From Retail to Recruitment

From Retail to Recruitment

The transition from retail into recruitment might not seem at the first glance like an obvious one  - from an almost instantaneous turnaround to a much longer sales cycle is undoubtedly a shock to the system, but at its very core, sales is sales. In retail, I was facing people all day every day; just like recruitment, the entire premise is built around engaging with people, and it’s absolutely not for someone who doesn’t enjoy interaction!

 I really enjoyed retail - I loved the idea of turning a perfect stranger into a potential customer, and how fast-moving the industry is-it’s a cliché, but no two days are the same, and the customer-facing part really appealed to me. I was aware, however, that I wouldn’t be 100% happy on the shop floor forever, and I didn’t see many opportunities for progression, or for expanding my role.

That’s where recruitment came in - a new industry I’d never really thought about before-I was aware of its existence and value, obviously (I had found my job in Musto through an agency), but it had never occurred to me to explore it further, until I saw ad that Recruiters were hiring new consultants. Two interviews later, I was in situ, still working in sales, but in a whole other capacity. The transition wasn’t seamless-there was a lot to learn in terms of process, systems pipeline, but it made a lot of sense for me, and I settled in well.

Recruitment filled the gaps in the opportunity I felt there was for me in retail; I was essentially running my own micro-business in my desk, marketing myself, coming up with processes that made most efficient. The biggest draw though, was the feeling that performance was clearly linked to compensation-while there were bonuses in my retail management job, they weren’t particularly proportional to my sales, which lessened motivation. There were also earnings limits in retail, something that just doesn’t exist in recruitment.

Retail is still an industry I find really interesting and one I still do a lot of reading around, but for my goals, it wasn’t a fit in the long term, and recruitment fulfilled a lot of requirements for me. It’s a great step up in terms up in terms of more complex (and more exciting!) sales, and with fantastic potential for development. 



About the Author

Eleanor McShortallEleanor has been part of the team at RECRUITERS for almost three years. Get in touch with her at

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