How to be a recruiter: Hamzah's story

Meet Hamzah, 21, from Slough. He works as a recruitment consultant, making sure he places people in the right jobs. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Hamzah outside his office.
"Recruitment helps me build people skills which I hope to use in my ultimate dream: Downing Street."

What is your job?

I ensure that other people get jobs and that we hire people with the right skills for the places we have available.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

I scroll through a hundred CVs and make a lot of phone calls. I screen loads of candidates, prepping them for interviews, interviewing them, and making sure that we match people with the right skills to the right sort of role.

What skills do you use in your job?

You need a lot of interpersonal skills, as speaking to people is the bulk of the job. You need to be very organised and remember a lot of things about different people. I have a very good telephone manner, which means being friendly and open as I have to ask quite personal questions. Of course, time management is important, because you’re always working to a deadline as sometimes you have to find 30 people jobs within two weeks.

What is your educational career path?

I studied Sociology, which gives you a very good understanding of how people work. I also studied Economics, which helps, but overall, I don’t think it was a single subject which helped me. I think that extra-curricular activities that I did during school were more useful. I was part of the debate team – that probably contributed the most to the position that I’m in, as it gave me the confidence to speak well.

Why did you choose the subjects you did?

For my A-levels I did Politics, History, Economics and English. The reason I chose those subjects were that they were things I enjoyed doing. I think that makes a big difference to the end result. If you enjoy doing something you're going to put a lot more energy and your heart into it. After my A-levels, I went straight into work at a bank and then I went into recruitment. I am also interested in politics and I am standing to be a local councillor in May.

Hamzah talking on the phone.
Hamzah speaks to clients and candidates on the phone.

Top tips

  • Having work ethic is very important to an employer

  • Having practical experience can sometimes be more important than qualifications

  • Do the things you love doing. Forget everything else, because if you're going to chase money that's all you're going to be doing for the rest of your life. Chase success and the money follows.

What to expect if you want to be a recruitment consultant

  • Recruitment consultant salary: £16,000 to £60,000 per year
  • Recruitment consultant hours: 38 to 40 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: As a graduate, it's possible to enter recruitment with any degree, although some employers may prefer a subject related to the industry, like Human Resources, Marketing, or Public Relations. Some recruitment agencies specialise in a sector of work, so you may be expected to have a relevant degree or industry experience. You'll usually need two or three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree. You could start as an office assistant in a recruitment agency and work your way up through on-the-job training and promotion.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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