Recruitment breakdown – what exactly is recruitment!

What is recruitment?

Useful terms and what they mean

Candidate – a person who is is available for work and is put forward for vacant jobs

Client – a company or organisation that has vacant jobs that need to be filled

Placements/Filling jobs – successfully placing a candidate into a job with a client

Recruitment essentially works in two ways

The process of matching a persons needs and job requirements to those of an available position within a company.  Each person will have their own specific needs which will typically include things like, location, salary and benefits, job description, type of company and business sector and career development.

The process of finding and matching the needs and person specification of a company with those of an individual with those specific skills.  One again each company will have specific requirements that will include, qualification and skills, relevant experience, industry experience and a salary range.

Of course that is a very broad definition and companies and people alike have many more specific requirements that are unique to them. This makes recruiting for every job, every person and every company different.

A good recruitment consultant will be able to take the needs to both parties and match them as closely as possible through selecting only suitable opportunities for companies and people alike.

Jobs in recruitment

Recruitment Consultant Jobs

Recruitment consultant jobs vary between business sectors but there are key components to being a recruitment consultant that are crucial no matter the industry.  There are three main elements.

  • Developing clients/companies to recruit for through sales calls and meetings

  • Placing individuals into vacant jobs with clients/companies

  • Resourcing the relevant people/candidates for the jobs you are recruiting for

There is no specific order to the activities above and none are more important than the other.   For instance there is no point in having jobs with clients but you have no candidates to put forward .  Likewise there is no point in having quality candidates if you have no jobs to place them into.  So a balance of all three  activities is essential to be a successful recruitment consultant and therefore the ability to multitask is a must.

How to gain clients/business development

The number one means for developing new business and gaining new clients is through cold calling or canvassing as commonly referred to in the recruitment industry.  In simple terms this involves calling up businesses or organisations that you wish to provide a recruitment service for.  In some industries this could mean up to 50 phone calls a day and realistically a high percentage of those calls will result in a “no” answer on the first call.  Persistence is the key ingredient..  Studies have shown that it takes on average 6 calls to begin building trust with a client so that they give you a vacant job to work on, agree to a face to face meeting and in the best scenario, both.

Candidate generation/resourcing

This element of recruitment refers to the process of finding suitable people/candidates for all the various jobs that you are recruiting for.  The main approaches for generating candidates are through advertising, professional/social media networking and referrals.  Advertising involves writing specific adverts and posting them onto specialist job boards and in some cases running press adverts.  In the last decade the emergence of professional and social networking sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter have provided a new and powerful medium for recruiters to advertise and network through to find suitable candidate with specific skills.  The third and final means of candidate generation is the oldest and when done correctly, is probably the best, candidate referrals.  This is where an current candidate that you are working with is sufficiently satisfied with your service that they are happy to recommend colleagues and friends of theirs with different skills and attributes to themselves.  This is a quick and efficient way of generating candidates and it is also a great measure of the service you are providing your candidates.  If they are happy with the service they will refer people, if they are unhappy they will not.

Please see the illustration below which shows how gaining clients, filling jobs and resourcing candidates all interact with one and other.


The role of a recruitment consultant that is responsible for all three key elements above is known in the industry as a 360 Recruitment Consultant.  In simple terms it means that they look after all three aspects of business, gaining clients, resourcing candidates and filling jobs.  There are variations on this which are explained below.

Business Development Consultant

The role of a business development consultant is focused on gaining new clients to work with and recruit for.  The role is heavily sales focused and requires cold calling/canvassing potential clients to gain an opportunity to recruit for them and present them with candidates for vacant jobs they have.  To gain an opportunity to recruit for a client may take 6 or 7  telephone conversations and ideally a face to face meeting.  It will certainly include conversations where clients are not interested in speaking to you in any way and requires perseverance to get the chance to recruit.  A business development consultant is not typically responsible for the sourcing of candidates for shortlists.  This responsibility will fall to the recruitment consultant or the resourcer.


The role of a Resourcer focuses on the resourcing/generation of suitable candidates for vacant within client companies.  It requires you to advertise vacant jobs through various media. The vast majority is done online through specialist job boards and also through Linkedin, Facebook and other social/professional networks.  Press advertising is also used in certain industries and for certain job roles.  A resourcer will then deal with all the responses and select the best possible applicants for each individual job and provide this initial shortlist to the recruitment consultant.

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