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Why I Choose Agency Recruitment as a Career: Deirdre Finnerty

Like most graduates, I was unsure what career path to take. I initially chose the Accountancy route which I enjoyed but I knew there had to be something else out there, something a little more exciting for me!

I had friends that were working in the Recruitment industry and they sold it to me from the fact that you get a lot of autonomy. The idea of effectively developing a specialist area where ultimately you are running your own “mini” business really appealed to me. The opportunity to progress quickly and the earning potential really attracted me and I knew that if I developed my networks with candidates and clients.  With the combination of some hard work and extra hours I felt I could quite quickly reap the rewards. In this industry these efforts do not go unrecognised as you not only reap the financial gain but also a real sense of satisfaction in satisfying clients staffing challenges as well as taking job seekers careers to another level.

The first few weeks are tough, it’s a steep learning curve and there are times when you get frustrated.  There is so much to learn the environment is extremely fast-paced, dynamic and certainly not for everyone. You need to be self-motivated and have no fear.  Having to pick up the phone and speak to an Engineering Manager or HR Director or MD of a Company where everyone in the office can hear you is pretty daunting stuff!!  However, if you like working in a vibrant, target driven atmosphere where you can gain a real sense of achievement and have a confident personality then a career in recruitment is well worth investigating.  .


Recruitment is all about momentum and motivation. The variety and the interaction with people is great, I enjoy the opportunity I have to meet with managers, company owners and candidates. Once you establish a client base and a reputation you become a trusted advisor and an integral part of their recruitment strategy also the first port of call for key talent in the industry.


Unlike some other jobs, I knew that recruitment was going to be a meritocratic environment. I also enjoy the thrill of closing a deal but nothing beats the thrill of placing a candidate in a job they wanted. There is a great satisfaction to being able to advise people and help them with their next career move. You know you have made a difference when you receive a thank you card, those bunches of flowers or when a parent calls to say how much their son or daughter appreciates your help….and of course the monetary rewards are always nice. Late last year I was recognised for my contribution to the recruitment industry and secured National Recruiter of the Year with National Recruitment Federation (NRF).  “I felt privileged to win this prestigious award in a very competitive category and I’m grateful to the NRF for enabling a platform to showcase recruitment excellence.


Recruitment can lead you down many roads and it’s a great foundation for the world of HR, in-house recruitment or even those budding entrepreneurs out there. Although many different disciplines in relation to education, work in recruitment, a Business, HR, marketing qualification will all stand to you. That said you will find recruiters with a finance background or even engineering.


When choosing Agency Recruitment as a career choice I would advise you to do your research into the company you wish to work for.  It is important to understand the key players in the market you wish to target.  The factors to consider when choosing an agency are whether or not they are a specialist versus a generalist agency, what training and development is available, will you have someone to mentor your, what accounts does the agency hold, how many preferred supplier listings (PSL’s), do they recruit exclusively for contracting or permanent roles or both, are the targets realistic, what resources are available to support recruitment, do they have a clear marketing, advertising and social media strategy etc.  I chose a generalist agency with specialist divisions.  I current run and manage the Technical Engineering desk which places Manufacturing/Process Engineers, Automation Engineers, Project Managers and Packaging Engineer type candidates into key positions around Ireland.


Really think about why it is that you want to join recruitment, what are your drivers? It’s a rewarding career but not for the faint hearted!

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