Recruitment continues to be such a popular choice for both graduates and non-graduates – ticking so many of the boxes the best talent is looking for.

If you are a people person, have ambition and get a kick out of helping others then recruitment can be a great career choice.  You will get training support, have ability to earn (uncapped) commission early on and the career path is defined by performance / merit rather than politics or luck.  Motivated, positive individuals willing to put the work in stand a good chance of success.  There is no fixed formula for success ~ successful consultants leverage what they are good at – some are natural on the phone, others thrive from taking on challenges and building lasting relationships.  The common denominator is the ability to understand the client needs and match to candidates – a skill that computer algorithms and AI techniques is a very long way from replacing the human touch.

Some recruitment industry myths, that many believe, aren’t actually real in practice.  Often people believe learning a new market is too tough – it isn’t, it’s overcome with a robust training process and diligence in personal learning and improvement.  You will spend your first couple of months ‘building a desk’, talking to candidates and clients and learning ‘on the job’ about your market sector.  The best trainee recruiters immerse themselves in their chosen market.  For example, technology is such a broad field you will want to narrow down to a sub-sector e.g. DevOps, AI or testing.  This allows you to focus your efforts and, in time, become a subject matter expert.  You may even choose to augment your knowledge with online courses / certificates in your market such as basic Web development skills.  That gives you a ‘credibility edge’ to leverage – both candidates and clients that you engage with will quickly realise that you know your subject well and they will trust your advice and guidance.  Trust is everything in recruitment.

It’s not as lonely as you think.  You will be surrounded by like-minded colleagues that will want you to succeed and will help you grow your knowledge / market – it is not cut throat, treat others with respect and you will reap the rewards.

Recruitment is a high energy, fun and challenging world – put the work in and you will likely succeed.  

The most talented recruiters quickly realise early in their career that they could one day run their own recruitment company – this is a good thing and most employers will relish employing someone with BHAG’S (Big Hairy Audacious Goals).  There are over 30,000 recruitment companies in the U.K. and many are formed by talented recruiters after they tasted success (and saved some start-up capital!) working for others.

There are many factors to consider, here are just a few key ones to think about when deciding whether you have the motivation and desire to take the leap:


Life as a recruitment consultant strikes the balance between the skills graduates already have and the skills they’re yet to develop. On-the-job training and online learning, graduates can use one of their most proven skills – the ability to listen, learn and leverage information to improve their expertise.

In recruitment, no two days are the same and no single approach can solve every problem. When graduates choose recruitment, they’ll always be learning, developing and growing through their careers.


From the start, recruitment can be enormously varied. It gives graduates a chance to exercise a wide range of muscles, from sales and marketing to customer service. But as consultants begin to find their strongest areas, most recruitment jobs offer structured progression.  In some cases you will be running a team within 2 years of starting in the industry – few other careers give you an opportunity to lead others so early in your career. 

It’s a role that appeals to graduates because they can see long-term security and endless opportunity. As they learn new skills, they can take on more responsibility, work on more diverse tasks and – crucially – earn more money.


The big promise of an undergraduate degree is the ability to secure better opportunities and, ultimately, more money. But the realities of a hyper-competitive market mean that finding highly paid roles is much more difficult than it sounds.

Recruitment doesn’t just give people a chance to earn more money in five or ten years as they progress up the ladder. Most agencies offer a strong base salary with uncapped performance-related compensation, allowing graduates to take control of how much they earn from day one.  30% commission is achievable, don’t fall for agencies offering higher base salary and lower commission % – if you bill £100k in year two that approach is short sighted. 

Some agencies have a ‘desk fee’ meaning you don’t get commission on all your billings – that just isn’t fair, avoid them.  Back yourself and join a company that rewards you with commission commensurate with your financial ambitions and skills.

Ask what annual commission you would earn on £100k and £200k personal billings and when you will be paid – so that you can benchmark your prospective employers.

At Engage you would receive £20k and £60k respectively at these levels and paid the month after client invoice.  Some agencies pay when paid – that locks you in and can alter a decision to switch agencies down the line.  Be smart and do your due diligence to avoid the common pitfalls. 


Within a single role, trainees may work on accounts for multi-national clients or a tech start-up.  You will find your niche, hone your skills and within a short timeframe validate your decision to become a recruiter.

Finally, an important consideration – if, for whatever reason, recruitment isn’t for you then you will learn that early on and the skills you learned in recruitment will be transferable to other industries.

Give it a go!  The Engage Partnership ( has vacancies in both our Bristol (Runway East) and Leeds (Avenue HQ) central city offices.

Contact us for a confidential discussion – Lewis (Bristol 0117 450 7701), Andy (Leeds 0113 532 7701)

Start a partnership

Get in touch with one of our experts today!

Engage with us