5 tips for being a successful education recruitment consultant

I'm happy to share what I've learned in my time at Axcis - Emily Marbaix
I’m happy to share what I’ve learned in my time at Axcis – Emily Marbaix

Thinking about becoming an education recruitment consultant? Want to know more about it? Here is my top 5 tips on what it takes to be great at the job.

1. You have to want to do it

Being an education recruitment consultant is hard work. In the past, I’ve spoken to people who have applied for consultant jobs because “they need a job” – which is fair enough, but if they don’t know what they are getting themselves into, recruitment can be a bit of a baptism of fire. The skill set required is extensive and some days can be very tough. Hours can be long, candidates and clients can be difficult and pressure to perform can make some people crumble. But if you have done your research, know what to expect and are prepared to put in the work, it can be a fantastic career choice. In short, you have to want to do it.

2. You have to be prepared to be a sales person

Let’s make no bones about it – there is a sales element to being a successful recruitment consultant. You need to be able to sell the service you provide in an appropriate way, whether it’s to a candidate thinking about registering with you or a new client you’d love to work with. Depending on the company you choose, your tone needs to be suitable too. At Axcis, we do our best not to be “pushy” sales people. It’s more about spreading the word about what we can offer and being there when a candidate or client needs our service. If you are a shrinking violet and would feel awkward selling the service you can offer you should think twice about whether recruitment is the right industry for you.

3. You have to be resilient

Recruitment consultants are essentially match makers. The job is about finding the right person for the right job/school and ensuring that the match goes ahead in the best interests of all parties. However, people are fickle beasts and can be unpredictable. There will be times when your client calls up because your teacher turned up late on their first day of work and yells down the phone at you. There will be times when a candidate who has been hounding you for work for ages finally gets a job offer and then decides they don’t want to work after all. The trick to being a successful recruitment consultant is looking for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. If you are a naturally negative person and struggle when the going gets tough, you should think twice about whether recruitment is the right industry for you.

4. You need a broad set of skills and attributes

The skills and attributes required to be a successful recruiter are surprisingly broad. You’ll be writing job adverts, as well as endless emails – so your written English needs to be spot on. I’ve already mentioned sales skills – being an excellent verbal communicator is of huge importance. You also need to be able to juggle your workload and re-prioritise your day at the drop of a hat – you might have a nice, neat to-do list which ends up in the bin when a client calls and needs a member of staff sent to them within 10 minutes. I’ve already mentioned resilience, since things won’t always go your way, and an ability to negotiate is up there with the skills you will be using every day too. Add to that the fact that the most successful recruiters I know are prepared to take calls from their candidates and clients at all hours and on all days, it’s not a 9-5, Monday to Friday kind of job (if you want to be really good at it!) At times you’ll be a councilor for your candidates when things go wrong and at other times you need to know when to stand your ground when someone is pushing for more than is fair. The list doesn’t end there – you’ll need to be punctual, professional, adaptable but also friendly, good at listening and reading body language and an excellent relationship manager too! Oh – and knowing your industry helps, too – if you don’t know anything about schools or the education system you’ll need to do a lot of research before you can consider becoming an education recruitment consultant – let alone a specialist special needs education recruitment consultant (as we are at Axcis).

5. You need to be prepared to give it time

I’ve met some people who say they want to get into recruitment for a year or two to put some money in the bank before they follow their real dream career. These people should think twice because it doesn’t happen overnight. When you are new to the job, it takes months – sometimes years – to establish trust with your candidates and clients, and to build up a good base of relationships. I’ve told potential employees who are new to the industry that they can’t expect much in the way of dividends until at least 6 months into the job, but realistically they’ll have to graft at it for 1-2 years before they will start to see real results. To me it seems crazy to do all that hard work and then leave just as your relationships start to blossom – after all, that’s when it really starts to be fun, too!

Does this sound like you? 

If you’ve read this blog post and are thinking that recruitment sounds perfect for you, feel free to send us your CV. Axcis has offices across England and Wales – and we are always willing to receive the details of those who are keen to show us what they can do! As a company, Axcis is growing rapidly – we are proud to be one of the fastest growing education recruitment companies in the UK – and as such we are always on the lookout for new talent to help us continue to expand.

What other work can we offer?

If being a recruiter isn’t for you, bear in mind that Axcis often has jobs available for other internal roles, such as compliance or payroll support. Or, if you’re interested in a role as a teacher or member of school support staff, why not register free on our website to see how we can help you find this sort of work?

