What qualifications do you need to become a recruitment consultant?
What kinds of training and experience are required to become a recruitment consultant?
And do you really require any of them?
This is a question that comes up very frequently for me, and it’s great to see that people are interested in the sector.
And I genuinely believe that it is the perfect place to be since the skill shortage is developing in a number of different areas, which means more work for staffing agencies, and also it gives a tremendous and business opportunity because it is the correct place to be.
If you want to be able to answer the question “what qualifications do you need to become a recruitment consultant,” however, there are several myths that need to be debunked first.
And believe me when I say that you might be taken aback by it.
For instance, if you are not involved in the sector, you could assume that the majority of recruitment consultants have a background in human resources (HR) or a degree in HR; however, this is not at all the case and it is rather the exception!
Why is this ?
Because recruiting is a sales job!
When you have a background in human resources or a degree in human resources, and if you are interested in recruitment, it would be for an internal recruitment function as an in-house recruiter or talent acquisition consultant, for example, which is completely different from external recruitment and working for a staffing agency.
But then, what kind of degree do recruitment consultants typically hold?
In order to respond to this inquiry. There are two very significant points that should be brought up at this time.
And the first one is a feature of the recruitment industry that I truly appreciate: they are not reluctant to provide younger professionals with opportunities, and a significant number of recent graduates are among those they hire. They provide them with training as well as support!
Because of this, having knowledge of it is beneficial, particularly if you find yourself in the aforementioned circumstance.
The second significant point to take into account:
If recruitment consultants often have college degrees, the fields in which they specialize and the subjects they study are likely to be quite diverse, ranging from business management to political science and even philosophy.
And this can be understood by considering the following three factors.
The first reason has to do with the fact that there is no school that will actually and concretely prepare you for a job in sales anyway.
And as a consequence, staffing agencies will give the necessary training for you to gain the skills to do the job, and that is why they can afford to hire for attitude and train for skills.
However, it goes without saying that the more you can demonstrate that your background is likely to help you in being a recruiter, the better off you will be.
If you have a background in marketing or business management, for instance, it is pretty simple to comprehend how such knowledge could be valuable.
The same is true if you have a degree in psychology or communication.
However, if you have a background in art history or philosophy, it may not be as evident to you.
Nevertheless, it is in no way a point of contention or obstruction.
Your demeanor and your soft talents will always come out on top.
Do you actually need a degree to become a recruitment consultant ?
But if there is no school that prepares you for the job anyway, if staffing agencies provide the necessary training for you to do the job, if recruitment agencies hire for attitude and are not afraid to invest in juniors and people with experience, then the question is, do you actually need any degree to become a recruitment consultant?
Because it helps to demonstrate some of the skills that you need to become a recruitment consultant such as the resilience, being coachable, handling pressure, facing adversity, being a self-starter, etc., a degree will be appreciated, especially in the context where you are not hesitant to hire people with no experience.
But if we’re being completely honest, that’s the only explanation. Even if your degree could be helpful for the reasons that were just discussed,
A degree is in no way required nor a must have.
The truth of the matter is that the staffing sector is not only highly eager to recruit juniors, but is also fairly open to hiring people with no degree, a non-linear path, or varied backgrounds.
And this is yet another aspect of the recruitment market that I find to be very appealing.
The concept of meritocracy is deeply ingrained in the fabric of the business world, which helps explain why this is the case.
Only your performance and achievements will be taken into consideration by the traditional model of employment agencies; having a degree or other certificate will not help you advance in your career.
In addition, it is not unusual to encounter directors or high-level managers who do not have a degree in their field.
Must have skill
Therefore, the only hurdle that I see would be the language barrier. If you have the soft skills, the mindset, and the appetite for a sales position, then the only barrier that I see would be the language barrier.
If English is not your first language, it is imperative that you learn it as soon as possible.
To what end?
Because it’s possible that people on both the client and applicant sides won’t be able to communicate in the local language.
This is especially the case if you operate in specialized sectors where knowing English is all that is required to perform the duties of the job.
Therefore, in order to respond to the question, what kinds of credentials are required to become a recruitment consultant? The first thing you should know is that you don’t require any previous experience, but any previous sales experience will be appreciated.
Number two, any degree could theoretically accomplish the job, but the more you can demonstrate that it will help you as a recruiting consultant, the better off you will be.
And last, with regard to point number three, having a degree is, without a doubt, advantageous, but it is by no means essential.
Therefore, if you only have a high school diploma, you can still work in the recruitment industry as a consultant.
However, having some sort of first-time sales experience will be really valuable in this context, and it doesn’t even have to be anything particularly flashy.
It could be working for a few months in a call center, for example; it is just about demonstrating that you know what it takes to do a sales job because to get into the recruitment industry, the most important thing is your ability to demonstrate that you have the soft skills and the attitude to do the job. You can use anything from your professional or personal life to demonstrate that you are coachable, to demonstrate that you are resilient, to demonstrate that you are ambitious, and to demonstrate that you can handle pressure.
You should also be aware that staffing companies are always looking for new employees and have a hard time finding qualified candidates.
Therefore, if you have any interest in this business at all, you should not hesitate to get involved in it. As a side note, I am now working on a film in which I will share my best advice on how to get your first job in recruitment, regardless of what your background is.