Starting Out In Recruitment: Q&A With Dan Freeman

Starting out in recruitment can be tough says Dan Freeman in this Q&A series

Starting out in recruitment only 18 months ago, Dan Freeman has risen through the ranks at VIQU to Senior Delivery Consultant. His hard work and early success epitomises how experienced recruiters would have wanted to start out in recruitment.

So if you are interested in becoming a recruiter and want to progress quickly in this career path, learn from Dan’s advice and experiences below.

What were you doing before recruitment?

Dan: So, I graduated from the University of the West of England in Business Management with Marketing. I was keen on getting industry experience, so soon after I graduated, I became an Operation Support Executive at an Outsourcing company.

The job gave me a good basis for how a workplace operates. I quickly understood how processes can impact a business and learned how to best work with and collaborate with clients and colleagues. I think whilst I started out in recruitment with no experience, the key professional skills I had developed whilst working in operations transferred over and aligned really well.

What made you want to leave your initial career in operations?

Dan: I found that I wasn’t getting what I wanted from the role. I was often earning ‘Employee of the Month’ awards and hitting my targets and KPIs, however, I didn’t really have anything to show for it. It was minimal recognition – just a piece of paper saying, “Employee of the Month”. I didn’t feel valued or motivated in the job and was told by a few friends that recruitment could offer more.

So that’s what attracted you to starting out in recruitment?

Dan: Yes, I had heard recruitment could be a lucrative career, with companies offering great employee benefits and remuneration to those that are motivated to push for success. After feeling undervalued by my then employer, with little incentive for doing well, I was definitely intrigued. My next step was to understand how to get started in recruitment.

After starting out in recruitment at VIQU, you were quickly promoted to Senior Delivery Consultant. How did you achieve this?

Dan: When I was interviewing, I was given a great piece of advice – recruiters who do well always come into the office half an hour before their colleagues.

I’m not saying this is a foolproof method by any means! However, as a new recruiter, I would always do that. It allowed me to call and catch people before they went to work, got busy with the school run etc. I would also use it as my opportunity to really plan out my strategy for the day. Then, at the end of the day, I would set out what I needed to do and achieve the day after. I found that time management and organisation was key.

Becoming a senior member of the team was always a goal of mine. I was really focused on achieving a promotion and did all I could do to rise to the next level. I’m really thankful I had so much support from my manager Danielle Keegan and other members of the senior management team.

With their support, I was soon exceeding my targets and received my first promotion within 6 months of starting out in recruitment. Recruitment is such a fast-paced career where moving through the ranks is 100% possible for those who push themselves.

What does your current role look like now?

Dan: Since starting out in recruitment, I have moved from a ‘Delivery Consultant’ to a ‘Senior Delivery Consultant’ role. In essence, my role is to manage a team of 4 delivery consultants. I have my own focus and responsibility to deliver the right talent to the roles I’m currently working on, as well as making sure my team are performing.

We’ve also been growing as a team. So I’m now often involved in the recruiting and onboarding/training process. It has been odd but very fulfilling to go from being interviewed just a year and a half ago, to interviewing others and advising them on routes for how to get started in recruitment!

How have you found the change to management?

Dan: In my previous job, I did get some management experience, so I’m not completely new to it. But there is a definite change from being a junior employee to a manager. I ensure others hit their targets, supporting them with any issues or client calls, guiding them where needed. It can feel like a lot of work, however, the support is there from Senior Management. I’ve been given some great advice and help when I’ve needed to know how to navigate situations.

What has been your career highlight so far?

Dan: Last year, I exceeded my H1 target by 205%. This was such a big achievement and it meant I had the pleasure of attending VIQU’s H1 incentive! We went on a weekend trip to Faro, Portugal – visiting a vineyard, dirt road buggy driving, a day trip on a private boa… it was such an amazing experience! And I have to say, it felt much better than any of my ‘Employee of the Month’ rewards I used to receive at my previous company! After only starting out in recruitment 18 months ago, I would say it was a brilliant achievement.

Any tips for someone wondering how to get started in recruitment?


  • Focus on the little wins. Realistically you may only make a deal or two per month, and some months you may struggle to even secure one. That’s the reality of recruitment. Little wins such as getting a candidate to interview, securing them a second interview, or just having a successful conversation with a potential client, will help encourage you and keep you going.
  • If you want to earn big, work for it. Just jump into it. I followed the advice of always getting in early.Do the same. Follow the advice and tips from senior recruiters and focus on achieving each individual goal.
  • Choose a specialism you’re interested in. It makes the job so much easier if you like the area of recruitment you are specialising in. As a recruiter you do need to have knowledge about the roles you are recruiting for. For me, I’ve always found IT and tech really intriguing. This has made it much easier to learn more about that sector. Working in permanent recruitment also attracted me, as it gives me the opportunity to find people great jobs that they can really invest in and put down roots.

What are you looking forward to in your career going forward?

Dan: I am still very early in my career so there’s quite a lot I want to achieve. I’d love to eventually move into a Head of Permanent Recruitment position at some point and maybe even become a Director in the future.

For now, I’d like to focus on building my own desk more and manage more clients. There are several personal goals I want to achieve too. I’ve got a lot to look forward to and work towards!


If Dan’s story has interested you into starting out in recruitment, we have lots of trainee and junior roles available at VIQU, as well as more senior recruitment roles. Click here to view our careers page.

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