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Ask A Pro: What It’s Actually Like Working In Recruitment

Karina Oluwo

23 August 2016

by Karina Oluwo

( Words)

We spoke with David Roberts, Associate Director of Contract Recruitment at La Fosse Associates, who shared some insider info on what working in recruitment is actually like.

Q: Firstly, how did you get into the recruitment industry?

A: Well I had first heard about the industry through a family friend. At the time, I had just received my law degree and I knew I didn’t want the railroaded and predictable five to ten year career path.

After speaking with a few more contacts, I realised I was attracted to the meritocracy of recruitment and the possibility of building something great. After meeting with the La Fosse team I quickly realised there was a huge opportunity and potential to join a fast growing business with a great brand.

Q: Before you knew anything about recruitment, what were your expectations of the career?

A: Initially, I really didn’t know anything about recruitment, so wasn’t sure what to expect. After speaking with La Fosse and a few friends who worked in the industry I had a feeling it would be high pressure and hard work, which it is!

What I wasn’t expecting was how rewarding the career would be and how much I would learn from the people I worked with every day. I think a lot of this has to do with La Fosse, but I believe in general the industry is really well suited for ambitious people with an entrepreneurial spirit who are keen to rapidly develop their career.

Q: What’s your story been in recruitment so far?

A: I started my career in recruitment at La Fosse as a researcher in the contracts division. Over time I built my own customer base and eventually a team in the Cloud Services Market. After leading this practice for a few years, we grew to over 15 consultants and were the most profitable desk in the contracts team in 2015. Today, I am an Associate Director, responsible for running and managing the contracts division at La Fosse.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in your life?

A: Every morning I wake up at 6am with a strong coffee before heading down to the gym. I’m at my desk by 8am and spend the first few hours calling customers. Then from 10am on the day turns into an exciting whirlwind of interviews, pitches, events and a lot of training with the team.

Q: What are some of the most satisfying aspects of the job?

A: For me it’s been seeing the business grow by delivering a first rate service to candidates and clients. The company is now six times the size when I joined in 2010.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face on a week-to-week basis?

A: The most important part of this business is the people who work here and the culture we’ve created. So our main challenge is to ensure we maintain this collegiate and ambitious working environment as we grow by remaining committed to hiring only the Top 10% of talent. We are a rapidly growing firm, but are not willing to compromise on our culture for growth.

Each week this means I dedicate a significant part of my day to interviewing potential hires, and ensuring my team are properly supported through targeted training, on-the-job learning, and quarterly appraisals.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to switch careers into recruitment?

A: Research is key. Do as much as possible into the industry and company you’re planning on working for.

Are there any perks you have in recruitment that you can’t easily get in other industries?

A: The freedom to make decisions about how much you structure your day and your own business plan from a very early stage.

Q: Lastly, why do you think recruitment isn’t really pushed as a career option at universities?

A: Vocational faculties at universities (law, engineering, etc.) tend to have links to the companies within their industry and therefore focus solely on those career paths. Also, I think it’s quite a misunderstood industry. A lot of people who haven’t worked in the industry tend to associate it with HR and operations, whereas in fact it’s far more similar to management consultancy and professional services such as law or accountancy.

David Roberts is proof that you can climb the ladder quickly in the recruitment industry by working hard. Learn more about the many career opportunities waiting for you by contacting Karina Oluwo at

To find out more about what it's like working in recruitment, have a read of:

What's Recruitment Like? #1

Whats Recruitment Like? With Sam Potter

Graduate Guide to Working in Recruitment