Recruitment consultant job description

Recruitment consultants help businesses find the right staff to fill their vacancies.

They manage the entire recruitment process, from identifying and attracting suitable candidates, to screening, interviewing and preparing job offers.

This detailed guide includes a full recruitment consultant job description and everything else you need to know about recruitment consultants, including salaries, skills, qualifications, typical employers and more.


Guide contents

  • Recruitment consultant job description
  • How much do recruitment consultants earn?
  • What does a recruitment consultant do?
  • Requirements, skills and qualifications
  • Who employs recruitment consultants?
  • Which junior jobs progress to recruitment consultant roles?


Recruitment consultant job description

Recruitment consultant |Cherry Recruitment


About Cherry Recruitment

Known for our professionalism and unwavering success in placing high calibre candidates that contribute to our clients’ success, we are a leading UK recruitment agency with 10 regional offices.


About the role

We are looking for a recruitment consultant to attract, screen and place office support staff within the financial services space. You will manage the end-to-end recruitment process from bringing on client vacancies and sourcing candidates, through to interview and offer stage.



  • Work in a team of 6 consultants to fill permanent positions for our clients in the office finance sector
  • Create enticing advertising and increase our candidate base through a range of sourcing methods
  • Bring in new clients in the Birmingham area through networking and relationship building.
  • Successfully match candidates to client requirements via screening, shortlisting, interview and assessment
  • Provide advice, guidance and support to clients and candidates throughout the recruitment process.
  • Manage candidate and client databases to improve of our search processes
  • Meet challenging monthly billing targets and other KPIs in line with wider business goals


Location & commitments

  • Located at our Birmingham office
  • Permanent full-time role
  • Mon-Fri 8.30 am – 5.30 pm with overtime expected
  • Reports to: Finance Recruitment (Perm) Team Leader


Candidate requirements

  • Ability to close sales and work to challenging targets
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with senior professionals
  • Negotiation skills and previous client facing experience
  • Preferred: Previous sales experience and a proven track record in sales


Contact us to apply

We’re excited to hear about what makes you ideal for the Cherry Recruitment team. Send your CV to


How much do recruitment consultants earn?

Recruitment consultants earn an average salary of £22,881. However, this does not take into account performance related commission or bonuses, which will normally be larger than the base salary itself


Recruitment consultant salaries in the UK

  • Low: £16,000
  • Average: £22,881
  • High: £29,000

Source: CV-Library


Recruitment consultant salaries do vary to some degree depending on:

  • Performance – Recruitment consultants who perform well, will earn more money. They will typically earn commission or bonuses whenever they successfully place a candidate into a vacancy for an employer.
  • Sector – The type of candidates being recruited will have a big effect on recruiter earnings – generally speaking; recruiters who recruit high paid candidates, will earn more than those who recruit low paid candidates
  • Internal or Agency – Recruiters will either work in-house for a company, providing their internal teams with staff – Or they will work for an agency who supply staff to other companies. Agencies charge large fees to their clients for placing staff with them, so agency recruiters tend to earn more than those who work in-house.
  • General salary factors – Such as location and experience

For example, a successful recruitment consultant recruiting high-earning finance executives, based in London, will earn more than a trainee recruitment consultant, recruiting junior admin staff outside if the capital.

The average figures quoted on job sites and adverts only cite the base salary and do not account for commission and bonuses. These two factors can see high-performing recruiters earn many multiples of the basic salary – but it should be noted that they are not guaranteed, and only paid when placements are made and targets are met – this is why it is very difficult to pinpoint average salaries for sales jobs with performance related pay.


What does a recruitment consultant do?

The job description of a recruitment consultant will vary slightly depending on the company being worked for, industry and whether they work for an agency or in-house.

Ultimately their goal is to fill as many vacancies with suitable candidates as possible – this is known as making “placements”

Typically, their responsibilities will include;

  • Lead generation – Agency recruiters have to bring on client vacancies by a mixture of methods including cold-calling, email and networking
  • Relationship management – building and nurturing client relationships to build trust, gain understanding and ensure a mutually beneficial relationship
  • Candidate sourcing – Attracting plenty of suitable candidates for jobs by placing adverts, using LinkedIn, gaining referrals and other methods
  • Headhunting – Identifying and approaching suitable passive candidates and enticing them to consider their vacancies
  • Database management – utilising and efficiently managing candidate databases to find suitable matches between clients and candidates
  • Screening and shortlisting – reviewing applications and then managing recruitment processes such as interviews, testing and shortlisting, updating clients and candidates
  • Advising – offering insight to clients and candidates regarding a range of things including interview techniques, industry salaries etc.
  • New hire processes – references, qualifications and security checking as well as negotiating contracts and completing all new hire administration and correspondence
  • Meeting targets – working to meet or exceed targets as determined by management, this will usually be a number of candidate placements per month, or an amount of money billed to clients for placement fees, by agency recruiters


What do recruitment consultants need?

candidate requirements

Recruitment consultants do not usually need a higher level of education, but they are highly ambitious and driven individuals who are adept at multi-tasking. They require a range of skills and knowledge to carry out the job effectively.

