Looking for a new career? Here’s a 3-minute read of Akhil’s experience of being a graduate looking for a job and deciding on a career in HR recruitment
Turning a new leaf:
Following my graduation with a degree in Law and Economics, I jumped into a legal career, working in a fee-earning capacity as a paralegal. Whilst I found the work interesting and stimulating, it didn’t feel like what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. We spend a substantial amount of our time at work, I thought I may as well enjoy it! I threw caution to the wind and joined Pro soon after. Below are my thoughts on the experience so far.
After an intensive 6 weeks of training, I graduated from the Associate Consultant programme at Pro-Recruitment. Whilst I had done interesting work within all the sectors that Pro specialises in, I gelled with a couple of sectors in particular – due to the emotional intelligence of the teams who work within them, the nature of the work and the quality of candidates I worked with. I ended up choosing to work exclusively within Pro-HR, as much as they chose me!
Fast-forward to January and I am well settled within the HR team, with no regrets. I’ve learned a substantial amount within a short period of time which is a credit to the duality of the team’s coaching approach; nurturing and supportive, yet constructive and fair in their criticism. From soft skills such as negotiating, influencing, listening and understanding a client or candidate’s needs, to technical skills involving efficient use of Applicant Tracking Systems, understanding the HR sector in depth, headhunting, matching and the entire end-to-end recruitment process, I feel eager to learn more.
Why I chose HR:
I took to HR as a sector naturally, having worked closely with my colleague Richard Grove (an experienced senior consultant in HR), during my initial training. The nature of the clients we work with allow me to truly enjoy my work, from world-renowned Russell Group Universities to international charities with noble causes. Visiting these organisations and conversing with their HR leaders allowed me to get an in-depth understanding of exactly what and who they were looking for, as well as forge lasting relationships - based on professionalism, accountability, commitment, and trust. These values extend across Pro-Group as a whole, with different teams specialising within Marketing, Tax, Legal and Finance, as well as HR.
At Pro-HR, we pride ourselves on specialising in senior end recruitment, primarily within Public Sector, Higher Education and Charities, allowing us to provide a precise and personal service to both our candidates and our clients. In time, with the growth of the team, we will look to diversify to the Private Sector. This ‘quality not quantity’ attitude gives me real satisfaction and I particularly enjoy finding and building relationships with candidates who are lateral thinkers, shapers and influencers. My aim is to build a robust understanding of the HR sector, with particular respect to the issues it faces and match-making candidates who are positioned to provide solutions with forward-thinking organisations.
Emotional Intelligence and recruitment:
I spoke briefly about emotional intelligence earlier and I’d like to discuss my thoughts on its value in recruitment a little more. Emotional Intelligence is defined by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, in their influential article as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions’
Whenever we meet anyone, we go through active and subconscious thought processes, where we gauge mannerisms, measure responses, amongst other qualities. Possessing innate emotional intelligence and developing it actively, in my opinion, will always allow us to provide the best service to clients and candidates – and therein lies the value of what we at Pro-HR and the wider Pro-Group do.
Especially within senior end recruitment and my experiences in HR as a sector, it’s clear to me, even in the infancy of my recruitment career that a candidate is not just defined by their qualifications or their CV, nor is an employer defined by their job descriptions. To this end, we endeavour to only work with clients and candidates we have personally met, to allow us to dig deeper and get a shrewd insight into motivations, culture, and fit. Meeting our candidates and clients personally allows me to build a rapport that allows me to identify who stand out, and who I want to pro-actively work with.