What Does a Recruitment Consultant Do? (With Career Path)
Updated 21 August 2023
A recruitment consultant sometimes called a recruiter or recruiting consultant, pairs candidates with suitable employers. If this kind of work interests you, you may wonder ‘What does a recruitment consultant do?' Understanding this role can help you decide if you'd enjoy being a recruitment consultant. In this article, we explain the daily tasks and main duties of recruitment consultants and how these professionals succeed.
What does a recruitment consultant do on a daily basis?
Every day, recruitment consultants work with professionals seeking work and companies searching for employees. They may work in a company's in-house recruitment department or for a recruitment agency that finds employees for other companies. Some recruitment consultants work in general recruitment. Others specialise in areas such as clerical, temporary or executive recruitment.
While their daily duties vary, they may include:
processing information about job vacancies from employers
developing the selection processes for recruitment campaigns
preparing job descriptions and organising their publication in newspapers and online job websites
headhunting suitable job candidates through networking and resume searches
reviewing resumes and submitting the most suitable to hiring managers
interviewing job candidates and recommending shortlisted applicants to hiring managers
Conducting psychometric tests on job candidates and analysing their results
running background checks on shortlisted applicants, including checking references
briefing job candidates about vacant jobs, including the interview process, job responsibilities and potential salaries
coaching job candidates to improve their resumes and interview technique
negotiating employment terms, including salaries and benefits, that benefit job candidates and businesses
preparing letters of appointment for successful candidates
preparing successful candidates to start employment, including organising training, identification and security passes
maintaining records of candidates, including their contact details and resumes, and business clients, if applicable
assisting with sales and marketing campaigns to recruiting new business clients, in some cases
visiting business clients to assess working conditions and observe jobs in action.
What are the main duties of a recruitment consultant?
Recruitment consultants help businesses find the most suitable candidates for their vacant roles. They identify the best job applicants and prepare them for available positions. They may interview candidates on behalf of businesses or prepare applicants for interviews with a business's hiring team.
They also work closely with candidates. They explain vacant roles to people searching for work and help them increase their chances of securing employment. They keep promising job candidates on file and promote their skills to suitable employers until they get the right roles.
What skills do you need to be a recruitment consultant?
Recruitment agencies and businesses with internal recruiting departments list the skills they look for in their recruitment consultant job description advertisements. These skills include:
Recruitment consultants often develop long-term relationships with business clients. They may also develop long relationships with people seeking jobs, working with them as they pursue various career opportunities. Building these relationships requires learning about people, including their skills, experiences, interests and needs. Recruitment consultants who understand businesses and people looking for jobs can more accurately match them. Being friendly and personable also helps recruitment consultants form strong professional relationships.
Strong communication skills help recruitment consultants understand what businesses need in job candidates and what people want from their employment. If they need clarity, they know the best questions to get the information they need. They speak confidently and persuasively to build trust and effectively promote job applicants. Recruitment consultants use their written communication skills when advertising jobs for businesses.
Recruitment consultants are expert negotiators who feel confident settling contracts. They understand the needs of businesses and the value of people looking for jobs. They balance these two forces to negotiate fair contract terms and salaries.
Related: How to Develop Negotiation Skills
Recruitment consultants work with a variety of people searching for jobs. They use analytical skills to find the one that matches each vacant role. They consider each person's skills, experience and personality and whether the company and position suit their preferences.
The decisions that recruitment consultants make impact businesses and people looking for jobs. They decide which jobs to present to the people they're working with. They also decide which candidates to interview, shortlist and present to clients. Applying strong judgement and making decisive choices helps recruitment consultants work efficiently. Making the right decisions can enhance their reputations and increase their chances of advancing in their careers.
Recruitment consultants work consistently towards achieving monthly and quarterly recruitment targets. They feel responsible for businesses and the people they work with and deliver what they promise them. They arrive punctually to meetings with a thorough understanding of the parties involved and their vacant roles. They also know how to manage their own stress levels so they can stay focused and work productively to meet client expectations and business targets.
What is the required education for a recruitment consultant?
Formal qualifications are optional for recruitment consultants. However, most companies prefer employees with at least a senior secondary certificate of education. Pursuing qualifications after high school can help you secure a recruitment consultant position. Various training options can prepare you for a career in recruitment consulting, including:
Vocational qualifications such as the Certificate IV in Human Resources, Diploma in Human Resource Management and Advanced Diploma in Human Resources Management
A bachelor's degree in business, human resource management, finance, behavioural science or psychology
A Recruitment Consulting Certificate from the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association
What are the career path options for recruitment consultants?
Ambitious recruitment consultants often take the following career path:
Recruitment consultant: This entry-level role is the starting point for many careers in recruitment. Recruitment consultants often gain more responsibilities, including attracting candidates and building strong client relationships, as they gain experience.
Principal recruitment consultant: Sometimes called a lead recruitment consultant, people in this senior recruitment consultant role train and supervise new recruitment consultants. They also perform standard recruitment consultant duties.
Recruitment manager: Recruitment managers oversee the work of all recruitment consultants and make sure they meet the employment needs of their business or clients.
Recruitment director: The head of a recruitment agency or department, this recruitment professional hires, trains and assesses the work of recruitment team members, including recruitment consultants. Large companies may have an associate director and an executive director.
While some recruitment consultants stay in recruitment, others leave the industry to pursue other job opportunities. Recruitment consultants' skills easily transfer to a range of other professions, although some additional study may be required for some roles. Some recruitment consultants pursue opportunities in the following industries:
Public relations: Recruitment consultants used to promote job candidates to businesses find the promotional work of public relations professionals a natural fit for their skills.
Account management: The organisational skills of recruitment consultants lend themselves to this business field.
Events planning: Recruitment consultants use their networking, relationship building and planning skills in this industry.
Career counselling: As recruitment consultants already understand how to match people with businesses, this is another natural career choice.
General counselling: While working as a career counsellor is the most obvious choice, a recruitment consultant's intuition about people can serve them in any counselling role.
Real estate: Former recruitment consultants use their people skills working in real estate when matching buyers and renters with the right properties.
Human resources management: Like recruitment consultants, human resources managers need good organisational and planning skills. These roles often involve recruitment, so a recruitment consultant's experience can give them an advantage in these roles.
What is a recruitment consultant's work environment?
Recruitment consultants typically work for recruitment agencies or private companies with recruitment departments. They work in office environments and spend most of their time at their desks. They may leave the office to meet business clients at their place of work.
Most recruitment consultants work on weekdays during standard business hours. However, some recruitment consultants working for private companies may arrive early or stay late to interview candidates unavailable during regular business hours. Recruitment consultants rarely work on weekends or public holidays.
What is the average salary for a recruitment consultant?
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a recruitment consultant is $75,942 per year. Salaries vary depending on a recruitment consultant's experience, education and employer. Location may also affect a recruitment consultant's salary.
What are the job prospects for recruitment consultants?
Experts predict very strong future growth for human resource professionals, including recruitment consultants. There were 78,800 human resource professionals working around the country in 2019. But in 2024, there may be an estimated 91,200 human resources professionals. Opportunities exist for human resource professionals, including recruitment consultants, in many urban and regional areas. This ensures there are good job prospects for recruitment consultants based all over the country.
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