What is it like to work in Recruitment nowadays, compared to the "bad old days"?

Posted on 17 May 2022

What is it like to work in Recruitment nowadays, compared to the

​About 9 months ago, in an attempt to generate (some) activity whilst in the grip of the greatest Recruiter talent drought we’ve ever seen, I begrudgingly (re)embarked on a “new” chapter of my R2R career that I thought I’d happily left behind in London in the mid 2000s.

And now I bloody love it!

I’m talking about placing young sales talent into the Recruitment Industry.

Back in London, I used to place lots of Rookies into the jungle that was the the UK IT recruitment market.

Every time I made a placement, I felt guilty.

What would become of these innocent people? Was it right that I got paid for young people to have their souls ripped out?

The industry would chew them up in weeks, spit them out, and they’d never be the same again.

It was “dog eat dog”.

Less “sink or swim”, more “drown or be eaten by sharks”.

Very few survived. Even less thrived.

The drop out rates were extraordinary.

So when I arrived in Australia 15 years ago, I vowed never to place another Trainee ever again.

My hands would not be stained with the blood of young Recruiters ever again.

If I had any chance of getting into the big recruitment agency in the sky, I knew I must only place experienced Recruiters. (You know, the ones who had already willingly sold their souls!)

But fast forward to 2021, the Recruitment Gods had different plans.

They forced my hand and made me realise that the time had come, once again, to lead these lambs to the slaughter.

So, through gritted teeth, I jumped back into the world of introducing young people to Recruitment.

I guiltily made a few placements, then peaked nervously through my fingers to see what kind of carnage would unfold.

But to my amazement, the most wonderful thing started to happen.

These young Trainee Recruiters turned around and said “thanks”… Seemingly grateful to be working in the Recruitment Industry.

Some even told me they were enjoying it, saying things like “it’s exactly what I was looking for”, and “it’s much better than I expected it to be!”

I was confused.

But, then the penny dropped.

This wasn’t London in the Noughties.

It was Australia in 2020’s… A world wiser and kinder, more patient and empathetic, because of what we’d learned courtesy of Old Mate Covid.

The Recruitment Industry was now an industry that would nurture young people with kid gloves, and show them the path to success… Rather than chuck them in at the deep end with a fax machine tied to each ankle.

So, in turn, though initially cautious, I started loving this part of my job. Feeling immense pride in helping and guiding these young people get their foot on the first rung of the Recruitment ladder.

I also think this is something that the Australian Recruitment Industry has long since needed.

We’ve depending on the Pom brigade for too long. (I can say that, because I’m a Pom!)

It’s wonderful to have an army of young Australian people embracing an awesome career in Recruitment.

And I’m proud to play my small part in helping that happen.

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