Job descriptions and industry overviews

Recruitment consultant

24 Feb 2023, 12:02

Finds candidates on behalf of client companies to fill temporary and permanent job positions.

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Job description

Recruitment consultants find candidates on behalf of client companies to fill temporary and permanent job positions. They are responsible for attracting people to apply and guiding them through the application process, placing advertisements, giving interviews and matching candidates to the appropriate roles, from entry-level to executive positions.They operate in virtually all sectors of the employment market.

The recruitments consultant’s role is the vital link between candidates and clients; it involves attracting business from client companies by using sales, business development and marketing techniques. This includes building relationships with clients, keeping in touch over the phone and in writing. They are also required to attract candidates by drafting advertising copy and using a wide range of media. They screen candidates, interview them and select suitable candidates to put forward to client companies. Recruitment consultants are involved in negotiating pay and salary rates and finalising arrangements between client and candidate.

The recruitment industry provides services to all business sectors, working in partnership with organisations from sole traders to multinationals.

Work activities

  • Establishing relationships with new clients through business development and marketing campaigns.
  • Visiting current and prospective clients to develop strong relationships.
  • Getting to know how client companies operate and understanding their general ‘culture’.
  • Making visits and presentations to corporate clients.
  • Writing and advertising vacancies on the job boards.
  • Coaching and leading candidates and clients throughout the hiring process.
  • Helping candidates to identify and achieve their career goals, and encouraging continuing professional development.
  • Screening, interviewing and short-listing potential candidates both personally and by telephone.
  • Making job offers and checking references on candidates.

Work conditions

Travel: can be a regular feature of the working day, travelling to meet clients and potential candidates.
Working hours: mainly office hours Monday to Friday with occasional additional hours.
Location: mainly in towns or cities throughout the country, especially near large corporations, multinationals and so on, where consultancies can take advantage of the need for their employment services.
Opportunities for self-employment: possible to start your own consultancy.

Typical employers

  • Recruitment consultancies/agencies.

Career development

Career development and progression is very much on a performance basis and will vary depending on the size and structure of the organisation. A consultant can progress to senior consultant and then to branch manager, or for those in an organisation with many branches across the country there may be prospects of further promotions to area and regional management.


It is usual for recruitment businesses to pay consultants a basic salary plus some sort of performance related bonus or commission either individual or team based.

Entry requirements

Open to non-graduates and graduates of any discipline. There are industry specific qualifications for which you can study.
In the Republic of Ireland, successful completion of the National Recruitment Federation (NRF) education program and assessment will result in an NRF Certificate in Recruitment Practice.

Other relevant degree subjects

  • Human resource management
  • Psychology.

Postgraduate study

A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not a requirement.

Specific entry requirements

A full, clean drivers licence and access to your own vehicle may be required.


Mainly on the job.

Tips for applications

Experience in sales and customer service is an advantage. Increase your chances by applying to agencies that specialises in a sector related to your degree subject.

Skills and qualities

  • Solid business acumen with an entrepreneurial flair and interest in business.
  • Ambitious, confident, and results driven.
  • Sales driven and motivated by money and targets.
  • Strong communications skills.
  • A good team player.
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities and to work to deadlines.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Enjoy responsibility and working in a high-pressure environment.
  • Strong writing and negotiating skills.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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