard work and the resultant success.

Because of this it’s down to you to determine what you want to achieve and make it happen.

Jason Newby at DSJ Global in Dallas believes that you have to “invest fully in the position. It is essentially YOUR business and you have control over it.”

No Question is a Stupid Question

No one expects you to have all the answers when you first start in the recruitment industry. That’s why we provide our new graduate recruiters with a comprehensive training plan and all the support they need to learn the ropes. Still, there will be a period where you remain unsure of the best way to go about certain things. And that’s fine. 

“Never be afraid to ask questions” says Daniel Teo. It’s always better to make sure you’re doing it correctly than to take a stab in the dark and risk making a mistake. We’ve got a large team of highly experienced senior recruiters, so don’t be hesitant to lean on them for advice.  And remember, everyone’s been the newbie at one stage, so they know exactly what you’re going through.


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 globally. Contact us today to learn more about the company and the opportunities we offer.