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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In HR & recruitment


All you need to know about the HR & recruitment industry

HR and Recruitment are competitive industries, and can make for a tough working environment.

Working in HR you have to deal with office disputes, remain up to date with the law to make sure your company isn’t liable to be sued and generally maintain a respectful working environment. You may also be involved in pay negotiations and hiring new people. They’re a vital part of any organisation.

Recruitment falls under the umbrella of HR, but is solely focused on hiring and retaining staff. You could either work in-house for an organisation or you could work for an agency. Either way, you will be responsible for sourcing candidates with the correct skill set who will be a good fit for the company you’re recruiting for.

In recruitment agencies you have numerous clients with roles to fill and you have to source the candidates for specific roles – ensuring that they match the company culture alongside possessing the necessary skill set to be successful. This tends to be a target-based job and there is the potential to earn very high salaries if you consistently perform. You’re likely to have weekly and monthly targets for both recruitment and retention of candidates.

This means that you’ll need a lot of the same key skills as a salesperson. You will need to be highly persuasive, confident and also have a thick skin to ensure you don’t get knocked down by setbacks. These industries also require a high level of professionalism and good interpersonal skills - in return professionals in this industry tend to benefit from high average levels of pay.

Skills & interests needed for HR & recruitment

Perhaps it goes without saying that these industries require impeccable written and verbal communication skills, alongside interpersonal and people-management skills. Most of these roles involve working with people.

A degree isn’t always necessary to work in these fields, but there are a number of HR and recruitment professional development courses that would help strengthen your skillset in the early stages of your career (or even before you start).

Types of jobs in HR & recruitment

What work experience do you need for a career in HR & recruitment

Work experience is very valuable in this industry - particularly anything that is office-based that can demonstrate that you can work well in this environment and you are confident doing administrative tasks. Professional phone manner is also essential in these industries so practice this where you can.

A number of large companies run graduate schemes for HR, which will provide you will the professional experience and skill set to further your career in this industry.

For recruitment, experience in a sales position (even upselling as bar staff or working in retail) will benefit your application. This demonstrates that you can thrive under pressure and have experience of professional negotiation and persuasiveness. If you also have to work building client-relationships and maintaining them, this’ll be an additional bonus.

Useful resources

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
The British Institute of Recruiters
HR Society
London HR Connection
The Recruitment and Employment Federation
Institute of Recruitment Professionals
Association of Professional Recruitment Consultants