9 Essential Skills Of A Modern Recruitment Consultant

There’s no doubt that the recruitment industry has undergone huge changes in the last decade. The influence of business intelligence, social media, advancement in technology and a candidate driven market, it is no surprise that the skill set required to succeed as a modern recruiter consultant has expanded somewhat.

With daily conversations with recruitment agencies across the UK and internationally, we hear a lot about what it takes for their recruitment consultants to succeed in the 21st century. So we’ve narrowed it down to 9 skills that are essential for the modern recruitment consultant.

1. Candidate-Centric Mindset

In traditional recruitment, you could construct a compelling job advert which became inundated with applications, which you could sift through to find the most capable candidates – simple enough.

Although this is still a worthwhile tactic, the process has become much more focused on the candidate experience. On top of producing job adverts, today’s successful recruiters are nurturing top talent on multiple platforms and expected to assist their clients in providing a seamless process that caters to the needs of the candidate. The more you can think from a candidate’s perspective, the more trust they will put in you as a recruiter.

2. Company Brand Ambassador

With the rise in popularity of social media, particularly LinkedIn, the personal brand of the individual recruiter has become even more important. What you publish and share online will be seen by candidates, clients and colleagues and must reflect your company values. In effect, as the recruiter, you become a brand ambassador both online and offline.

On the other hand, if you are capable of harnessing the power of social media to create an authentic online profile, aligned with your agencies content and brand strategy, you can position yourself, and your agency, as thought leaders. This personal brand can be used to attract a wider range of candidates and clients within your sector.

3. Social Media Savvy

Since LinkedIn Recruiter launched in 2008, there has been a seismic shift in how recruiters use social media – and it keeps on evolving. Instead of using LinkedIn purely for trawling through candidate profiles, the top, modern recruiters are targeting separate demographics on different channels and even running webinars or creating specific groups to increase brand awareness and publishing meaningful content.

They are also using social media for social listening; monitoring clients, candidates and competitors, tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.

4. Networking Machine (online and offline)

Attending events sounds like an old school skill, but it’s still as crucial as ever. These might be the traditional, like a black tie award ceremonies or online, facilitating a Twitter Q&A session, discussing changes in the market. Being authentic, determined and visible in the market by engaging with “real life” people will help build the connections that might secure that elusive client meeting.

5. Data Strategist

On its own, data is simply information or numbers. What separates good recruiters from great recruiters is the ability to analyse and convert data into actionable outcomes. By maximising your own recruitment software and the abundance of data now available online, top recruiters are able to identify trends in their sectors, and the market, and implement proactive recruitment strategy to stay ahead of the curve.

6. Technological Tester

With the influx of various technological tools, a modern recruitment consultant needs to recognise which tools will survive and add value to their daily routine and which are temporary fads. If you take Buffer and Hootsuite, for example, they are very similar marketing tools on the face of it but, in reality, they can be used for very different things. Where Buffer is arguably a superior tool for scheduling social media posts and tweets, Hootsuite streams is great for social listening. Being able to distinguish value in different technology is a skill that can separate you from your colleagues and competitors.

7. Consultative Approach

As a recruiter, aspiring to have a consultative approach with clients is not a modern phenomenon, but it has become a bigger part of the required skill set. By keeping on top of trends in the recruitment industry, top recruiters aim to become trusted partners to clients rather than just a provider of candidates. By being involved in the hiring conversation, top recruiters become indispensable to their client’s talent strategy.

A consultative approach also applies to managing candidates. The best recruiters guide candidates through the application and interview process, providing tips and advice specific to their clients or industry sector.

8. Content Marketer

In a 2016 survey, 86% of recruiters agreed that recruitment is becoming more like marketing and there is no reason to think that this has dropped significantly. To attract passive candidates and nurture client leads, top recruiters are beginning to produce effective content strategies, including blogs, social ads and video marketing. The modern recruiter knows how to write content that resonates with their target audience and how important this is as an aspect of their recruitment strategy.

