It’s absolutely fair to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first quarter in recruitment. I love a challenge and each day brings a new one, I live for meeting new people which is also daily and I have no issues at all with being spoken to with less than perfect manners. Oh, and I’m quite proud of myself that I’ve not once used the phrase “thinking outside the box”, an overused line if ever I heard one. With so many people thinking outside the box, it might actually be more original to stay inside…

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My knowledge of recruitment before joining FJR was limited to say the least; I’d been a candidate before but that really is it. Oh, and places where I worked would sometimes complain about the volume of calls coming through from recruitment agencies. Not much to go on to begin my new career but with five years’ experience in fast paced sales, I was confident these skills could be transferred into a new environment…


It’s fair to say that confidence was misplaced at first; I definitely have got more things wrong in the first three months than I have right; although I never expected such a confidence roller coaster; the biggest learning curve to date. One day you are flying high; you’re getting through to relevant contacts, they are friendly, receptive and have positions to fill. The next day you get through to barely anyone and those you do speak to are less than polite and you aren’t doing anything at all differently. That’s the nature of the beast and there is no way of sugar coating that element of the job; it’s there and experience won’t change that, some people don’t like to take recruitment calls.


The most surprising thing for me has been the level of complexity involved in providing an A1 service; there are processes within processes and if you take pride in what you are doing, there will be so many different boxes to tick to ensure there are satisfied clients and candidates alike. I thought it was just sending a shed load of CVs and hoping that one of the pieces of paper got the job! For some  (the ones that make our job harder), it is, but for FJR it’s more than just sending semi-relevant emails, it’s about a strong desire shared by all to be the best. We want to be the stand alone agency when it comes to service and client relationships: “If you go the extra mile, there are no crowds”.


I think it would be conceited of me to offer any wisdom at this stage of my career to prepare any ‘would-be recruiters’ for the big bad world of business development and flaky candidates because my recruitment voice isn’t fully developed and whatever success I have has been down to tenacity rather than a polished repertoire. However, I can categorically say, even with my limited knowledge and experience that thick skin is a must; there will be people who don’t want to take your call and people that will speak to you like you’re selling PPI; if you believe in the service you provide, the candidates on your books and the company you represent then there is no need to dwell on the calls that don’t go so well; look upon it as their loss that they’re not working with you. And above all – absolutely celebrate the victories – it’s amazing how long that satisfying glow of placing a candidate in their dream role can last and it should certainly champion any negative feelings that can be brought on by any small defeats.

Alex Middleton – Consultant, FJR Sales & Marketing.

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