Jumping the Fence from Internal Talent Acquisition to becoming an Agency Recruiter, here’s what I have learned
After 2+ years as an internal recruiter, Emily Conaghan decided to take the leap to agency recruitment and join our growing team at Hunt & Co. as an Account Manager (Technology). One month in the office and absolutely smashing it, we asked Emily to share her thoughts and lessons learnt from this career pivot from internal to external talent acquisition. Take it away Emily…
After a little over two years in an internal recruitment role that I loved, I’ve come over to Hunt & Co. to start my career as a Digital Talent Consultant.
I’ve jumped the fence and it’s not something that you hear about often. Usually, it’s the other way around – ‘agency recruiter joins large corporate in a talent acquisition role’. But to me, this move just made sense.
The transition from internal recruiter to agency recruiter means that I can do what I love (meeting great people and placing them into life-changing roles) on a much grander scale. Rather than just working with one business, I now get to work with businesses all over Brisbane and beyond.
Now, as I start to settle into my new role, here are ten lessons I learned as an internal recruiter that will be at the forefront of my mind as I start the next chapter of my career in agency land:
It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in an internal or agency recruitment environment, you’ll get the best outcomes when you focus on building relationships. Whether it’s with clients or candidates, being able to make real connections will always pay off ten-fold!
Know your stuff
Making sure that you’ve got all the information you need upfront. If you can make sure you get a really clear role brief from the start, you’ll avoid common pitfalls down the track. Asking your hiring managers to separate out the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘nice to haves’ is a great way of getting to the bottom of what you’re actually looking for when there’s a stack of resumes in front of you.
Dig In → What problems are you actually trying to solve?
In the flurry of resignations, you can often get swept up in the ‘need’ to replace your departing team member like-for-like. Rather than jumping headfirst into getting a job live, it’s often better off in the long run to take a step back and see this resignation as an opportunity to revisit the role and ask yourself some questions:
- Without this role, does the world keep turning? Does my business keep running? Is anyone in the team significantly impacted in terms of workflow or workload?
- Given a clean slate, what changes would I make to the existing role?
- What new role would I add to the business if I could hire anything or anyone?
- What changes can I make to this role that will best set my new hire up for success?
The Brisbane tech market is notorious for moving quickly and often. If you can be a bit flexible with your non-negotiables, you’ll find your candidate pool will open up and you’ll be thankful for it!
Go with your gut
If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right! Sometimes you can get caught up in trying to find someone to fill a role ‘yesterday’. But it often pays to slow down and follow your instinct to avoid making the wrong call or having to recruit for the same role two months down the track. Following your gut with an extra reference check or coffee catch-up may take an extra day or two but what’s an extra day or two in the scheme of things! Go with your GUT!
Always be networking
Your waiter, Uber driver, or Woolies checkout attendant could all be your newest team member, or introduce you to someone that will become your newest team member. Working in recruitment has given me a weird and wonderful interest in people and their careers, often getting caught up in conversations about why they do what they do. These conversations are network expanding, which is only ever a positive!
Some of the best feedback I’ve received as a recruiter is that when it comes to feedback, ‘clear is kind!’ Being able to provide candidates with feedback that is measured, considered and meaningful (i.e. clear) is the best gift you can provide. At the end of the day if it’s not the right fit, it’s not the right fit, but being able to provide clear feedback in exchange for your candidate’s time and effort is a great way to give some closure. It’s good for the candidate AND it’s good for your employer brand and personal brand.
Settle into unpredictability
The phrase ‘no two days are the same’ gets thrown around a lot, but in recruitment – it’s true! As recruiters, we work with people and lots of them. It’s a constant juggling act managing clients and stakeholders and candidates. When it comes down to it, try as you might, people will be people. They are unpredictable and they will follow their own gut, even if you tell them to follow your gut. The lesson here is to settle into unpredictability. Backup plans become your best friend and your ability to bounce back when things don’t go to plan will see you through.
Be genuine, authentic and honest
The biggest thing I love most about the Hunt & Co. team is that there is a genuine sense of authenticity and genuineness with each person of the team, I have got to experience it as their client and now their team member. We’re all striving for the same thing and we’re all aiming for the same goal of finding the right role for our candidates and the right candidate for our clients. As someone who has previously been a client for recruitment agencies, I think that’s the number one most important thing, knowing that the person you’re working with has your back and your best interests at heart. It makes a world of difference for outcomes!
Celebrate the wins
Recruitment is hard. There are times where it feels like you’re walking up a hill that never ends and you can’t see the top. BUT! Then there are the wins. The times where you get to call a candidate and tell them they’ve got the job are the moments that make you want to keep going because you know you’ve changed someone’s life, you have helped, you’ve made a difference.
This is two years of learning wrapped up into a nice neat package (and yes, it is no coincidence that ten is an incredibly aesthetically pleasing number…). I have no doubt there are far more learnings around the corner. I’m looking forward to experiencing them with the Hunt & Co. team and sharing them with you!
If you are looking to grow your team or ready for a new role in your career, get in touch! Contact us here.