GRADUATE JOURNEYS | HARRY, DANI & ALEX
Our 2018 graduate scheme is now in place for final year University students to secure a career with recognition, progression and lucrative rewards.
Of course, if you've already graduated and are thinking about what to do next, this article might help you make that decision. Either way, all you need to do is get in contact with our Internal Recruiter, Emily, for a chat and to find out more information about the role and if it would be right for you!
We sat down with three of our graduate consultants to get an insight into their journey with us so far.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your background prior to starting your recruitment career with UR?
Harry: "I'm a sport Graduate from Oxford Brookes University, who enjoys playing cricket, football and golf. Before starting at Understanding Recruitment I used to DJ and coach a variety of sports to earn money whilst at University".
Dani: "I am a Business Studies graduate from the University of Hertfordshire and born and raised in St Albans. My degree allowed me to study abroad for a year in Sydney, Australia and complete a placement year working as an Enterprise Assistant for the Careers and Employment Service. Throughout my final year I continued to work for the Careers team and also joined the Student Experience Team where I organised and ran a range of events linked to university recruitment and forming a school community on behalf of the Business School."
Alex: "I completed my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Nottingham before going to University of Exeter to complete a Masters in Political Theory. I was playing rugby semi-professionally throughout this time too and was also voted "University Rugby Player of the Year".
Q. How did you first hear about us?
Harry: "The first I heard about Understanding Recruitment was when I had a call from Emily (Internal Recruiter) to discuss a career in recruitment."
Alex: "The Internal Recruiter Emily found my CV online and gave me a call. We had a very relax chat so she could get an understanding of why I wanted to become a recruitment consultant."
Dani: "I was working an event at the University of Hertfordshire for placement students and Emily (UR’s Internal Recruiter) happened to be giving a presentation on working in recruitment and the opportunities at UR. I approached her at the end of the session, sent over my CV that evening and was invited for interview a week later."
Q. What appealed to you most about the role?
Harry: "I would have to say, the challenges that come with recruitment is what interested me and being able to deal with many people all from different walks of life and of course the incentives and benefits that come with working in recruitment."
Dani: "For me it had to be the progression opportunities within UR. Starting off as a trainee/resourcer, to starting business development and then becoming a fully-fledged consultant. They provide you with realistic targets, while providing you with the necessary support to reach your own individual goals. In addition, UR is built on the work hard, play hard approach and for me this was essential for any job/company I joined."
Alex: "I liked how quickly you can progress within the company. Almost all of the team leaders here are the result of hard work and organic progression, with some people getting two promotions in one year."
Q. How did you find the whole interview process?
Dani: "I personally felt the interview process to be very robust and a perfect way to work out if I was a good fit for UR and if UR could offer me what I was looking for. It included a total of 3 stages, the first included 3 interviews, the second included more interviews and a presentation about a passion of mine and how that links to recruitment. I was called that day and offered the job, which I accepted on the spot. I was then invited back to the office where I met James (Head of .NET) and Nicola (Head of Corporate) and I was provided with an opportunity to choose which team I wanted to join. For me .NET seemed the perfect fit, especially as business development was a key focus of mine. The whole interview process gave me a real insight into the working environment at UR and ultimately sealed the deal, I knew it was the place for me."
Alex: "Very thorough. You meet a lot of key people within the company who give you challenging questions, but you gain a really good understanding of how you can progress within the company. After meeting several different team leaders and members, it was ultimately decided I would join the Java team"
Harry: "I found the interview process really thorough, meeting a number of people from the office. However from my initial interview with Emily I was made to feel really comfortable and I would say that it is the best interview process I have gone through. Even the presentation about myself which I was dreading was turned into a comfortable situation (even if they were laughing at my expense and my awful pictures)."
Q. What have you enjoyed the most in your role so far?
Harry: "There are a number of things I have enjoyed about the role, I have a great boss in Tom who has made the whole learning process a lot easier due to his great management skills and knowledge of recruitment. As well as this, it is always a great feeling when you know you are making your candidates happy when you successfully place them into new roles."
