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When the 9-5 makes the 5-9 worth it

09/04/18
Posted by: Louise Plummer

So, that time of the year is coming round again, when students graduate from university, and are faced with a frenzy to secure their first “proper” job on their career path. Granted, there is always the flurry of ‘Trainee Recruitment Consultant, earn £120k in your first year’, ‘Graduate Recruiter, all expenses paid break to Dubai plus £70k take home’ ads to grab your attention, but what really is recruitment? Is it really all that the adverts promise?

It’s common for most people to ‘fall’ into recruitment as their first job out of university, or even more commonly when they meet a recruiter for a new opportunity, end up joining the consultancy themselves.

When I left university, I ‘fell’, quite literally, into recruitment. Hook, line and sinker. Starting as a Sales Administrator for a high-street recruiter in Rochester, I swiftly moved into temporaries recruitment, predominantly on the industrial side. I then moved organisation where I worked on Office and Commercial roles, both temporary and permanent, before joining TDM Recruitment.  

Off the back of this, I have become the Talent Manager for TDM, now managing our own internal recruitment process, sourcing the latest, greatest and fresh talent to join our ranks, from trainees up to director level.

Recruitment, admittedly, has something for everyone – be it the intellectual challenge, the sales buzz, benefits, or purely the fat pay packet at the end of the month that you aspire to.

It’s about working to client briefs, finding new staff that excel their expectations, with the best candidates not necessarily actively looking, but are passive in the market.

It is engaging with Sales Directors who have settled for 20 years and then one day convincing them to try something new. It’s about working with a parent who is looking to go back to work after having children and doesn’t know HOW the market works. The sense of reward and satisfaction is incomprehensible, knowing that you have the capacity to positively impact peoples lives.

More often than not in recruitment you’re going out on a limb and promising to eat your hat if the person you stick your arm on the line for doesn’t work out, because you just know that they are right for the team and role. It’s about understanding a company culture, building teams and advocating businesses as a great place to be a part of.

That being said, recruitment is not your average 9-5 role. Undoubtedly, when starting out in recruitment, you will be working in excess of these hours. Its not uncommon for trainees/graduates to be first in the office, building your candidate base and speaking to candidates when it’s suitable for THEM. To put it bluntly, switching off at 5pm doesn’t happen either.

Speaking from experience, if someone calls you at 1.30pm on a Saturday afternoon when you’re putting together an Ikea table, and have your leg in the air holding up the table top, you still answer the phone, because who knows when you will next have the chance to speak to them? If someone calls you at 8.30pm whilst at yoga, because they have an urgent requirement, you’ve got it, you answer. Believe me, we’ve all been there, laying on the office floor having a paddy. But, when it all comes through, above and beyond anything else, it is all worth it.

At TDM we do things differently to your average high-street or London recruitment agency.

We don’t just offer you a free car parking space and basic salary, welcome you through the doors on your first day and drop you 200m in at the deep end, with no hope of treading the water.

At TDM we pride ourselves on cultivating our own talent from within, from trainee right through to associate director. As a result, 16 members of the team have seen promotions over the past 12 months. One of our Associate Director’s started as a Trainee just 2.5 years ago.

We don’t lie about potential earnings, or flash fancy holidays (NB: the ‘all expenses paid’ comes with a tax surrender, the ‘fuel card’ also canes your tax code… it’s never free). We’re upfront about what we offer. ALL trainees coming into our academy start on a basic of £18,000. Realistically in your first year, working hard, you can take home around £30,000 - £45,000, depending upon the effort that you put in. That’s an extra £12k bonus on top of your salary.  That’s £1000 commission per month. That’s billing average per month and getting a slice of it. AVERAGE. Middle of the road. If you want the £50k whack, then you put the time in and it comes off.  

We’re transparent about earnings and benefits elsewhere across the business, the levels of consultant, and how to reach them. You want to know what your team leader is earning and how to get there? We volunteer the information.

We are renowned in the residential property industry for our market expertise and the service we deliver to our customers. The levels of repeat business speak for themselves.

Recruitment isn’t just about what you know, it’s about who you know too. The best teacher I had in recruitment was the Director that I worked under for two years’ in my second role, who had industry experience coming out of her eyeballs and grew me from someone pretty clueless into someone with a well-rounded knowledge of the market, with an understanding of the ‘hows and whys’ in recruitment. I needed that structure of learning and someone to bounce off of, particularly in the competitive market we were in. She was a fountain of knowledge to drink from, and that’s the best way to succeed in recruitment. You learn, learn and learn.

Our Talent Academy has been fruitful so far and we have enjoyed a number of successes, including that of our Associate Director as mentioned earlier. One our Trainees, Josh, who started in early 2017, has progressed from Trainee Recruitment Consultant, through 3 levels to Senior Consultant within a year. You wouldn’t find those opportunities elsewhere. Josh succeeded by following our 12 week training programme. Josh coming from 10 months minimal recruitment experience, and Faye, our Associate Director, from no recruitment experience whatsoever, they are the proof in the pudding that you can succeed at exceptional speed by learning the trade from the knowledge within the business. They are keen to share their experience and knowledge with inexperienced consultants, allowing them to benefit just as I did.

But, it’s not all about career here either. We recognise that different people have different motivations in life, diverse things that make them turn up for the daily grind. We understand that at times, employees can’t give work their all, people have other priorities. Two and half weeks into starting at TDM Recruitment Group, my Dad unexpectedly passed away. Without a seconds’ thought I was given time off, no questions asked, to sort things out, returning intermittently over the next 6 weeks, with no pressure. I know this is exceptionally rare, particularly in a sales-based environment. It’s about recognising that people are humans too and that’s what we pride ourselves on, and if you’re not on the ball whilst you’re here, then what’s the point? You start afresh when you can.

So, the real question we want answering, is why recruitment, and why TDM? The simple answer is that recruitment is everchanging, it will keep you on your toes on a daily basis, speaking with a whole host of different people. It’s a dynamic and sociable career, that rewards you in more ways that one. We work in the London way, in a Kent location, so suits those not looking to make that journey up town on a daily basis.