Daniel Byrne, Finance Consultant at Cobalt Recruitment explains what it is like working in recruitment.
I came into recruitment having heard mixed reviews. Some friends had worked in recruitment and hated it. They had worked 14 hour days, found senior colleagues often ruthless and unhelpful, and commission thresholds ambitious to say the least. However, others had experiences that were the polar opposite with quick progression, great working environments, and the opportunity to really build a recruitment business area and make it their own.
For this reason I was exceptionally careful when selecting a potential employer. I read reviews, checked the internet, asked friends for advice and inside knowledge, not to mention ensured I interviewed with as many companies as possible to try and get a good idea of where I would fit best.
Ultimately my search led me to Cobalt, and after a selection process, I was lucky enough to be offered a position in the Finance Team.
From the offset I got a great feeling from the company. The office was fantastically located within Soho Square, a stones throw from Oxford Street. At the initial assessment day, one of the company founders introduced himself, his background, and why and how exactly he had decided to co found the company. I felt that this was a great touch, and really set the tone for my whole time with the company to date. Essentially, Cobalt treats every member of staff as an individual. The environment from my very first day was genuinely warm and friendly and contrasted dramatically with other companies where I had interviewed. Indeed, some other companies had felt like large conveyor belts swallowing up as many graduates as possible with a very blasé ‘sink or swim’ attitude.
My first months with the business were spent changing between teams to help build my real estate knowledge. I shadowed my colleagues and met with clients and candidates, which was brilliant. It surprised me as I know often employers tend to keep graduates away from employers. This spell really helped with my development and is a period of development not offered by many organisations within the recruitment sector.
Now as I come towards the end of my first year in recruitment, it is strange to think how far I have come. If you put the work in, the results do materialise. What I enjoy most is that I am not micromanaged. I decide the makeup of my days and weeks, depending on where I feel the need is. If I am not working on enough roles? Focus on meeting clients and business development. Struggling to find suitable candidates for positions? Make sourcing candidates and networking a priority. Some weeks I may hardly be in the office with external meetings throughout London with clients or candidates. Other weeks I may need to spend a lot more time at my desk ensuring contracts are sent, interviews are arranged etc.
To describe an ‘average day’ is exceptionally difficult as every day has the potential to be so different to the previous one, but if I had to try and describe one, it would probably go something like this:
Of course a major reason I believe for many people being attracted to recruitment is the potential for financial reward. Over the past few months as I have filled more positions. It is very satisfying to know that how much I earn is literally defined by me. The more I bill, the more I take home. There are incredibly few jobs where a graduate will be so instantaneously rewarded for hard work. Indeed in many industries graduates are expected to accept long working hours and poor salaries as almost a right of passage.
Throughout my time here, managers and colleagues have always been happy to provide advice and assistance and it is this culture which makes Cobalt different from many recruitment consultancies.
I could go on to discuss company parties, prizes, paid holidays, additional leave, free after work drinks and many other aspects that make the work life balance at Cobalt so appealing. However, these aspects are rather self explanatory. Overall my first year within recruitment has been a really positive experience, and definitely given me a hunger to build upon what I have achieved to date.
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Other articles that may be of interest:
Cobalt Recruitment is named as one of the Best Companies to work for in 2015
Interviews with Cobalt employees
Careers at Cobalt Recruitment