As part of the Careers Series Talks, Careers Network hosted a talk from two alumnae Emily Rose and Leah Bracha. The ex-UoB students now have careers in recruitment, Emily at SimkissGuy in Birmingham and Leah at Royal Bank of Scotland for their in-house recruitment team. Recruitment, to give an overview, works like this:

A company looks to hire ——- Emily searches through her candidates to find the perfect fit ——- Emily sends the candidate to the interview ——- Both candidate and employer are happy!

This can also work the other way around:

A candidate looks for a job ——- Emily searches through her list of employers to find the perfect job ——- Emily preps the candidate for interview —— Both candidate and employer are happy!

This format works in general recruitment, the kind that Emily works in for SimkissGuy. The great thing about her job, Emily says, is that she gets to plan her own day and work in a very fast paced environment.

You will have to put in the hours…

In 2015 when Emily graduated from Birmingham with a degree in German and European Politics she had already been working one day a week at the recruitment company, and so was the perfect fit. Unlike many of her friends Emily wasn’t keen to head to London and saw a community spirit in Birmingham which she wanted to be part of.  At SimkissGuy, due to the small size of the company, Emily is able to hold a lot of responsibility despite having only worked there full time for a year. However this route of quickly rising through the ranks in recruitment is one of the many benefits throughout the sector, Leah found this to be the case throughout her career also. After graduating with a degree in Economic and Social History in 2013, Leah went to work for Katie Bard, a recruitment firm in Birmingham. Very soon after starting Leah was placed in important roles and found herself thrown in at the deep end. However you quickly learn the skills for the job and despite it being very stressful at times it does come with some great rewards! A huge part of the fun of recruitment is the opportunity to boost your salary with commissions. Although this can add to the pressure, if you enjoy working to targets then this is the role for you.

But they will pay off!

People are employers most valuable assets

The difference between Emily’s job and Leah’s at RBS is that Leah’s role is now focused on in-house recruiting. This means that she is only looking to find people to work for RBS instead of multiple companies and candidates. The pressures here are the same but feature in different ways. Whereas Emily may have a deadline by which to find a candidate for an employer, or the contract runs out, Leah only has the option to fill the role. This might mean months of searching for suitable candidates, and even bringing them from overseas for the specific job.

You might think that recruitment falls under HR, and it used to but not anymore! The two sectors have many cross overs but they are fundamentally different, think of it like this:

Recruitment is about getting the candidate to the job ~~~~~HR is about nurturing that candidate throughout their career at the company

The skills you learn in this sector are diverse and transferable; such as networking, time management, interview skills, presentations, active thinking. The industry is a huge one and growing; in 2013/14  the recruitment industry’s annual revenue was £27.8 billion and the next year this grew to £31.5 billion.  There is opportunity for an interesting and dynamic career – think about it. Is recruitment for you?

To learn more about the career paths of both Leah and Emily, click on the links to their LinkedIn pages.

If you’re interseted in finding out more and HR as a professional area look on the CIPD website (this is the professional body for HR and people development)!

-Written by Emily Martin, SET member and History of Art/Italian student at The University of Birmingham