An Insider’s Story - Recruitment, financial markets

I run the US office of a global executive search firm specialising in the financial markets.  I began my career in sales and found recruitment a relatively easy industry to get into as there are very few barriers to entry – as long as you have an aptitude for sales (ie a desire to make money!) and good communication skills you will find there are a lot of firms willing to take on graduates and second jobbers and give a lot of responsibility in a short space of time.  Earning potential is immediate and in many ways it is a pure meritocracy – most recruitment firms pay you a basic salary and a percentage of what you produce so if you make money you will get paid.  In my first year of recruitment I was living with an investment bank trader and making more money in bonuses than him.

You will need an outgoing personality as the job involves spending a lot of time on the telephone and regular face to face meetings.  Companies in pretty much every sphere of professional life in every single industry require recruitment firms – from nurses and builders through to lawyers and bankers.  Recruitment services exist at all levels of seniority from specialists in graduate recruitment to high end executive search covering board level appointments.

The best way to get into recruitment is to ensure you have a top quality presentable CV and send it out to firms specialising in sectors that interest you.  It’s often best to contact recruitment firms directly as they appreciate a pro-active approach – essentially this is what you will be doing once you get the job.  The best recruiters are those who follow the trends and events within the sector they specialise in and who spend time developing networks with the key professionals operating within that space.