Meet Michelle Downs!

Meet Michelle Downs!

Recruiter Guest Post


Tell me a bit about you and the industry you currently recruit for?

I’ve worked in Recruitment for around 10 years. Started as a consultant in construction. I chose construction based on my knowledge of the industry and my interest in all things ‘built’. I continued to work as a specialist construction recruiter until around a year ago. I took an opportunity as a Branch Manager with my current company. I now look after specialist recruiters for Construction, Engineering, Agriculture and Industrial. Soon to be taking on Driving and Logistics as specialist sectors too. Industrial and Agricultural contracts are the bulk of my business now. I specialise in placing ‘on site’ recruiters into industrial contracts. I have a dedicated team of overseas recruiters to assist with sourcing labour for these contracts to work alongside our local staff.

Why did you choose to work within the Recruitment Industry?

Like most recruiters, I kind of ‘fell into Recruitment’ not knowing much about it. I was watching the apprentice and there was a girl who was ‘a construction recruitment consultant’. I remember thinking ‘what a made up job title!’ A few months later, I saw a job advert for a ‘construction recruitment consultant’ so for a laugh, I applied! I had all the skills and knowledge they were asking for and thought I would ‘give it a go’. I was offered the job, given a desk, a phone and a phone book…the rest as they say is history!

What do you find most challenging as a Recruiter?

Recruitment has daily challenges and rarely is there a dull moment! I work in a predominantly temp market so finding honest, hardworking staff is a challenge sometimes. It’s often a hard sell to the candidate. Getting them on board, working for you and your clients. There are less and less candidates to choose from in the market. You have to be constantly updating your talent pool to ensure you’ve got the staff you need for each contract. One of my contracts uses around 200 people per day. Now that’s a challenge! I think the sell is also quite a challenge, in a saturated market. You need to be ahead of the game and be offering something better than the rest. Aiming to not to be ‘just another recruiter’. Although I’m lucky in that I am time served in my area. So most hirers will know me already and I work on recommendation a fair bit. Keeping a good reputation is key!

To date what’s the best piece of advice you have received?

Be honest and open. Clients will always respect honesty, integrity and openness. Be human, own up if you make a mistake. But learn from it for next time. Be prepared. Take time for yourself and your family. Recruitment will suck you in and take over your life, take a step back sometimes, relax and reboot. A tired recruiter won’t get results!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about entering the Recruitment Industry?

Don’t think this will ever be a 9-5 job! Be prepared for long hours, loads of pressure and mountains of stress. Sometimes this job is like banging your head against a wall. Everything about it will be frustrating and you will want to quit. Frequently! However, this job is also the most rewarding both financially and on a personal, humane level. You will need to be strong and determined, don’t give up! The industry is ruthless. You will need to have big shoulders and not take it personally. Find a company who really values their teams and takes the time to mentor and train new recruits. Pay attention to those at the top and learn from them. They were all new once upon a time!

Lastly if you could go back in time and give yourself some advice 3 months into being a Recruitment Consultant what would it be?

Don’t drink on a work night. You can’t be productive on no sleep and a hangover! Eat well, exercise and drink water. You can’t be productive on caffeine and nicotine alone! Don’t let your pipeline go cold. Keep up with the phone calls and meetings because your contracts will end at some point. Don’t give up, Rome wasn’t built in a day and one day all the hard work will pay off!

You can connect with Michelle on Linkedin and Twitter;

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