21 Comments on “5 tips for being a successful education recruitment consultant

  1. Hello there, im very interested in getting into education recruitment and have spent a liitle time in this field but in a different sector. do you have any links/information you could send me on what i need to know about education?

    Thanks for your help.


    • Hi Ashton – you could try browsing our blog under the information for overseas trained teachers section as this has lots of information about the sorts of schools we work with as well as education in general. Please feel free to send a CV along with which office you’d be interested in working at to info@axcis.co.uk. Thanks!

  2. Hello Emily,
    Your 5 tips are very clear and make for interesting reading. I am currently a teacher with 18 years of experience. I’ve been thinking of seeking a new challenge for the past couple of years, then always shelve those plans to the back of my mind. An education recruitment consultant is a career change that would really appeal to me; I have an excellent knowledge of teaching/education and have experienced both the positive and negative from seeing the work of agency staff in school. The very nature of my job means that I’ve had to develop lots of skill sets and be adaptable.
    The thing I really would appreciate advice on is the prospects of a mid-career professional such as myself being taken seriously and pursuing a career as an education recruitment consultant.
    Many thanks,
    Christian Morris

    • Hi Christian

      Thanks for your positive comments regarding this piece. I did a similar thing to you in leaving teaching to become a recruiter – initially at least, you have to be prepared for a pay cut and a lot of hard work! Recruitment resembles a sales job very closely when you are new to it, and over time you develop closer relationships with your key clients and the role becomes more account-management than sales. The time management aspect is also crucial as you juggle a lot (but as a teacher you should be used to that!) Can I suggest that you send a CV to Sarah Wills Sara@axcis.co.uk – she’s our HR manager and could have a chat to you about what you are looking for and whether a role at Axcis would be suitable. Alternatively, we might be able to help explore the teaching profession further with you and suggest other teaching positions which may also prove to be of interest to you? To answer your final question – yes, a mid-career change can be taken seriously – it all depends on how serious you are about it… recruitment is something you really have to want to do and with a good understanding of what it’s about. I applied to Axcis a decade ago and was turned down for a job due to lack of experience. I went to another company, got that experience and came back to Axcis 6 months later… I talked my way into a job, and here I am 10 years later! The biggest thing that will impress recruitment companies is your desire to do the job…. Thanks, Emily

  3. These tips are best to be a best and successful education recruitment consultant. If anyone wants to be the best education recruitment consultant then these tips are very beneficial.

  4. Dear Emily,

    Thanks a ton for such a value adding article. It gives an insight that what education recruitment is all about and what skills a person should possess to be a great recruiter.
    Crisp and accurate tips.
    Being a young HR Professional I am interested in education recruitment.
    Will love to read more articles in this field.
    It would be great if you can share links or any data regarding this.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Ragni thanks for your kind comments. There is more information on the Axcis blog under the category Recruitment Industry Blogs – read away! Thanks, Emily

  5. Hi Emily

    This was a really useful piece and gives a great insight into the world of Education recruitment. I have been teaching for 7 years now and have recently, like many teachers become disenchanted with the profession. With a Advertising Sales background my initial thoughts are that recruitment in the Education sector would be a good fit for myself as I have a solid knowledge of both industries.

    Thanks again

  6. Greetings Emily! I highly applaud for your tips. I’m currently an essay writer for https://greatpaper.co.uk/ and planning to become an educational blogger. I’ve read a lot of educational blogging tips and I loved them all. But your tips are very fresh and reinvigorating to me that I think all of my questions are answered here. No doubt, you really nailed all the factors of becoming a good education consultant. In everything you do in life, it’s really important to love it. It will be hard for you to do a great job if it’s not your choice I guess. I’m looking forward to reading more and even talk to you soon! Thanks again mate 🙂

  7. Hi Emily, these top tips are great! As an experienced consultant, how would you go about finding teachers to work for your agency if you had been given a new area to work? TIA

    • You need to cast your net far and wide! Your own requirements are usually the best place to start – make sure they are extremely well written and make your jobs sound very attractive. Then make sure they are well marketed via the company website/social media etc. You can also post jobs in relevant job groups and attend things like job fairs.

      In addition, you should always be thinking about building up your pipeline and thinking about what sort of candidates your clients are likely to ask for in future and put out generic adverts in relevant places. Whether that’s shop windows, university job boards (or wherever your candidates are likely to come from.

      I hope this helps!

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