When I finally decided to venture into the recruitment world of Singapore, I was not sure what to expect. The job interviews I used to participate in for internships back in university were very different. One-round where a whole bunch of transferable skills are eloquently regurgitated to a set of behavioural and experience-based questions.
“Real-world” interviews are quite different, and for myself, I was able to use this lengthier process to learn about the industry. Google was also very helpful to understand the industry’s expectations from candidates. Some nights, I would be lost on the world wide web and end up watching some of the best scenes from the infamous 2000’s hit Boiler Room. This definitely skewed my perception of the industry early on. I was imagining early retirement by 30, with a couple of Ferraris parked out front on my mansion’s driveway.
In school, I always enjoyed Marketing so when I was presented with the opportunity to recruit within Ambition’s Sales and Marketing team I was glad to accept the offer. It definitely helped that I liked my future teammates and bosses and the firm had a respectable reputation in the industry. I am now nearing my 1-year anniversary with Ambition. No Ferraris (or any car for that matter) and I am probably not on the fast track to 30 and retired. But I have learned a lot.
Here are 6 reasons why I believe recruitment is a great first job.
- You think like a boss
Recruitment gives you a lot of autonomy, which is followed by accountability. Ambition is a specialist firm and as such, we all focus our recruitment efforts on a specific function and industry. You start thinking about your desk as a small business, a profit centre. What are the projections for the quarter? How will my performance affect the overall business objectives? The results are tangible and impact is immediate.
- You learn about the world
I am not sure if there is another job out there where you meet as many people as you do in recruitment. As the age-old cliché goes, every person is unique – you meet the successful, the not as successful, the driven, and the unsure. The job allows you keep up with the skill demands of the global market. You understand what typical career paths are and learn about the rewards and risks of taking the path less travelled. At the end of the day, you become more self-aware.
- You learn to listen
In recruitment, we work with our clients to find them an ideal candidate whilst simultaneously working with our network of candidates to find them their next job. It can be a long process and it can be hard to stay on the same page with everyone. Successful recruiters listen to needs, wants, goals, challenges before offering a solution. They ask questions to understand the situation, take out their self-interest from the equation, and build trust with others.
- You can pitch an idea
Sales is everywhere, all the time. Convincing your boss for that day off, or selling your partner on a movie, or even worse, a restaurant! Most sales roles teach you how to sell yourself and your business, but recruitment provides a great platform to work with a very unique product – a human being. As I said, each person is different so it requires you to stay innovative with your pitch being mindful that not everyone is motivated by the same things and different company cultures will appeal to different types of people.
- You prioritize like a pro
Recruitment is a fast-paced job and when starting off you can guarantee longer hours just to fit everything into your schedule. As you gain more experience, you learn the importance of qualifying your actions. Is it worth my time, money, blood, sweat, tears? Prioritization is the key to being successful – how can I ensure that my actions are multiplying my efforts and that they are always contributing my end goal.
- You respect the hustle
I am surrounded by some of the region’s most reputable recruiters as well as recognized mentors. Their work ethic is a clear sign that this an industry where you get back what you put in. Success breeds expectations so this job helps you to remain calm amidst the wins and losses. You can’t knock the hustle, and most definitely cannot leave anything in the job to luck.
In recruitment, every day is different and, as a result, so is the learning. You can take what has worked and hasn’t from today, and improve on it tomorrow. The learnings mentioned above are important to me because not only will they allow me to be successful as a professional, irrespective of career, but I am confident that they will hold merit in my personal life as well.