Confessions of an ex-recruiter
Why every young grad beneficiates from a first experience in recruitment…
Meet Jana Lauwers, Event Manager at Strand
Like many young graduates, she didn’t really have a clue of what she wanted to do in her professional life. In 2016, she started as a junior recruitment consultant at Strand. Even though it wasn’t really her dream job, she learned a lot about business and herself. In fact, she believes her first experience opened a complete spectrum of job possibilities for her to pursue! Luckily she chose to stay at Strand as Event Manager! This is her story…
We hope it can inspire at least one young grad to take the leap into the wonderful world of recruitment consultancy!
Take a walk on the wild side
I came right out of school when I stepped into the world of recruitment and I cannot put into words all the crazy life-changing things I learned. If I have to pick one, I would say people management for sure. People are unique individuals with their own motivation, goals, and needs in life. It’s important to listen carefully and discover what their needs are. I believe that our Strand value, being humane, is one of the most important things we aim for. As a recruitment consultant, we make it a priority to make the most optimized match between candidate & client. You can only get satisfaction if you take the effort to care.
Dirty little secret
I am a sucker for competition. Deadlines, KPIs and pressure to achieve targets sound like music to my ears. The job of a recruiter is the perfect fit for a competition animal like me. You will never have 100% control over an application process because you are working with people. This makes it exciting and very rewarding if eventually you find the perfect match and reach your targets. The return you get from candidates, clients and your colleagues make you go the extra mile.
And then it kicked in. That moment you must drag yourself out of bed to go to work. We launched a new business unit within the company and aimed for new clients and candidates with only one task: a full day of cold calling. To be honest, I was very bad at it and completely lost motivation. Some people have a natural flow to do a sales pitch to people who are initially not interested, but I don’t! I lost my flow of joy and started looking for something that suited me better.
Don’t look back in anger
I will never regret the launch of my career as a recruiter, I would even advise anyone who graduates from school and has no clue about their future to take the first step into the crazy world of recruitment! There is so much to learn about the market, people and money. And there are a lot of opportunities which are normally not possible when you are fresh meat on the market.
I have to say that this job is not for the weak-hearted: a top-notch recruiter has to be motivated, loves a challenge and doesn’t back down when there is a setback. If you succeed, you will be rewarded like hell!
“Recruiters are sharks, only out for money!” It’s a shame that this is the common idea about recruitment. I strongly believe it’s not (I can only speak for Strand of course). We do care about the people we are working with and are always looking for new Strandies. I know it sounds like typical marketing bullshit, but I truly believe we can be an added value for both client and candidate.
Clients can use our service for the time they are short of. We are used to working under pressure and deliver in time. We invest in tools to look for candidates and can harvest from the database we built in the past ten years.
Presenting the clients’ dream jobs to candidates is not the only thing recruiters do. Candidates are facing issues with managing expectations, negotiations and preparation when they look for a job. A recruiter gets them fully prepared before they go on their first interview: tips on dress code, negotiate your needs, extra tips & tricks about who they will meet during the interview… Preparation is the key to success.
The circle of life
I noticed that tons of new recruitment consultancies are rising from the ground. I believe that the sector will get saturated if the market keeps growing like this. In my opinion, it’s important that big recruitment consultancies like Strand Associates - with 10 years of recruitment history - need to be bold but also keep a spotless market reputation. If we manage to do so, our company will definitely step up from second to the first place of “fastest growing company”.
If you consider becoming a recruitment consultant at Strand, here is one last piece of advice: don’t be scared of our CEO! He may seem like a hard-ass during the interviews, but he doesn’t bite.
Event Manager @ Strand Associates Consulting