What makes a sector great for recruitment?
You know the sort of thing I mean – when the client and candidate markets just work, you feel successful and enjoy coming into work each day?
Well, keep reading, because I’m about to challenge some of your preconceptions. Based on our directors’ combined 76 years in recruitment working for different agencies, insurance, legal and financial services are the clear winners.
There are 5 reasons why, which I’ll get to later.
First, let's look at preconceptions
“Be completely honest – what are the first 3 words that pop into your head when you think of insurance, legal and financial services?”
Here are 5 common answers:
- Boring (or “dull” or similar)
- Meerkat (although sometimes people mention the GoCompare opera guy)
- Corporate (or “suits” or something related to the working environment)
- Solicitor (or “banker” – something related to a job role)
- City (or something associated with London, like the Gherkin or Canary Wharf)
You can see the theme…and you may well be thinking something similar. That these sectors are a bit boring, filled with people in grey suits, selling to consumers using gimmicks.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As I was preparing to write this article, I did a quick office poll asking consultants the same question. Here are the 5 most popular answers:
- Great networking
As a recruiter, that sounds like the ideal sort of sector to work in, doesn’t it?
Here’s what’s behind that perception change.
1. They're largely recession-proof
Market dynamics have a big impact on staff retention and company recruitment strategies. This means they have a big impact on how easy it is for you to do your job.
Insurance, legal and financial services are strong from this perspective. Think about it: no matter what’s happening in the economy, companies still need insurance, lawyers and financial advice. They’re fundamental to a business’ existence.
That means that no matter what cuts are being made in marketing, IT and operations, there’s still a market for talent in the areas IDEX specialises in. (And the proof is in the pudding – during the 2020/21 Covid19 pandemic, these 3 sectors were some of the fastest to bounce back (Some didn't even slow down!) and have been growing ever since and IDEX expanded while other generalist recruiters were making consultants redundant).
2. High salaries mean high commissions
This isn’t actually a world of meerkats and ambulance chasers. These are highly professional sectors with highly qualified individuals. We’re talking Development Underwriters, Wealth Managers, Solicitors, Managing Partners and Division Managers.
Your average legal associate is on £80,000 to £90,000 a year, which means £20,000 to £25,000 in fees, we recently placed a senior legal candidate for over £250,000 fee!
You’re therefore focusing on quality, not quantity. You have the time and headspace to relish the best part of the job – helping clients and candidates find the right fit. It’s strategic work, not phone bashing or meaningless CV distribution.
Bottom line: you have much higher earning potential, more fun and make a bigger difference.
3. They're great for networking and relationships
The human side is really important to our work as recruiters. What are the clients and candidates like? Are they easy to get to know? Are they fun to meet and talk to? Different sectors attract different personalities, and our job is based on that personal interaction – so working with great people makes a big difference to how we feel coming to work each day.
IDEX consultants describe insurance, legal and financial services as “friendly” for good reason. There are lots of networking opportunities and it’s easy to meet people. You’re made to feel welcome, and there’s an eagerness to build long-term relationships. To give you an example, a solicitor we placed as a senior associate recently became a partner in the law firm – and contacted us about going on a retainer for their vacancies. This happens a lot.
We have established, C-level contacts at top companies. We’re well-known influencers within our niche, which means you have the best doors open to you.
4. The markets are buzzing - in the UK and internationally
There’s a real energy in these sectors. It’s not London-centric – we have vibrant offices in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester, too.
There’s lots of global expansion, which means you get to work internationally. And there’s innovation in business models and technology, which means demand for new skills.
As a result, you can be quite influential in our world. Clients know they need your skills and want to work in partnership with you (it’s why we have so many clients on retainer – and why the word “consulting” is in our company name). You can become an authority and thought leader, helping businesses understand the talent they need to achieve their goals.
5. You can hit the ground running
You don’t need prior experience in these sectors to get up to speed quickly. The fundamental recruitment skills are the same as for other industries. And we give you the sector-specific, technical training you need.
Not only do you get one-to-one support from colleagues at IDEX, but we can also offer “work experience” with clients, where you shadow job roles to understand what goes on day to day.
Do you want to: (a) enjoy your job more, and (b) earn more?
We’re looking for recruitment consultants with 2 to 5 years’ experience from any background.
Contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 700 4339 for a confidential chat about opportunities in Birmingham, Manchester, London and Scotland.