My Job As A Recruitment Consultant: Q&A With Matthew Hill
Are you interested in what a job as a recruitment consultant looks like?
I sat down with recruitment consultant, Matthew Hill, to find out what the role really entails. Matthew joined our VIQU Southampton office last year and has since gone on to build some great relationships with businesses in the Solent region, recently hosting a successful AI breakfast event for local businesses.
Q: How did you get into recruitment?
Matthew: Recruitment was my first proper job post-university. I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduating, but I liked the idea of sales and working in the corporate world. With prior experience in minor events and sales jobs throughout university, I always knew I needed a challenging career where I could engage with lots of different people. Naturally, recruitment seemed like a good fit. When I was a fresh graduate, I applied for a few places and my friend who was working for a major recruitment agency recommended me to their company. I applied and got it!
Q: Did you have any misconceptions about recruitment before you started?
Matthew: Not really. I didn’t really know what it was going to be like. I knew it was going to be very busy, hectic and sales-focused, and it’s definitely all of that and more! People often have negative connotations towards recruitment – usually because they know someone who worked in recruitment, but didn’t fit with the fast-paced pressurised environment. It is not for everyone, but for some, it can be one of the most rewarding careers around.
Q: What has kept you interested in recruitment?
Matthew: For me, my job as a recruitment consultant has always been about setting myself up to have a successful career where I’m kept interested and engaged at all times. You get to rub shoulders with amazing professionals – CEOs, tech entrepreneurs, start-up owners… the list goes on. Recruitment has given me so many fantastic opportunities to learn from distinguished individuals at the top of their game.
There’s also plenty of opportunities to expose myself to new challenges. I love being able to push myself in that way, to see if I can step up to the plate and do bigger and better things.
Q: You took a few years out of recruitment – what made you want to come back?
Matthew: After two years of working in recruitment, I wanted to explore life outside the corporate office for a bit and managed to secure a role in a growing events business. I met some great people (lots of famous people and celebs!), but I wanted stability and security. When Covid hit, all events came to a close and whilst we did our best to keep the company afloat by running online/ digital events, I began to worry about the longevity of it all. Recruitment offers financial freedom and some wonderful rewards. I was very glad to get back in the recruitment game.
Q: You were previously working in South Africa. Why did you decide to move to the UK?
Matthew: My wife and I wanted to move to the UK as South Africa does have its troubles. My wife is British and we always toyed with the idea of moving. We both felt that the UK offered more professional opportunities for us. We had been talking about moving to the UK for the last few years when the opportunity to work for VIQU came up.
Q: Is the UK market different to South Africa?
Matthew: It’s very different for a lot of reasons. One of the main variations is the UK contract market. It’s booming, whereas it’s not as strong in South Africa. Many companies there want permanent employees and there’s more of an expectation to be in the same company for a long time. Job hopping or career gaps aren’t as acceptable as they are in the UK. I’ve found learning about the nuances between the two very interesting.
Q: Why did you choose VIQU?
Matthew: It seemed like a great option. I had previously been specialising in financial recruitment and I felt like I had done good work building up my knowledge and experience in that area, but I was really interested in moving into a new industry focus. The tech sector is only getting stronger, so I wanted to hone my skills in the area. VIQU is a fantastic IT recruitment agency who were offering sponsorship for great recruiters from South Africa, so I went for it.
Q: What does your job as a recruitment consultant look like now?
Matthew: I work in 360 recruitment with my niche being BI & Data. My job as a recruitment consultant encompasses the entire recruitment process. I develop client relationships to bring potential business in, as well as sourcing great IT talent and following each candidate through the process from the first intro call to their first day in the role. I really love the variety of the role, especially having the opportunity to meet with clients face-to-face and really get to know how their business works.
Q: What have been your career highlights so far?
Matthew: Moving to the UK is definitely one of them. Arriving in a new country and job where I had to learn all about the UK job market, the different systems, and procedures were all difficult, but I proved that I could do it and I’m really proud of that. Specifically, I have managed to bring in new clients into the business and further expand on current accounts in Hampshire.
I also recently hosted a breakfast event on Innovations in AI. We had great speakers and many influential business leaders in the area attended. The atmosphere was fantastic and I’m very pleased to say it was a success. I can’t wait to do another event like it sometime in the near future.
Q: Any tips for anyone wanting a job as a recruitment consultant?
- You’re either going to love it or hate it, so if you are considering taking a job as a recruitment consultant, give it a try and you might surprise yourself.
- Don’t listen to everyone’s experience – it’s always good to hear from professionals in the field, but remember, the role is like marmite. So just because someone hated it doesn’t mean you will.
- If you’re confident in your abilities to get on the phone and talk to people, you will definitely do well in recruitment.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a really tough job with lots of ups and downs, so keep going.
If you’re considering looking for a job as a recruitment consultant, check out our interviews and blogs about recruitment from some of our other colleagues here. For our latest internal opportunities, click here.
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