8 Key Characteristics To Look For In Graduate Recruiters

It’s that time of year where a new class of graduates will be hitting the job boards in search of their first stepping stone into the world of work. But, in this day and age, it isn’t easy for a graduate to land a job straight after graduation.

The job market is fierce with tough competition and hundreds of candidates all going for the same position (not to mention it’s virtually impossible to secure a career in a chosen field of study).

That’s why many become attracted to the abundance of graduate recruitment consultant roles filling up the job boards; a majority promising in excess of up to £30-35K in the first year with all-expenses-paid trips to Ibiza or Las Vegas, lunch clubs to Michelin star London restaurants, and incentive prizes such as iPads and Rolex watches.

You’re inundated with new CVs everyday: some holding a glimmer of hope, others failing to hit the mark. You have consultant roles to fill and a tight deadline to fill them by, but don’t forget about the personality traits in what makes a great recruitment consultant. We’ve come up with eight key characteristics below to help you through the interview process…..

  1. Money-motivated with financial goals?

    It’s good to ask candidates about any short and long-term financial goals they may have—a deposit on a flat, a family trip of a lifetime to Florida, a dream wedding in the Surrey countryside: it’s a crucial part of the interview process as this will determine their level of self-motivation and aspirations to succeed.
  2. Able to communicate over the phone?

    Granted, it’s difficult to determine what candidates are like selling over the phone, don’t be afraid to incorporate some practical tasks in the interview process. Admittedly, it takes time out of your day, but you’ll be thankful later on—you don’t want to babysit someone who doesn’t know how to hold a conversation with key stakeholders.
  3. Have what it takes to be a top sales leader?

    You want a recruiter that’s a natural born leader; someone who strives to win, takes risks, promises results and isn’t afraid to show others how it’s done. Think of some scenarios you can incorporate into the interviews and get their responses. Furthermore, why not ask for examples on how they’ve exceeded expectations, and how they went about doing it?
  4. Resilient with a thick-skinned mentality?

    Recruitment isn’t all incentive prizes and trips abroad; it’s a tough industry with plenty of rejection to go with it, and candidates need to know this from the get go. Don’t shy away from saying exactly how it’s going to be day-to-day—it saves them (and you, too) from having to deal with a culture shock on their first day. Place much emphasis on the long hours, tough targets, next to no lunch breaks and having to wait around after 5pm to call candidates after the working day.
  5. Thinks outside the box?

    Conventional ways of doing things can certainly bring the results you need, but stepping outside the general comfort zone of searching through LinkedIn profiles shows a candidate is forward-thinking and can take ownership. Ask for some examples on how they managed to think outside the box and the results they achieved by doing this.
  6. Determined and ferocious?

    What makes them self-motivated enough to jump straight on the phones in the morning? An excellent recruitment consultant needs a determined work ethic to get anywhere in the industry. Sometimes it’s just not enough to hit the targets; you need to go above and beyond to really reap the benefits.
  7. Happy to research their sector?

    There’s nothing worse than a recruitment consultant that doesn’t know anything about the sector they’re working in. Knowledge gets you a long way, and you want new recruiters to carve out the time in researching the top influential companies and their managing directors. Maybe discuss their dissertations, the research methods they adopted, and how they could incorporate this into sales leads.
  8. Organised and able to multi-task?

    Finally, a consultant manages a number of accounts as part of the day-to-day tasks. Organisation and carving out enough time for each one is paramount. Candidates that can keep on top of daily to do lists and are able to work well under pressure will get a good head start. Think of some scenarios to mention in the interviews, and get their responses in how they would cope with managing multiple projects at one time.

The QPS Case — A Lesson In Why Recruiters Need To Cautiously Choose Suppliers

An elaborate VAT scam constructed by three members of the Copp family (Geoffrey, 55, his brother Andrew, 51, and son Joshua, 24) allowed them to live a life of pure excess, opulence and greed.

Whilst enjoying the many gambling trips to Vegas casinos and posing on private jets with cash-loaded briefcases, foreign manual workers were employed by the trio under the umbrella company Central Payroll Specialists (CPS)—later rebranded as Quality Premier Services (QPS)—to survive on minimum wage.

It was used by a number of recruitment agencies to oversee the salaries of thousands of temporary workers across industries such as construction, and, after information was passed on to Essex Police, it was found to have not passed VAT obtained from the recruitment agencies to HM Revenue & Customs; leading to a full-on joint investigation by the HMRC Criminal Taxes Unit and the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

A picture of a notepad found on Joshua’s phone detailing the VAT breakdown and how it was shared between the three parties was a considerable help to the detectives, and the notepad itself was later found at the QPS office near Rickmansworth.

In the aftermath of the case—which found up to £46 million in unpaid VAT and the scammers sentenced to a total of 27 and-a-half years—the global contractor compliance consultancy, 6CATS International, is urging recruitment agencies to make sure the suppliers they work with are fully compliant before building relationships. “This is an extreme case, yes, but it’s far from being an unusual one and over the past few years we’ve seen an increasing crackdown on firms that operate outside of the law and put the recruitment agencies they work for, and the contractors those agencies place, at serious risk”, says Michelle Reilly, 6CATS’ CEO.

“However, there are still many organisations out there under the misguided belief that they can somehow slip under the radar and, while few will be quite as extravagant as this one has been, it’s highly likely that they will be caught out. This will not only leave your firm scrabbling around to find a new supplier, but can also leave your contractors and even your agency at risk of a major punishment such as an unlimited fine or potentially a prison sentence.”

Reilly continues to suggest it will be even harder for those suppliers operating unethically in the wake of this case; considered to be the largest UK payroll fraud of its kind. “The potential gains for breaking the law are clearly high, but the risks are so much greater and with HMRC becoming ever more effective at tracking down tax evaders, those suppliers that are still operating non-compliantly will eventually be caught.”

“The government knows it can bring in revenue from chasing down those committing evasion and with the introduction of legislation like the Common Reporting Standard and the Criminal Finance Bill, it’s only going to become harder to get away with operating outside of the law. It’s now time for recruitment agencies to take the bull by the horns and take responsibility for ensuring their suppliers are operating compliantly before it’s too late.”

Writing this post has brought back memories of similar past incidences: the senior NHS agency manager jailed for two-and-a-half-years for defrauding the system out of £130,000, and both directors of One Stop Recruitment who failed to pay more than £245,000 of employees’ tax and NICs, to be exact. And, unfortunately, fraud and fraud risks associated with recruitment are commonplace and often overlooked by businesses.

There’s a need to recognise fraud-related risks to prevent both a damaged reputation and financial losses. Although the actions covered in this piece were carried out for personal financial gain, a failure to comply with the prevention, identification and detection of fraudulent activities will ultimately lead to criminal prosecution.

Hutt: “Employers Are Far Too Quick To Make Judgements On The Wrong Information”

Search Party is on a quest to redefine how companies around the world are hiring their employees. Its recruitment marketplace has attracted millions of professionals represented by over 1,500 recruiters and, together, they are making the hiring process faster, easier and more profitable for everyone involved. Here, we caught up with Search Party’s CEO, Ben Hutt to discuss the company’s continuing success, plans for the New Year, and why diversity should remain high on the HR agenda…

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