"Thank you very much for the help you have offered. When I first contacted you through email, I was really surprised at how quickly you got back to me. The position you found for me fits me perfectly well, and I like it very much. Throughout the process, you have been so helpful, liaising very professionally and efficiently. Thank again for all you have done."Underground Production Geologist, South Perth
My Life as a Recruitment Consultant: Jane Lowney
(July 2012)Last year we published a series of posts entitled "My Life as a Recruitment Consultant", where we gave you the chance to meet our team, and also find out more about the day to day life of Recruitment Consultants. With some new team members, and some existing team members who have moved into more senior roles, we thought it was good to revive the series and introduce you to some more of our staff.
Jane Lowney specialises in recruitment for the Oil & Gas industry in Australia, with a particular focus on Oilfield Services Companies. Jane has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil, Structural & Environmental) from CIT in Ireland. Jane has almost 2 years recruitment experience, beginning her career recruiting for the Middle East before relocating to Australia. Jane enjoys travelling, water sports and snow boarding.
How did you get into recruitment?Recruitment is unusual in that most people “fall” into it. It's not a career that you give much thought to but I had decided that I didn't want to pursue a career as an engineer, as I felt my skills and interests were in client relationship management and sales, so I decided to apply for recruitment roles for the engineering sector to make use of my qualifications.
How easy or difficult did you find it to pick up the basics of the recruitment role?I found it quite easy to pick up the basics of the recruitment role, however I am still learning and feel this is part of the appeal of a career in recruitment. No two days are the same and every client and candidate is treated as an individual so you have to adapt accordingly.
What sort of things do you do on a day to day basis?My day usually is a mix of talking to candidates and clients and understanding what their individual needs are. I also receive a high number of queries and applications for roles I am working on and also check references, present offers and negotiate salaries for the candidates I am representing.
What are the best parts of the job?The best parts of the job are finding someone a role which they are extremely interested in, assisting a client in hiring someone they have been trying to find for a long time and winning new business.
And which are the worst parts?When someone lets you down; whether it is a candidate who doesn't accept an offer or a client who promises to be in contact and they are not. It can also be a bit difficult to tell people they have not been successful when they are hoping to receive an offer.
What was the biggest mistake you made as a novice recruiter, and how did you deal with it?In the beginning I didn't listen to people enough, and if a client mentioned a role they potentially wanted to fill I would take it as an immediate requirement whereas it may not have been a huge priority and I would end up wasting my time. Now I listen and ask more questions to understand exactly when they want someone, etc.
As a novice recruiter I also talked too much: I tried to show people I knew what I was talking about and now I realise that recruitment is all about listening and listening for what you don't want to hear, which is key.
How do you think the recruitment industry is perceived by our clients and candidates?I feel the recruitment industry has a negative connotation overall. I believe individual recruiters have good and bad reputations depending on their performance. Some clients can see the value recruiters can bring to their business. Others have had bad experiences and tar all recruiters with the same brush so it really depends on the experience they have had.
Candidates rely on recruiters to move in the marketplace but often experience poor communication or a lack of feedback from recruiters which does not help recruiters reputations in the marketplace.
How do you differ from your competitors in the same field?I believe I have 3 key traits which differentiate me from my competitors:
- . I spent 4 years studying Engineering so I feel I have an edge in terms of my technical understanding of roles. I also am more confident to interview senior candidates about their experience as I have an understanding about what they do.
- . I have a very strong work ethic and am extremely honest with my clients and candidates which they respect. If I can't help I will tell them, if I can, I will. It really is as simple as that but this is one of the most frequent complaints against recruiters.
- . I understand people and never push candidates into a role they don't want or clients to take someone they are not sure of. My goal is to have long term relationships with my clients and this is built on trust so that is what I strive for.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in recruitment?Try it! It is the only way you will ever know if you like it or not. Someone can explain the role and the highs and lows all they like but until you experience it you will not know if it is for you or not. You have to be a resilient, competitive person who doesn't take set backs personally and you must be comfortable in approaching people you don't know.
If you are considering a role, talk to people in the industry and make connections on Linkedin. Most groups offer answers to questions and a bit of guidance when you're starting out.