9. Master of Influence

Some things don’t change. The ability to influence people, on the candidate and client side, is the bedrock of a successful recruitment consultant. No matter how many technological gadgets arise within the recruitment industry, the human connection will always remain a key facet to recruiting and should not be underestimated. Building from that strong foundation, a modern recruiter can use their influence to communicate across multiple platforms and channels to reach more diverse candidates and engineer profitable relationships.

Finding exceptional recruiters is just one component of building a top recruitment team. Want to know what else is essential? Download our free guide today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Recruitment Software Costs Explained

When you’re in the market for recruitment software, it can very difficult to get an honest breakdown of how much the total cost may be when comparing different recruitment software solutions and providers. Recruitment software needs to satisfy various business models and because of that, there are a range of options and associated costs to take into consideration.

So, to help your recruitment agency budget or disentangle some of the mystery surrounding recruitment software costs (not just software licences), here’s a brief guide to the range of products and services on the market.

Software / Database Installation

£550 – £4,500 (one-off cost)

As with any comprehensive software solution, you will need to consider whether your recruitment software will be installed and hosted either as a cloud-based or on-premise solution.

On-premise software is installed locally on your company server and the application on your user’s computers.

Cloud-based software, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is hosted on the/a provider’s server and accessed through the internet.

The software/database installation is generally a one-off cost per database instance. Both hosting models have their advantages, see our cloud vs desktop in recruitment software blog for more information.

With cloud-based (SaaS) hosted software, you will also need to factor in additional monthly, or yearly, charges for the service.

Recruitment Software Licence

Generally, most recruitment software providers will offer at least one or a combination of the following recruitment software licence models:

Outright Purchase Model

£650 – £1,300 per licence

With this model, you purchase each recruitment software licence outright in the beginning with the total cost outlay in year 1 and most providers will offer a discount when a bulk number of licences are purchased at once.

Rental Model

£50 – £125 per licence per month

With this model, the recruitment software licence cost is paid monthly and is spread over a longer period of time. The licences are never owned by the recruitment agency and sometimes can be more expensive than an outright purchase model.

If you are a start-up recruitment agency, this model can be beneficial because it allows you to avoid a large, upfront cash outlay in year 1 and assist with managing cash flow.

Rental to Purchase Model

Some recruitment software providers offer a rental to purchase recruitment licence model. This means there’s no large initial cash outlay in year 1, the recruitment agency knows the total cost to own the licence/s as the rental period is determined upfront (generally for a 12 – 36 months).

When you’re weighing up recruitment software costs, it is easy to become too focused on the license fees and not consider the additional costs that come with even the cheapest of license fees. These separate costs often depend on the size of your agency and your own business model.

Helpdesk Support

£185 – £250 per active recruitment software licence per annum

Helpdesk support is an important service offered by all recruitment software providers. Helpdesk support packages can offer a range of technical or functional support or a combination of both, including telephone and email support.

Technology Partners / Third Party Software Integration

£350 – £3,000 (one-off purchase)

Most large recruitment software providers have a range of technology partners that offer direct integration with their recruitment software. Technology partners can range from back office payroll or account software, job posting distribution, SMS text messaging to business intelligence platforms.

Depending on the third-party software integration and the recruitment software provider, there can be additional helpdesk support costs for each software integration.

Data Migration & Import Services

£850 – £1,200 per day

The total cost of data migration and import is based on what type of data needs to be exported, what recruitment software the data is being exported from, the complexity of the data structure and the import into the new recruitment software.

Most recruitment software providers will provide a fixed project cost of the data migration and import requirement, which includes project scoping, data mapping, data extraction and conversion and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Depending on your current recruitment software provider there could also be additional charges to release your data.

Implementation Services

£0 – £2,000 per day

Recruitment software implementation requires close collaboration with your business to ensure the implementation is delivered successfully and on time. The range of implementation services vary from recruitment software providers, from a free charge for basic implementation services or a per day rate for implementation project management and business consultancy services.

Training Services

£850 – £2,100 per day

The investment in training your teams during the software implementation process is critical to ensure you and your teams make the most of your new recruitment software and its integration into your business.