There are some variations to requirements according to sector or seniority level, but recruitment consultants generally need:



Junior recruitment consultant jobs do not always require experience, and many employers prefer to choose suitable personality traits, such as confidence, tenacity and drive.

Experience in target driven sales roles is normally favoured too, as they equip people with the skills needed to carry out a recruitment role.

Intermediate to senior recruitment consultant jobs require previous experience as a trainee or junior recruitment consultant. Agencies will need to see that the candidate has previous experience of meeting recruitment targets.


Recruitment consultant skills

Recruitment consultants rely on a number of different skills to perform their roles effectively. These include:

  • Communication: Written and verbal communication with candidates and clients, as well as when formulating adverts and new-hire paperwork
  • Persuasion: Selling the benefits of using an agency to clients, and selling roles to candidates
  • Negotiation: Mediating job offers between clients and candidates in a way that benefits both parties
  • Multi-tasking: Meeting the needs of multiple clients and candidates at different stages in the hiring process without missing deadlines
  • Ambition and tenacity: Consistently meeting targets and working through challenging periods
  • Candidate industry knowledge: Recruiters must build a sound knowledge of the industry they are recruiting into e.g. banking, IT, finance etc.
  • Interpersonal skills: The ability to act confidently and with social dexterity to build trust and rapport
  • Organisation: Clear and structured approach to handling multiple administrative tasks and duties


Recruitment consultant qualifications

Many employers favour experience and aptitude over qualifications, and qualifications are certainly not required to become a recruitment consultant.

However, there are some recognised recruitment qualifications from the REC (recruitment and employment federation) which will provide candidates with the theoretical knowledge required to carry out the job, such as:



What is expected of recruitment consultants?

Generally, recruitment consultants need to fulfil a number of different expectations;

  • Long hours – 40+ hours per week, Mon-Fri, with overtime regularly required
  • Out of hours work – Many recruitment consultants will be expected to attend various client events, meeting and dinners outside of work hours
  • Location – Roles are typically office-based, however, the recruitment consultant will be expected to meet with clients at their location, as well as attend candidate interviews and networking events


Recruitment consultant benefits

Recruitment consultants usually receive excellent benefits packages, including:

  • Commission – Commission is a large part of a recruitment consultant’s earning capacity, and is normally earned on each successful placement they complete. Different agencies calculate commission differently e.g. it may be as a percentage of amount billed to clients, or as a flat rate per placement.
  • Car allowance
  • Mobile phone and laptop
  • Pension
  • Private Healthcare, life assurance and critical illness cover
  • Annual rewards – Awarded to the highest billing consultants in an agency, rewards can include financial bonuses, holidays, experiences and gifts



Who employs recruitment consultants?


Recruitment consultants are usually employed by recruitment agencies or large companies with internal recruitment departments.

  • Recruitment agencies: These are companies whose sole purpose is to find staff for other companies. They manage the entire recruitment process for their clients and charge a fee to them every time they successfully place a candidate with them – this fee is normally a percentage of the candidate’s salary. There are currently approximately 40,000 recruitment agencies in the UK and they are the largest employer group of recruitment consultants.
  • Large companies: Many large companies with ongoing hiring needs, will have an internal recruitment team to support them in attracting and obtaining the best employees in their industry. This includes private companies across all sectors, and public sector organisations.


Which junior jobs progress to recruitment consultant roles?

Stepping stone jobs

It is possible to secure a role as a trainee recruitment consultant without any experience. However, candidates benefit from some experience in sales, marketing and customer-orientated roles, often on a part-time or temporary basis during university such as:


Sales representative

Sales representatives are staff who sell products or services to a customer, such as a car salesman or insurance salesman. The sales and negotiation skills needed for these jobs provide candidates with the right kind of abilities for a recruitment job.


A resourcer supports a recruitment consultant to fill vacancies, by carrying out the vast majority of the candidate sourcing work, such as creating job adverts and telephone screening. They shadow the recruiter they are working under and will eventually progress into a recruiter role, where they will be required to start interacting with clients and fulfilling the full recruitment process.


Which senior jobs do recruitment consultants progress to?

Recruitment consultants progress in seniority, gradually taking steps into management:


Team leader

As well as carrying out client assignments, a recruitment consultant team leader will oversee a team of consultants in an agency. They are responsible for assigning vacancies or clients to team members, and ensuring they successfully complete the hire, as well as the overall performance of the team.

Branch manager

In national and international recruitment agencies, recruitment consultants can progress to branch manager. The branch manager is responsible for all client acquisition and service within a geographical or sector jurisdiction, through management of individual recruitment consultants and teams.


Recruitment consultant job description – conclusion

Recruitment consultants work in a competitive and high-pressured environment to match the best candidates to a role and a client’s culture.

It’s a professional role, offering an energised and rewarding experience for those with strong interpersonal skills.

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