I think I was around the age of 12 when I watched the film Jerry Maguire, which instantly became (and still is), one of my favourite movies. It is not an epic or cult classic but something about it really struck a chord with me.
The main character, played by Tom Cruise, is a sports agent, and it follows his fall from grace to ultimately getting back to the top of the sports agency world. What I liked about it so much, was that his job was all about building relationships with sports stars and sports franchises and playing the long game and doing what was best for his clients; and ultimately that won out for him in the end.
Due to my lack of sporting prowess, I decided to get into recruitment at 23 years of age as a way of becoming that “agent” that had inspired me 11 years earlier; thinking that I would probably have more in common with business people then athletes! In my mind and knowing very little about recruitment at that time, they seemed to be very similar industries – both built on relationships with candidates and companies. I believed that if I could take a long term approach to dealing with people; educate myself where I fell short; listened; and genuinely cared about the people I worked with and for, then I had a chance of doing ok. It seems like a fairly straightforward mantra, but it can be hard to live by, especially when so many want to take shortcuts.
I regularly hear people “fall in to recruitment” as they do in many jobs and industries. And a reason for that is probably because you can quickly start to make decent money and it can be a fast paced, exciting job to do. But I often find, a lot of people are in it for the wrong reasons. Purely to make money; and to do so in the quickest possible time, which will normally lead to shortcuts, burning bridges and the person will then end up not enjoying what they do and will normally bounce around a few companies before trying another industry.
Of course, making money is part of working and that shouldn’t be underestimated. But if that is your only goal, it is going to be a pretty unsatisfying one. For me, making money is a by-product. I enjoy dealing with people and trying to help them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. This takes time to nurture, to self-educate, to be able to introduce and open doors, but mostly, by building up a reputation where people trust and like you.
Another great part of working in recruitment (and obviously this will only happen at the right company), is that you can be creative. I meet so many people from different industries, different countries, all with differing views of the world. I spend a lot of time thinking and looking at new opportunities and ideas about how I can diversify what I can offer to staff and customers. I find it exhilarating and I find most of the time having to stop myself getting carried away as I don’t see a ceiling to where I can go. And that’s why I love what I do. If you feel like that about anything you do, then it’s infectious and it will bring out the best in you.
If like me, you enjoy the relationship part, learning, developing, pushing yourself, being creative and building a reputation, then working in recruitment is an incredibly exciting and satisfying place to be. If you don’t like that, then it’s probably not the right career for you. Long term anyway.
Becoming the next Jerry Maguire since the age of 12 was what I imagined being the best job in the world… And although very similar, recruitment isn’t sports agency, but to me, it’s the next best thing and what I think is, the second best job in the world!
Andrew Lynch/Managing Director