Most recruitment software providers charge for training services such as:
• Individual client onsite or online training courses (capped at the number of delegated that can attend each course)
• Open online courses (multiple client users attending)
• Access to user manuals or a knowledge centre


Choosing the right recruitment software for your agency is difficult enough without knowing essential costs. It’s better to know up front how much you need to budget for to calculate and maximise ROI.

Are you needing a comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free eBook below and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download


Do Startup Recruitment Agencies Really Need Recruitment Software?

Established recruitment agencies are fully aware of the benefits of investing in the right recruitment software, which supports all facets of their business activity, delivery and performance. However, when you’re starting up a recruitment agency, with a considered focus on start-up costs or reducing overhead, many find it difficult to justify the costs of a quality recruitment software, and, instead, rely on Excel spreadsheets and various free-to-use tools.

So, are there major differences between established agencies and start-ups and does this impact the need for a recruitment software solution?

Start-up Agency vs Established Agency: What’s the difference?

On the face of it, it might seem that there a whole host of differences between established and start-up recruitment agencies due to the gulf in size, both in staff numbers and turnover. However, the differences can seemingly be boiled down to two primary points which can affect the decision to invest in recruitment software; internal communication and confidence.

Internal Communications & Visibility 

As a start-up, communication between 1 and 2 staff members can be a lot more straightforward as it is much easier to assess performance and service delivery and react quickly to issues before they become major problems. In larger established recruitment agencies, this can be impossible to manage without the aid of an effective recruitment CRM software.


At start-up agencies, it is difficult to have complete confidence in your clients because you are often striving to prove your worth and recruiting from job to job. So, by cutting out the cost of recruitment software, you may be thinking that for the short term you can survive that bit longer. According to Sonovate, however, 2017 is predicted to be a “goldmine for recruitment agencies” and the perfect time to start your business. With UK job boards having witnesses a 31% increase in applications, 2017 is the time to invest with confidence. By getting to grips with the right recruitment software early on, you can offer a more streamlined service to both your clients and candidates.

Start-up Agency vs Established Agency: What’s the same?

It seems evident that, for the most part, the processes of running a successful agency remain consistent, whether you’re managing a start-up or a large well established agency:

  • Managing client business development
  • Managing candidate applications and pipelines
  • Recording client and candidate interactions
  • Vacancy management
  • Recording interview activity
  • Managing temporary, contract and permanent placements
  • Candidate compliance and on boarding
  • Temporary timesheet processing
  • Client invoicing

These activities can be managed to a certain degree if you are running a start-up agency single-handedly and you have a meticulous work ethic. But, as soon as your work is reliant on a team of people, it is essential to have a centralised system that can manage, record and automate processes and analyse performance to enable you, and your team, to continue recruiting effectively. Here’s just some areas that start-ups can particularly benefit from by having the right recruitment software.

Client Management

  • Record client interactions, meetings and proposals
  • Produce and send email marketing campaigns
  • Map prospective client markets by analysing trends
  • View client vacancy activity and spend

Candidate Management

  • Record candidates and job applications
  • Record candidate interactions
  • Search across candidate pipelines
  • Manage CV, compliance and on boarding documents

Vacancy Management

  • Record and manage temporary, contract and permanent vacancies
  • Record and track candidate applications
  • Track candidate/client interviews
  • Record candidate placements and speed of hire


  • Process temporary worker timesheets
  • Client invoicing
  • Track permanent placement and temporary margin revenue


  • Gain an oversight of the agency’s projected/actual revenue
  • Manage a visual overview of your agency’s performance and activity
  • Utilise data to make strategic decisions with confidence
  • Identify new strengths, weaknesses and opportunities

The investment in suitable recruitment software allows you to devote your time to managing your business, servicing your clients and candidates and reduces the time spent on administration and dual data entry into multiple sources.

By tracking and viewing your agency’s performance, not only can you monitor specific consultants and service delivery, you can also make predictions and strategic decisions based on your current performance. This can allow your start-up agency to react quickly to a change in the market or take advantage of new opportunities within your sector.

Building a successful recruitment agency is never easy, but partnering with a recruitment software solution that scales with your business is a crucial investment that should be made sooner rather than later.

Are you needing a comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free eBook below and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download