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5 Questions with… Michael Durkin

5 Questions with… Michael Durkin

July 13, 2012

Our very own Michael Durkin, Senior Consultant in the permanent team, has answered a few questions to give an insight into working in the recruitment industry.

Also, we’re hiring! Head Resourcing’s permanent team is looking for an experienced recruitment consultant. More information can be found here.

So, why did you get into recruitment?

I studied psychology as my undergrad and software development as my postgrad, and during this time I worked part-time doing telephone sales. After studying at university, I pretty much fell into recruitment, but I felt quite fortunate that I’d found a career that encompassed almost everything I’d done – the psychology, the relationship building and the service. In terms of psychology, I note how people behave, why they behave the way they do, and in a way almost predicting behaviour as well. As a recruitment consultant it’s all about relationships, and I think I took elements of my studies such as body language, people’s motivations and so forth and put these things towards helping me understand people. It was fortuitous that when I started in recruitment I was dealing in particular with IT, and for the first five or so years, specifically with software development. While it wasn’t a career I decided to take up in the end, and I couldn’t write ‘syntactically amazing’ code, I had gained a fair understanding of software development and I found it was really valuable.

What is the best thing about being a recruitment consultant?

Ooh, great question. I really like helping people, and that’s not just helping clients and candidates with their problems, but in terms of training; passing on knowledge and motivating those with less experience – that’s one of the most interesting parts of my job.

What is the worst thing about being a recruitment consultant?

Being in such a people-centric industry you can be at the mercy of people’s circumstances, their emotions, family commitments and so on. Years ago I was working with a software developer in Ireland, and after speaking to him in depth about his situation, and with his wife (to make sure she was happy with a big move) I put him forward for a job in Glasgow. He was really keen, flew over for two interviews, and was offered the job. He resigned from his job, sold his house in Ireland, and put a deposit down on a new place in Glasgow. However, at the 11th hour his wife changed her mind. To this day I have no idea what it was that impacted on the decision, but the candidate was devastated. Sometimes you can do what you think is everything you need to do to prepare, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Ultimately it’s a learning experience though.

What would you say is your ‘golden tip’ for candidates?

Do your homework on yourself – it’s really easy when you’re very experienced to take your skills and experience for granted. I have found with some people who are very experienced, especially if they don’t do a lot of interviews, they might not be able to verbalise the intricacies of what they do, why they do it, and what is involved to carry out specific tasks. These people might feel that they need to do less homework, but I would suggest to anyone to refresh their skills. This way when they are interviewed they can talk about the projects they’ve done and the impact they’ve had in a far more effective way. I think a lot of people get caught up in researching the companies they’re interviewing for and how to conduct themselves in an interview, but forget to spend a bit of time researching themselves.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to break into the world of recruitment?

Don’t get too carried away with your successes, and don’t beat yourself up too hard when things don’t work out, because there are a lot of things that can happen. When it comes to working in this industry there are probably two types of recruitment companies – one of them will emphasise service, and one of them will emphasise sales; the latter type talks about how much money a consultant can make, company cars, Rolex watches and so on. While some of these things are nice, none of it really means anything unless your clients and candidates can trust that you have their best interests at heart, and that’s what we do here. That’s what’s different. Recruitment’s a really driven environment, and while there are financial rewards to be had, when you get more experience and nurture your relationships with clients and candidates, it gets even better.

Like what you’ve read? We’re looking for an experienced recruitment consultant to join our team.

Take me back.

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5 Questions with… Michael Durkin

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