Almost 20 years have passed since I started working as a Recruiter in Dublin. The industry is hardly recognizable but the more the job changes, the more it stays the same. As a young, naïve 25 year role, I thought I knew it all, after all I was street-smart, educated, wildly ambitious and hard working. I came from a background in Retail and armed myself with a HR Degree to tackle the business world. I didn’t like working in Retail, hated late nights and weekend work and was particularly aggrieved by not being allowed to leave early on a Saturday night to make it to my own 21st Birthday party.
I studied at night and worked all day and started registering with Recruitment Agencies. There weren’t many of them and they all knocked me back. At that point, I ran off to Australia for one year, copped myself on and came back to Ireland with a fire in my belly. It was 1995, my younger brother was driving a new car, a boom had started, everyone was going on summer holidays and weekend breaks – Ireland was in party mood and I wanted by slice of the action.
The new me, world-wise and confident called the agency that had rejected me – amused by my perseverance they invited me in for another interview. I was hooked by the atmosphere – phones ringing, coffee meetings, a busy reception, busy, well-dressed professionals buzzing around the office and entrepreneurial owners who were out to change the world. I blagged my way in on a promise to outwork anyone else.
I found the hours really easy, no late nights, and no weekends. I was confused by my new colleagues feeling tired at 3pm on Friday’s. I loved my chair, my desk, my email account, my boss, my new colleagues and the social aspect. It didn’t occur to me that only 1 in 4 make it in agency life. I heard rumblings of feelings of bad luck, rejection, candidates letting you down, difficult clients and hard to reach targets. I was having none of it, compared to retail, this was heaven. I worked a few late nights and every other Saturday, took the bad with the good and worked the numbers. Recruitment is a meritocracy – you take out what you put in. Effort = Activity = Results.
The results came and I was addicted to the rush. Putting someone to work in a job that they really want is a great adrenaline kick. They love you for it, the client loves you, the boss loves you, they pay you handsomely and you join the party. Sure, there are ups and downs, recessions, dot bombs, economic meltdowns, boom economies, skill shortages, brain drains etc.
However, a good recruiter is never made redundant, is never slave to one industry, is always in demand, is never out of work, and is always paid well.
Today, I’m running my own agency. The world is a more complex place. I have two giant monitors on my desk, an IP Phone, an ipad, and iphone and a smart watch. Everything beeps when I get a text message, LinkedIn notification, facebook alert, database IM. I’m surrounded by technology that promise freedom but demand my attention. I close down screens, ignore beeps and pick up the phone. Chatting with candidates and clients I remember how keeping it simple is often more progressive.
20 years on, I’m still addicted and living off the praise. I work with a great team who are out on the market and carving their slice of the action. I have a lot to teach, so come join me and my team at RECRUITERS – soon you’ll be addicted too.
About the Author
Gerard Doyle is one of the Directors of RECRUITERS, he has work in the recruitment industry for 20 years. Contact him at