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Graduate Guide to Working in Recruitment

20 December 2019

by Karina Oluwo

( Words)

​The recruitment sector in the UK brings up to £30 billion into the economy every year, and for good consultants, progression through the ranks is rapid. Do a great job, and you could be quickly earning far more than your fellow graduates who have taken the traditional grad scheme route. It’s not for everyone though, and having an understanding of the industry will help you work out whether you can make a go of it or not.

Do I need to be a certain type of person?

Leaving your degree to one side, it’s certainly true that some types of people succeed more easily in the recruitment sector. Perhaps the most important factor is being able to get on with people. You’ll be spending most of your day on the phone to clients or applicants, in meetings, building relationships. Another key requirement is persistence and determination. The sort of person who likes every day to be the same, and to work in isolation, isn’t really cut out for the role.

Salary, Benefits and Commission?

The good news about recruitment is that the average starting salary for a graduate is higher than in other industries. Each company varies in their exact offer, but usually offer a basic salary – at La Fosse, between 23 and 28k, along with a fee for each vacancy you manage to fill. Once you progress to a billing role, you will also get commission based on hitting your sales targets. Some agencies might offer additional benefits (check out a full list of La Fosse's benefits here.)

How quickly can I get promoted?

Recruitment is unlike many other industries in that promotion is purely based on how you are performing, rather than your qualifications or length of time in the business. At La Fosse, the average promotion time from entry-level role to billing consultant is just 11 months. Fast promotion mean fast career advancement, and the chance to deal with more important clients and higher-profile vacancies.


Technology is rapidly changing the way we all work. Many jobs which were commonplace a few decades ago are no longer around. We’re always going to need people who can put applicants together with companies trying to recruit. A large part of the job depends on soft skills, interviewing applicants and getting to grip with what makes them tick. This isn’t something which can be easily computerised.

Opportunity to Learn

One of the advantages which graduates have over other people in the recruitment industry is that you’ve demonstrated your ability to learn and retain information through getting your degree. That’s all going to continue when you start in recruitment. As well as getting to grips with the recruitment agency systems, you’ll be expected to be quickly up to speed with your clients’ businesses too. As these could be spread over a wide range of industries, it could be quite a challenge. On the other hand, it gets you behind the scenes in a range of companies which is something your fellow graduate won’t ever experience.

If you'd like to learn more about why a career in recruitment could be the right step for you, please don't hesitate to get in touch at

Or for more insight read: 'Top Reasons Why Graduates Should Consider a Career in Recruitment' and 'What To Expect From Your First Job as a Recruitment Consultant'