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One year in IT Recruitment

Just like the majority of my classmates in university; graduation was an interesting event.  Happiness turned to worry the moment our hats landed on the ground after the cliché graduation photos. The bubble had burst and we all walked off thinking “okay… now what?”

It had dawned on me that my ideal job of being a professional windsurfer by day and rockstar by night was perhaps a little unrealistic and now was the time to get into the world of work. Recruitment was something I hadn’t thought a great deal about. In all honesty I hadn’t even considered it as a career as my only exposure to recruitment was receiving the odd call from a consultant who’d found an old CV of mine on Monster. But the more I looked into it, the more it made sense. After researching into companies and speaking with friends, family and other recruitment consultants; the appeal was obvious. Uncapped commission in a fast paced environment where you get to meet interesting and colourful characters in both office and client-facing environments ticked the boxes for me. Finding out that one of my friend’s rich and successful father was an IT Recruitment Consultant added to the excitement. After a typical end-of-uni trip to Thailand with a few friends, with nothing more than a suit, notepad, pen and seriously impressive tan… I began the process of applications and interviews. After a few weeks; I was welcomed into the offices of Xist4 as a “trainee recruitment consultant”.

The last year has been pretty awesome…

It’s amazing how much you can learn and experience within one year in this job. With recruitment I’ve met and spoken to a large array of different and wonderful characters, visited cities all over the UK, worked with some of the largest companies in the world (and some of the smallest!), developed my people skills, enjoyed the unbelievable highs of making a placement and even made a bit of money whilst doing it.

To work within the IT side of recruitment means doing your homework – there is a lot of technical aspects to learn! After the training stages here at Xist4, learning the ropes of both recruitment processes and the IT sector, I was assigned my own vertical market focusing on the support and infrastructure side of IT. If I’m being honest, I had no idea what Cisco or Linux was before I started here. But over time, I learnt and developed a knowledge and understanding of a wide range of technologies. I will confess that I don’t know everything that falls under IT but I’m confident in what I do know; I could happily have a discussion about different flavours of Linux or perhaps talk about different scripting languages that system administrators tend to use.

Recruitment is a competitive industry and at the end of the day you have to get numbers on the board. If you didn’t, then the business can suffer… especially in a smaller business like Xist4 where your contributions can have massive impacts on the whole company. I found having self-motivation and drive will help you to go far in this job and is crucial to make placements. There are moments when you exhaust your usual methods to find candidates or CVs but having that drive and motivation will help in finding those hard-to-find candidates that may end up turning into a placement. While the highs of recruitment are obvious, you have to have thick skin to deal with the lows. Not everything in recruitment goes to plan and I’ve found this out first hand on a few occasions. I’ve seen candidates I’ve represented cancel their interviews and turn their back on offers they accepted and on some occasions poached by other outside recruiters. It can be disappointing to see your progress wiped away in front of your eyes and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it; the ability to dust yourself off and get back on the horse is one thing I’ve learnt from the last year.

Upon reflection; becoming an IT recruitment consultant was an excellent decision. While the environment can be fast paced and nature of the work means that targets have to be hit, it’s the sort of job that keeps you on your toes. While in my first year, I learnt the basics and continued my development into 360 recruitment (that’s both client and candidate sides of the job) there is a lot more to gain from this position. Networking with other businesses is something I rather enjoy and hope to explore even further as my account management responsibilities grow. Expanding upon my vertical markets into new and exciting areas of IT is something that will eventually happen. I’d also like to see how the business itself goes; the last 2 quarters were the best periods of financial gain for the company I’d seen and that my colleagues has seen - I’d quite like to see it expand even further.

As a Media and Journalist graduate who had no real concrete plan after university; recruitment is a big must for graduates in my eyes. Not every job can give you an extra couple of grand every month if you try hard and do your job well!

By Ben Griffiths, Account Manager at Xist4

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A little present from my boss on getting my first placement in IT back in January this year…

27 November 2014

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