At the end of the day everyone needs a pharmacist” Elen Davies, 29
Elen was looking for a challenging and fast-paced job when she graduated with a degree in Welsh in 2001. So the ambitious young woman was delighted when she was offered the position of bilingual administrator at South Wales’ largest recruitment agency New Directions Recruitment Ltd. Elen spent 18 months working in the company’s Education and Social Care Department, and following a four year break from the industry, she was reappointed at New Directions as a booking consultant for the Pharmacy Department. “I’m the type of person who gets bored easily”, said Elen, “but there’s no time to be bored working for the largest independent provider of pharmacy staff in the UK. I absolutely thrive at work with my daily and weekly targets and diverse workload.”
The role of a recruitment consultant is demanding and diverse but essentially it involves helping the company’s employer clients recruit staff for both temporary and permanent job vacancies. Staff at New Directions Pharmacy place a range of pharmacy personnel including locum pharmacists, permanent pharmacists, pharmacy managers, relief manager, technicians and dispensers. Recruitment consultants develop an understanding of their client’s requirements then identify potential candidates either from their existing database or by advertising roles. They assess candidates’ skills through interviews, tests and background checks and then make recommendations the client. New Directions Pharmacy undertakes thorough background and identity checks, including verifying RPSGB (Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain) registration. An integral part of a recruitment consultant’s job is maintaining solid working relationships with existing clients and this is achieved by making regular contact in the form of phone calls, emails and visits. A recruitment consultant is also responsible for identifying and generating new clients. This is accomplished by visiting recruitment fairs and canvassing employers by telephone and email.
Skills and personality
Recruitment consultants must possess an excellent ability to communicate since most of their time is spent telephoning, emailing or meeting face to face new and existing clients and candidates. Other necessary characteristics are self-confidence, ambition and drive, the ability to multitask and work under pressure. Like New Directions Pharmacy, many recruitment agencies operate as a team, so the ability to work with other people is also a required skill.
Training and entry requirements
More and more recruitment consultant posts are being filled with people who possess a degree, but several years of experience in the recruitment industry is also sufficient for many employers. But above all, recruitment agencies are looking for people who can demonstrate fantastic communication skills and plenty of ambition and drive. Recruitment consultants at New Directions, like many of other companies, have the opportunity to train on the job through the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The REC consists of three components: the certificate in recruitment practice, the diploma in recruitment practice and the degree in recruitment practice.
Earnings and Prospects
A recruitment consultant can expect to start on a salary of around £16,000 however this is generally dependent on experience. Basic salaries tend to vary and earnings will depend on sector, location and economy. The job is target driven and there are opportunities to gain commission and other bonuses as a way of encouraging achievement. Senior recruitment consultants must have a minimum of three years’ experience.
“Being able to provide a small, rural pharmacy with a locum pharmacist, because without one it wouldn’t be able to open. At the end of the day, everyone needs a pharmacist.”
New Directions Recruitment: www.new-directions.co.uk/
New Directions Pharmacy: www.ndpharmacy.co.uk
Recruitment and Employer Confederation: www.rec.uk.com