A day in the life of a graduate recruitment consultant
8:10am – I walk in to the office and shrug off my coat, glad to be in from the blustery wind outside into the light, warm and already buzzing day. I work for the Graduate Recruitment Company on the busy Digital recruitment team and I love it!
8:20am - First things first I get the computer on whilst I prep my breakfast, noticing I already have 5 voicemails flashing at me from my phone. A quick check tells me I have a candidate offer, a second stage interview to set up and prospective candidates to call back... Looks set to be a busy day.
8:45am – The Graduate Recruitment team all gather together so we can go over our activity for the day. We discuss the latest candidates who came in the day before, including the sales candidates from the Graduate Group we run and the non-sales candidates who came in for a one to one interview. This is our best time to match candidates to the roles we have on and make sure we’re on target for the week.
9:30am – Morning meeting over I settle back down at my desk, faced with 130 applications from hungry candidates asking to be considered for roles, clients offering interview slots left, right and centre and a to-do list longer than I can remember. I get my trusty Post It notes and jot down a checklist so nothing will get forgotten.
9:55am – First offer in and my client has gone in above the salary expectations by £4k! I talk through when they want the graduate to start and iron out the logistics. I can’t wait to tell the candidate they’ve got the job! Two weeks, two interviews, an excel test and now they can finally celebrate their hard fought win.
10:30am – With two second interviews and two first interviews running today I spend most of my morning calling all the graduates to make sure they are feeling comfortable and ready to meet their potential employers. Everyone seems to be running on time and as yet no disasters. I wish them all good luck and cross my fingers that the tubes keep working – with London you never know.
10:45am – I can literally hear my candidate jumping for joy as I tell him he’s been offered the job. He tries to hide it by muffling the phone but I smile as he calls out ‘I’ve got the job, I’ve got the job!’. This is one if the most satisfying parts of my day, my client is happy they’ve found the person they were looking for and my candidate is over the moon to have gotten the job he has been after. I send him through the official acceptance form so we can get the references and details back in time for the start date.
11:00am – I have an experienced graduate coming in to see me for an interview so I grab her CV of the printer and head to one of our meeting rooms where she is sitting waiting for me. We talk in depth about her experience, her education, why she took the degree she did, what she is looking for now and I can soon see that she is a great candidate, driven, motivated and backing up all of her statements with solid examples. One of my colleagues goes in and speaks to her about potential roles... we could have her out to several interviews by the end of the week!
11:45am – Another day, another job lead. The graduate digital market just keeps on exploding, I take a job spec from the client for a Digital Account Executive and spend time making sure I understand what they need before knuckling down to post an advert on the big job boards and short listing candidates who I’ve already registered.
1:00pm – It’s a Thursday, it’s one o’clock and it’s my turn to run the Graduate group! These happen three times a week and are group interviews for graduate sales candidates to come in and get to know us, show us their sparkle, demonstrate their drive and, if successful, we run through the jobs we want to get them out to. Today I have 8 in the group, fresh out of Uni and almost bubbling over with personality, we have a great discussion about what makes a good sales person and they argue their cases for what is most important to a sales person. Is it rapport building? Is it resilience? Is it the ability listening to your client? If I’m honest I think they’re all important and a good sales person has every trait at their fingertips.
3:00pm – That painful time is upon me, I don’t like having to say no to the graduates from the group interview but there is one person who just doesn’t seem to want sales. I take them to a meeting room, sit down and ask them to just be honest. Is sales what they want? Why do they want sales? And how are they going to convince me they have that motivation? They may seem like tough questions but graduates can be unprepared for proper interviews and this is our chance to help them by really pushing them to think about what they want. The graduate agrees with me, saying sales isn’t what he wants, he just wanted a job and thought this was the easiest route. He thanks me for giving him feedback and I walk him out, still managing to get a laugh at the lift doors.
4:00pm – Eventually I grapple through my work load and dedicate an hour to advert response. Job applications are my bread and butter, I must get over 1000 graduates apply for my jobs a week and although a time consuming exercise the CVs are our greatest source of graduates. Every CV is screened and anyone who is saying the right things and looks good on paper I call to telephone interview. I book in 5 candidates to come in and register with me.
5:00pm – Feedback time. All of my interviews have now finished now so I’m eager to hear from both clients and candidates how it all went. I start with the candidiates, they are normally pretty good at calling me straight after so I chat with them about how they feel they did. I probe for what kind of questions they were asked, how they answered them, what vibe they got from the offices and from the client – Interviews are not all about the client assessing the candidate but just as much about the candidate getting a feel for the role, the atmosphere and how well they could see themselves fitting in.
5:30pm – There may have been a few wobbles and worries but so far so good, all of my candidates are talking positively. My ever busy clients however are a little trickier to get hold of, I leave a few voicemails, zip off a few emails and settle for hearing tomorrow morning instead when I’ll catch them before the hectic day takes them away from their desks.
6:05pm – As the last buzz of my computer winds down I wrap myself up ready to leave for the day. It’s been a hectic day in most people’s eyes but to me it’s my job and I love the energy, challenge and problems I face hour by hour, day by day. It’s what makes recruitment so fun and my painful rush hour commute home worth while. Back out to that blustery wind, well at least the sun’s still shining......
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