What Does A Recruitment Consultant Do? A Complete Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Knowing what a recruitment consultant's job is can help you determine what you need to do to have a successful career in the field. Regardless of your previous education and professional experiences, knowing the main characteristics and responsibilities of a recruitment consultant role can help you prepare for the job. Getting a job as a recruitment consultant can be a valuable career move, but it requires knowledge and determination. In this article, we discuss what a recruitment consultant does, how you can become one and important skills for the role.

What does a recruitment consultant do?

A recruitment consultant performs several duties to act as a link between companies and potential candidates. These responsibilities can help you answer the question, "what does a recruitment consultant do?":

  • using their networks, along with sales and marketing techniques, to find viable companies and convince them to externalise their recruiting process

  • performing extensive research on client companies and their open positions, in order to get a better understanding of what the respective companies do, what their internal work culture is, the standards they set for new employees and any other relevant piece of information

  • visiting client companies regularly to establish positive working relationships

  • advertising their client companies' open positions through various media, such as websites, newspapers and networking events

  • finding potential candidates for open positions and contacting them

  • researching candidate databases and finding potentially suitable candidates for their clients' open positions

  • reviewing resumes and cover letters

  • conducting tests and interviews with potentially suitable candidates and short-listing the most qualified ones

  • providing candidates information regarding the open positions and hiring organisations

  • communicating with candidates after their interviews and discussing the results

  • negotiating employee salaries and job benefits, as instructed by client companies

  • mediating any negotiation between job candidates and employers regarding salary, benefits, training and career advancement

  • reviewing and improving their recruitment policies to ensure a higher rate of proposed candidates that get hired by client companies

Related: Recruitment Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

What is the required education for a recruitment consultant?

There is no prescribed education background for recruitment consultants. But recruitment consulting is a competitive career field, and many companies and agencies may prefer candidates with higher secondary education for the role of recruitment consultant. You can pursue any stream in higher secondary school to become a recruitment consultant. If you are interested in pursuing higher academic credentials with a career in recruitment consulting, it is beneficial for you to pursue an HR or business-related degree. For working with specialised recruitment agencies and firms, you may also consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in their focus domain.

With industry knowledge, work experience and higher academic credentials, you can pursue administrative positions in large agencies or companies that work in this domain. You also have the option of starting your own business venture in the field of recruitment consultancy. Popular undergraduate courses to pursue include BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration), BBA in Human Resources, BBA in Human Resource Management and BBA in Global Business. Popular master's courses include MBA (Master of Business Administration) in Human Resource Management and MBA in Global Business.

Recruitment consultant work environment

The most prominent employers for recruitment consultants are employment and recruitment agencies. Some companies with larger scale of operations and a massive workforce may have in-house recruitment consultants working for them. This is common in specialised domains like banking and law. Recruitment agencies may also specialise in a particular professional domain. For example, you could choose to work as a recruitment consultant for an agency that specialises in outsourcing visual design or content writing work for several multinational companies.

Consultants in this domain may typically follow regular office hours, but with tight schedules and unconventional work hours around important deadlines. Consultants are usually salaried employees and may receive bonuses based on their performance, from companies, clients or agencies that hire them. Recruitment can be a strenuous activity and may require you to pursue periodic goals and compete with other professionals in your domain. This makes a recruitment consultant's job role similar to that of a sales executive.

What are the most important skills for a recruitment consultant?

If you want to become a recruitment consultant, consider developing the following skills:

Sales and negotiation skills

Recruitment and talent management are domains that are very similar to sales, with professionals working towards fulfilling periodic quotas and finding lucrative business opportunities. Consultants work constantly to find potential clients, companies and candidates who can benefit from their expertise and services. They require good negotiation skills to ensure fair compensation, both for themselves and for the candidates they represent.

Communication skills

Communication is a large part of a recruitment consultant's day-to-day activities. Professionals in this domain may constantly stay in touch with a variety of people, including candidates, company executives, agency supervisors, recruiters and other consultants. As a consultant, you may also have to send emails, prepare texts and communicate effectively in the written format. You may benefit greatly from developing the confidence required to pitch your services to clients, company executives and managers.

Interpersonal skills

In this job role, you may have to maintain long-standing relationships with many professionals, within the candidate pool and also on the company or client's side. Interpersonal skills can enable you to establish and nurture healthy professional connections and relationships. Your role may require you to use performance and experience as a selling point, to gain the trust of clients and candidates.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions And Examples

Strategy

Recruitment consultants may work for multiple clients at a time and may handle a variety of tasks simultaneously. They require the ability to think strategically, as this allows them to prioritise, schedule and execute their tasks effectively. Recruitment is typically a long-drawn procedure, with companies investing resources and money in it, in periodic cycles. An effective consultant can work efficiently with the diverse recruitment strategies that companies may employ.

Time management skills

Recruitment processes usually come with strict deadlines and professionals in this domain may endure high work pressure around important deadlines. They perform a wide variety of tasks to meet deadlines and hence, require good time-management skills to navigate their work effectively. In this role, you can create a good impression by being punctual for meetings, interviews and other recruitment activities.

Self-motivation and confidence

Since recruitment consulting is a highly competitive field, the work may be psychologically demanding, time-intensive and strenuous. As a consultant, it may take time to see promising results when you start your career, as this role requires a significant amount of experience to excel. It is important to stay motivated and confident, so you can put in the consistent efforts necessary to succeed later on in your career.

Teamwork

Recruitment consultants rarely work in isolation. They often perform their duties as part of a larger team of professionals who may work for an agency or the HR department of a company. In this role, you require the ability to liaise with different kinds of professionals, business owners and managerial staff, to channelise collective efforts towards shared goals.

Career prospects for recruitment consultants

The internet has expanded the scope of a recruitment consultant's work by revolutionising recruitment mechanisms. With a growing number of business establishments in the country and the influx of multinational businesses, there is a high demand for professionals in this domain. Many companies outsource their recruitment efforts to agencies and external institutions that provide consultancy services. Consultants can also work remotely for companies situated in other parts of the world.

If you are interested in this job role, you may also consider the following careers:

  • HR executive: These professionals are part of the HR department of a company and handle the recruiting, training and onboarding processes.

  • Recruiter: Recruiters may work in-house for companies or for agencies to perform tasks related to hiring activities, like screening, evaluation, assessment and interviewing.

  • HR consultants: These professionals may take up advisory roles to evaluate and improve the HR policies and protocols of companies. They may also help companies devise efficient recruitment strategies for long-term sustenance.

Related: What Is A Recruiter? A Complete Guide

How much does a recruitment consultant make?

The average base salary of a recruitment consultant is ₹18,170 per month. This figure can increase significantly with experience and expertise. The average base salary of a senior recruitment consultant is ₹22,495 per month.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Explore more articles