Starting a new job can be daunting. Especially if you are thinking about moving into a new industry.
At La Fosse, we want the best recruiters. But that doesn’t mean that we always hire recruiters. In fact, many of the best recruiters at La Fosse started out in other industries altogether - in IT sales, banking, software sales, publishing, real estate, or the charity sector. You name it, they worked there.
And in our experience, people who are considering moving into recruitment from a different industry often voice a similar set of anxieties, whether it be a lack of experience, change in pay, or losing a network they’ve spent years building.
However, while our recruiters all have different backgrounds, they all share some things: they have ambition, energy and a determination to be best. Which counts for a lot – if you’re passionate about what you do and have the drive to excel – you will almost always do well.
If you’re ready for a new challenge, but worried about starting over in a new career, we wanted to share some of the common anxieties people have about changing industry - and bust some myths.
1. I don’t know anything about technology - so how can I work in technology recruitment?
Some of the best tech recruiters have backgrounds in something else entirely. The recruiter Morgan Missen has worked at Google and Twitter and been described as one of Silicon Valley’s best recruiters. She has said that “even the worst engineer will be able to do things that you’re not able to do.” It doesn’t matter. Your job is not to be a programmer but to hire the best programmer out there. Otherwise you’d be applying for the job - not recruiting for it.
2. IT recruitment? No thanks. I’ve seen the IT Crowd. I don’t want to work with a bunch of geeks in trainers
We don’t get this a lot these days – but it's true IT once had a bit of an image problem. But the sector has changed beyond recognition in the last decade or so. Google, Apple, Instagram, SnapChat… Today, the biggest, coolest, most exciting and most important companies in the world are tech companies. And tech is transforming the world we live and work in.
3. I’ve spent years building up a network - if I move I’ll lose it
We have never hired anyone for their black book. And we insist everyone respects their agreements with their last employer around their contacts. So what's important is the skills you have developed when it comes to building and maintaining a high quality network - those skills are the same whether you’re in shipbroking, law, or other verticals in recruitment.
4. I used to manage an entire office - I can’t afford to start at the bottom again
You won’t be at the bottom. Recruiting companies know that someone who used to work in real estate and run a branch office can’t suddenly go back to earning next to nothing and living on the wages of a twenty-something. So they make allowances. Many recruiters will guarantee your pay while you build out your desk and get back to the levels of your old salary - and beyond.
5. It will take me too long to get anywhere in a new industry
It might take a bit more time, true. But not much more because skills are transferable. Besides, good things do take time. As Stephen Covey says, if your ladder is not against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place, faster. You’ll be in your career a long time: make sure you’re in the right one.
6. Recruiters - they’re a bunch of sharks, right?
Recruiting is like any industry. There are good people - and the not so good. Happily, there are ways to tell which is which. Chat to recruiters in the firm you’re considering joining. Ask if their company insists its recruiters treat everyone - candidate, or client, or cleaner - with the same care and respect. Ask if the company has schemes in place to encourage volunteering, or mentoring, or gym usage… You’ll pretty soon be able to see if you’re swimming with sharks - or in clear blue waters.
7. I’ve heard recruitment is too stressful
Recruiting can, it’s true, be a demanding job. But that’s largely if your time and energy are not managed properly. Many recruitment companies offer a plethora of employee wellbeing initiatives to help reduce and manage stress, from building strong support networks in the office, to promoting lunchtime gym use and healthy eating, to providing coaching and mentoring for their employees. At its best, recruiting is not a stressful job, but an exciting one. And one thing it never is? Boring.
So, are you at the top of your game, but ready to take on a new challenge? Then how about changing your game.
Some of our top performers originally joined us from other sectors like IT sales, law, financial services, software sales and publishing. We're simply looking for great people to join us, whether they are currently in recruitment or not. We can add the recruiting knowledge. Trust us. It’s what we do.