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What does a recruitment consultant do?

Most people have heard of recruitment agencies and consultancies or maybe have even partnered with them in the past. However, even though there are over 20,000 staffing and recruitment firms in the US, operating out of 39,000 offices, people outside of the industry don’t always have an accurate understanding of a recruitment consultant position.

In this article, we aim to change that narrative by taking a deep dive into the role of the recruitment consultant; revealing what they do, how they advance careers and establish relationships between clients and candidates.

What is a recruitment consultant?

A recruitment consultant works as a mediator between companies looking to recruit employees (clients) and individuals looking for a new role (candidates). Typically, recruiters try to find the sweet spot that is in the best interests of their clients and candidates, balancing both their particular requirements.

Their primary role is to place the right candidate into the right vacancy, identify new business, and to develop long-term relationships with a wide client and candidate portfolio. To do this, the consultant must work hard to understand an employer’s business and corporate culture, as well as the goals and idiosyncratic needs of the candidate.

What does a recruitment consultant do?

The role of a recruitment consultant can be broken down into two facets – the client-side and the candidate.

On the client-side, recruitment consultants are responsible for securing new business, building relationships, and communicating on behalf of the candidate, whilst also matching high calibre professionals to prospective roles. From a candidate's perspective, the consultant will work to develop the candidate’s CV and interview skills, be a touchpoint in each stage of the process, as well as matching them to any upcoming roles.

Key responsibilities and day-to-day tasks include:

•Identifying business-critical talent

•Writing job descriptions and advertising vacancies

•Screening candidates to understand what they’re looking for in a role

•Reviewing applications and creating candidate shortlists

•Organizing interviews and providing feedback to candidates and clients

•Winning new client business through marketing and networking

•Developing strong, rewarding relationships with clients

•Developing a strong understanding of clients, their industries, and their culture

•Consulting both clients and candidates throughout the hiring process

•Making job offers and checking references

•Negotiating salaries, benefits, and fees

•Ensuring that the recruitment process is fair, inclusive, and non-discriminatory

The role of a recruiter is varied and rewarding, but to be successful, you’ll need a broad and specific set of skills to bring to the table. Alongside identifying the right candidate, sales and business development plays a key part in the role.

What skills do recruitment consultants need?

Due to the nature of the role, recruitment consultants must be clear communicators, resilient, willing to learn, and passionate. Other implicit skills can include:

•Negotiation

•Teamwork

•Reliability

•An understanding of a sales environment

•An ability to coherently listen and provide feedback

Whilst an undergraduate degree isn’t a necessary requirement, many recruitment consultants have a degree in a related industry that they recruit in, such as financial services or engineering, or in a subject including HR, business, or management studies.

Some recruitment agencies and consultancies are industry-specific, while others work with organizations and candidates in a plethora of sectors. If you want to specialize in a certain industry or sector, prior experience in that sector can be beneficial.

Considering a future career as a recruitment consultant? Find out more about life at Phaidon International, discover our latest positions, or submit your CV here. If you have any questions, please get in touch.