What we think

This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

A career in recruitment: everything you want to know

1st December 2021

Gabby’s most recent LinkedIn Live was on the topic of a career in recruitment. We are currently recruiting for Consultants in our Leeds and London offices so we thought we’d use the opportunity to answer common questions we receive from candidates about the role and life. With over 20 years’ recruitment experience Gabby is in an excellent position to answer those questions, here are her answers!


Is there a personality that works best in recruitment? Do I have to be an extrovert?

You do not need to be the loudest person in the room, but a level of confidence is needed to ask the important questions. We have a duty to honestly inform our clients and candidates, so an assertiveness to ask those questions is always useful.

At Seven, we have a real mixture of personalities. I believe having that balance introduces a sense of personality to our business and candidates are able to chat to genuine people.


How much of it is on the phone these days?

When I started my journey in recruitment, I had a pad, a pen and a telephone. As we continue to evolve digitally, we now have lots of different tools at our disposal. LinkedIn, email and various job boards all open virtual doors to connect recruiters to candidates and those candidates to jobs. However, I am a firm believer that you can only build true, long-standing relationships through verbal communication. So yes, a lot of communication happens on the phone, because we encourage it. Building those relationships and influencing those candidates is a key part of our role.


What skill set do you need to work in recruitment?

It is more about competencies rather than a skill set. The need to be driven; wanting to deliver a sales target is vital in operating in most recruitment businesses. Ultimately, a proportion of your remuneration is made up of commission and you get rewarded for the sales you deliver. But I would also say you have to be someone with resilience. There can be circumstances when it means you cannot deliver on your objectives; people change their minds, or underperform at interview etc. You’ve got to be able to manage the highs and lows, you cannot have your head down for a few days after something has not gone your way. We teach our consultants to draw a line under a bad day and come back the next. There is nothing better than the highs, but you just have to accept the job comes with both.


In-house or in agency, what is best?

I have never worked in-house, only recruitment businesses in agencies. But we have RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) contracts with some of our clients where it is as if you are working in-house. Like most things, there are pros and cons for both. If you enjoy business development, in-house might not necessarily be for you. But if you enjoy really getting under the skin with working with one client and brand, then in-house could be a good option. What is great about Seven is that we have a mixture and it becomes quite fluid within our business in terms of opportunities that are available.


What’s the reason for traditionally high turnover in recruitment?

I meet lots of graduates or people that are moving into recruitment not necessarily understanding what is involved and how it takes time for the rewards to come. A promise of £80k in your first year is probably too good to be true and before you know it, you have moved into a position that is not going to deliver what was laid out in the beginning. Some businesses operate in a way where there is pressure and expectation, which is unrealistic and new employees are left to sink or swim. At Seven, we have a more nurturing and developing type of culture. Of course, high expectations still remain, and our recruiters continually do the best they can, but we also recognise the opportunity to learn. Some of our employees are at the beginning of their recruitment career and we appreciate people pick things up at different speeds. Seven allows you to have these growing experiences, without the added pressure.


What would be your best advice on a development path for someone new to recruitment, where is their time best spent?

We have a very clear recruitment development path within our business, but with multiple options. My advice is to get as much experience with as many situations as possible. Listen, observe, assist someone else, so that as you progress and take on more responsibility, you can draw on this breadth of experience. I think they key thing for our junior employees is to learn from more senior consultants who have that experience. But it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach here at Seven, we do not make everybody recruit in the same way. Different styles of doing things come with different people, and often you get the same result. It is important to allow for people’s personalities and where they feel comfortable operating.


What differentiates good recruiters, to great recruiters?

That extra mile. After being briefed on a role do you sit and say you cannot find any candidates? Your client is there, using you as the solution to the vacancy within their business. So it is about learning to influence both the client around that brief, maybe trying to open it up to broaden the search, but also being able to engage with candidates and get them interested in the process. We do not ask people to work ridiculously long hours, we treat people like adults, so this is about you doing the work you feel you need to do to deliver on your target.


What do you enjoy most about recruitment?

The cheesy answer! For the time I am working with somebody through their recruitment process I could speak to them almost every day for 6 weeks, so I feel a sense of personal satisfaction when they are offered a new role, after talking and understanding how important it is to them. No two days are the same. Yes, I’m always speaking to clients and candidates, but the individuals are wide and varied and I learn new things every day from speaking to people within the Consumer industry.

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