Why I Choose Agency Recruitment as a Career: Deirdre Finnerty
Why I Chose Agency Recruitment as My Career: Deirdre Finnerty's Story
As a recent graduate, I found myself uncertain about which career path to pursue. Initially, I ventured into Accountancy, which I enjoyed, but deep down, I knew there had to be something more exhilarating waiting for me.
Several friends of mine were already working in the Recruitment industry, and they convinced me with one major selling point: autonomy. The idea of building expertise in a specialized area and essentially running my own "mini" business appealed to me. The potential for rapid career progression and lucrative earnings further enticed me. I realized that by developing strong networks with candidates and clients, combined with hard work and extra hours, I could quickly reap the rewards. In this industry, these efforts not only lead to financial gains but also provide immense satisfaction in overcoming staffing challenges for clients and propelling job seekers to new heights in their careers.
The initial weeks were tough, a steep learning curve accompanied by occasional frustration. There was an abundance of knowledge to absorb, and the environment was incredibly fast-paced and dynamic. This profession isn't suited for everyone; it requires self-motivation and fearlessness. Making phone calls to Engineering Managers, HR Directors, or Company MDs with the whole office listening can be daunting. However, if you thrive in a vibrant, target-driven atmosphere and possess a confident personality, a career in recruitment is well worth exploring.
Recruitment revolves around momentum and motivation. The variety of work and interaction with people is invigorating. I relish the opportunity to meet managers, company owners, and candidates. Once you establish a client base and build a reputable name, you become a trusted advisor and an integral part of their recruitment strategy. You also become the go-to person for key talent in the industry.
Unlike some other professions, I knew that recruitment would provide a meritocratic environment. Closing a deal is thrilling, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of placing a candidate in their desired job. Being able to advise and assist people in their career transitions brings great fulfillment. Knowing you've made a difference is evident when you receive a thank-you card, a bouquet of flowers, or when a parent expresses gratitude for your help. And of course, the monetary rewards are always a nice bonus. Last year, I was honored with the prestigious title of National Recruiter of the Year by the National Recruitment Federation (NRF). Winning this award in a highly competitive category was a privilege, and I'm grateful to the NRF for providing a platform to showcase recruitment excellence.
Recruitment opens doors to various career paths and serves as a solid foundation for the world of HR, in-house recruitment, or even entrepreneurship. Although diverse educational backgrounds exist among recruiters, qualifications in Business, HR, or marketing can be advantageous. Nevertheless, recruiters with finance or engineering backgrounds are also prevalent.
When considering Agency Recruitment as a career choice, I recommend conducting thorough research on the company you wish to join. Understand the key players in your target market. Factors to consider when choosing an agency include whether they specialize in specific areas or operate as generalists, the availability of training and mentorship, the agency's client portfolio and preferred supplier listings (PSLs), whether they focus on contracting or permanent roles (or both), realistic targets, available resources for recruitment support, and a clear marketing, advertising, and social media strategy. Personally, I chose a generalist agency with specialist divisions. I currently oversee the Technical Engineering desk, which places candidates such as Manufacturing/Process Engineers, Automation Engineers, Project Managers, and Packaging Engineers in key positions across Ireland.
Before embarking on a career in recruitment, take time to reflect on your motivations. It's a rewarding profession but not for the faint-hearted!
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