Harry Sluifko recruitment; sales; ambition; grit
Working in a consultancy, as I have for my entire professional career, it’s treated me well and I’ve opened up a huge variety of skills I never knew I had.
I’ve decided to write this article because of the passion I now have for working in a fast-paced and people-centric industry and to share that with you, so that you can understand why people do it and possibly I just might inspire a few, to take it up.
You can earn an excellent living
Choosing to go into this one first because many will shy away from this point but it’s important to raise it because for me it was a big factor on my decision to enter the industry as a graduate. Agency recruitment is a sales job, therefore clearly you can get paid commission for this in many agency businesses. I remember my first boss asked my primary reason for getting into recruitment, my answer was that I wanted to open a restaurant in 2 years and needed a lot of money to do so!
Being in agency recruitment has taught me a lot. I started with some preconceived notions about how easy it could be; I found very quickly that I was vastly incorrect and my idea of ‘high performance’ was challenged daily. The service industry that provides the most challenging service of all, placing people, showed me the intricacies of human interaction, motivations, and drivers for moving roles and companies and managing all of the component parts was where I learned quickly how to build tangible, credible relationships and personal rapport – quickly.
My raw abilities were tested to the max; I was around very motivated individuals who wanted to be the best, but I wanted to be the best. So how could I push my limits and build character and trust instantly with impact? The answer I built knowledge and networks.
I learned quickly to push my boundaries about my clients and markets and what it was really like to be resilient in a highly competitive space. I thought about retrenching many times; resorting to achieving the basic numbers and quotas to get by, but I pushed myself further and drilled down into specifics around competitor landscapes, key wins and growth ideas for the clients and candidates in the space I worked and I found the solutions came. I was actively adding value with these ideas through conversation and this inspired me, spurred me on and my idea of demonstrating grit in my role and what that meant.
As a graduate I learned what real hard work looked like. When I didn’t have the skills to match my competition I learned to outwork them. I went the extra mile for clients and candidates and when it worked out it was a great feeling. I have worked with so many recruiters who may not have a natural talent but they outwork their peers and they do better, I would take a hard worker over a natural talent who doesn’t embrace the grind any day. If you want to be the best your will sometimes need to work 12 hour days and weekends to ensure you delivery for your client and candidates.
Growing your own style and developing communications in tune with those around you that you wish to influence is a fascinating trait. Emotional agility can be taught in my view, we face different scenarios all the time - this is something you will keep for life and in any industry moving forward in your career.
You will become confident in your abilities in time, becoming a subject matter expert allows you to really hold your own when interacting with senior clients and candidates who are much more senior and experienced in their profession than you are in yours. Having senior industry leaders ask for your opinion on how they should build their teams and retain talent is hugely rewarding.
Here I am 8 years later, still in recruitment! The reason for that is not to do with earning but more so the others factors that have made me fascinated with the industry, yes if you are good the money is great but there are so many other things that have kept me in the industry outside of earning potential. There are many more skills that agency recruitment will teach you; how to negotiate, influence and how to communicate effectively - the list goes on. At Hamlyn Williams, we place a lot of emphasis on identifying these skills in any potential employee and then work very hard to harness those skills as part of the culture.
I am very confident I would not have developed my character anywhere near as much in other industries and for that, I am very thankful for recruitment.
You can get to manage and lead people quickly
Now this one is dependent on a few factors, which is why you should take time in choosing the right business for you. I knew that I wanted to lead and manage at some point in my career and I wanted to join a business that would allow me to do this as soon as I was ready, not based on how long I had worked in the industry.
I chose to join a business that embraced giving youth a chance and that operated a meritocratic structure. This allowed me to progress quickly and gain management experience quickly. It is vital that if this is what you want then you choose a business that will allow it.
At Hamlyn Williams, we have committed to a model that is built purely around creating a meritocracy which allows young ambitious individuals to develop quickly and take on additional responsibilities.
When I look back on my management career in recruitment it has been truly amazing, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most ambitious people I know and mentor them to become the best they can be, it’s really not hard when you work with such young driven individuals.
It’s a lot of fun
Honestly, you will have a lot of fun working in agency recruitment. I have made great friends in the industry, been on many company holidays, worked with inspiring clients and candidates and have learned from great leaders.
At HW we really put emphasis on creating a fun environment to work in; we work hard and we perform at a high level but we also have a lot of fun along the way - for me this is vital to our success.
I work with young like-minded individuals all day every day in a team environment, when I leave the industry to open my restaurant this is something I will miss the most!
If you would like to speak to me directly about getting into recruitment or even working with Hamlyn Williams, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org