Alex: "You get out exactly what you put in. If you're prepared to put in the work, you can hit targets quicker and harder, receive the benefits such as directors lunch's and winners trips, and ultimately aim for promotions".
Dani: "Nothing compares to the feeling when you make your first placement, and as everyone will tell you, you will remember it for the rest of your life. For me, I found the candidate in my second week, but it took nearly six weeks until the deal was finally completed. People tend to have the wrong idea about the recruitment industry and solely think consultants are in it for the money. However, the satisfaction you get from securing someone their dream job outshines any financial incentive."
Q. What difficulties have you faced?
Alex: "Sometimes, with the hours you have to put in to do well, it was hard adjusting after student life. But you get used to it and soon get a sense of pride in your work, especially when you start seeing results."
Dani: "To be successful it initially requires you to put in a lot of time and effort, which sometimes meant working some long hours. However, working with such a great team makes this more enjoyable. I would also say the ever changing emotions associated with recruitment is important to get under control, one minute you’ve just completed a deal and the next you’re wondering if you’re ever going to find a suitable candidate!"
Harry: "The difficulties that I have faced in the role would have to be having the confidence to pick up the phone and make your first phone call. However after the first couple of phone calls it starts to become a lot more natural thanks to the support and training you have over the first couple of weeks."
Q. Could you give us a brief overview of your typical working day at 'UR'?
Dani: "I get into work around 8am and firstly before anything else grab my green tea! I then create a visual advert to post on LinkedIn for a particular role I am working on and sometimes get on the phone and try and reach candidates before they get into work. Each week I post around 5-6 job adverts so I go through the ad responses and call anyone appropriate for the role. I then start my morning sweeps, which takes me till around 10am; this is an opportunity to find local candidates that have recently been active on the job boards. I then have a quick catch up with my manager James to decide on a plan for the rest of the day.
I usually dedicate an entire day to just one role/client. I begin by going through Bullhorn our company’s CRM system. From this I am able to find potential candidates that have recently been uploaded from morning sweeps or that have had dealings with my colleagues. LinkedIn Recruiter tends to be my go to in the afternoon. Depending on the role and its location, I set myself a target of how many InMails I hope to send out from my searches. Throughout the day I make calls to candidates and prepare their CVs to be sent to my clients. I tend to stop my searches around 6pm and then once again try and call candidates that I have struggled to reach during the day. I then prep for the next day and finally finish around 6:30pm (it’s sometimes earlier and sometimes later depending on what I have on and how successful the day has been)."
Alex: "I start the day talking to candidates for relevant roles. I have to spend time managing my own clients and also building up my client base to gain promotion. Sometimes it is long hours but the office environment is really good and we are a very close team which makes the work all the more enjoyable."
Harry: "My normal day consists of speaking to new people every day, dealing with candidates who are at different stages of the interview process. Learning the technical side of roles that I am recruiting for and hopefully if it is a good day sealing a deal!"
Q. Lastly, do you have any advice to any graduates considering following in your footsteps?
Harry: "My advice to any graduates would be if you enjoy speaking to new people, never having one day the same as the other and enjoy going out of your comfort zone to test yourself then recruitment could be a great choice of career. Oh and of course earning extra money for just doing your job is always a massive bonus."
Alex: "It is a job that is very testing from day one, but the rewards are absolutely there if you want it enough."
Dani: "I would say it is important to prepare yourself for all the challenges and long hours. Recruitment can be a very successful industry for the right person with amazing financial rewards, but to get there you have to be dedicated and organised. Surrounding yourself with a supportive team and colleagues is incredibly important to your own success and therefore it is essential to research a recruitment agency before applying (Glassdoor reviews are a must!)."
Hopefully our three graduates have given you a better understanding as to whether this is the right career path for you. If you have any other questions or you're ready to apply, please contact our Head of Internal Recruitment Emily today!