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The Reality of Being a Recruiter

July 3, 2024
Lukas Vanterpool

As we undergo yet another period of growth, we are on the lookout for talented, resilience and hard-working individuals from all backgrounds to join the team. It’s only fair that we give you an insight into what a career in recruitment really looks like, so hear first-hand from our Talent Manager, Hannah Foreman.

How I got started in recruitment

Well, I fell into it, most likely how the other 80% of recruitment consultants got into it!! It’s often a referral within a friendship group or family member who’s already in the game.

In my case, it was my sister’s boyfriend (now husband) who I worked with in insurance who said ‘you’ll be good at this!!’, and the rest is history!

Recruitment is a sink or swim industry, not many people make it out the other side of the 6-month probation, there are many reasons for this: it’s relentless, it’s emotional and there is often little training.

Luckily for me, The Sterling Choice has a fantastic training programme, so I swam!!

Within the last year, I have been given the opportunity to spread my wings in the business and have progressed my role into a leadership/training/internal recruitment position. This gives me full autonomy to recruit for the team here and see the new faces go through induction training and then support them in the real world of recruitment. It really is rewarding being there throughout the whole journey.

Describe a typical day as a recruiter

Well, in all honesty – there isn’t a ‘typical’ day, there are most certainly similarities and a lot of emotions involved but mostly the days do differ a lot.

It might be easy for people to think that when a job comes in, we have hundreds of people at our fingertips to call and shortlist and place from, if it was that easy wouldn’t everyone be a recruiter?!

There is a lot of planning and prioritising in this role, you might have your day planned up but by the time you come into work an urgent new job has come in or there is an issue with a recent placement, so you have to act quick and NOT BURY YOUR HEAD.

You just never know what the day is going to throw at you, expect the unexpected, that is where the fun is, righttttt???

What are some of the common misconceptions people have about recruiters?

Well, how long do you have?

When it comes to recruiters’ people usually associate us with words such as: pushy, sales, greedy, showy, annoying, cold, selfish… the list could go on.

But honestly, what we do is simple, we find the right person for the right job at the right time. It’s really not as criminal or gangster as people think.

Another misconception can be from the client’s side. Sometimes, it’s easy for them to assume we only use the same methods of recruiting as they have, post an advert ask internally for referrals and then just hope for the best!

There is little knowledge of the scope of the ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes into a successful recruitment process, from building rapport and relationships to head-hunting for specialist roles.

While there is no getting away from the fact we are salespeople we are also dealing with a huge amount of emotion, getting a new job is up there with one of the most stressful processes in life along with having a baby and moving house.

Your emotional intelligence has to be spot on, as does your resilience – when things don’t go your way, you have to be able to deal with it the right way. Normally by channelling your frustrations into energy to successfully place another candidate.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

The world and the recruitment market is ever-changing. One minute we have too many jobs and not enough people and then in the next year we are having too many people and not enough jobs.

There is never a happy medium but similarly to the point above if it was easy everyone would do it. There is no magic wand with all the answers to the problems, this is another factor as to why people just don’t stay in the industry that long.

You quickly learn a lot about yourself and the weak fall to wayside and the strong and resilient will be successful if they ride the wave and learn something from everything.


Recruitment is a tough gig over a long period of time. What are the key traits a person needs to hold to make it as a recruiter?

If you are considering a career in recruitment, among others, there are a few key traits to have:

  • Resilience
  • Confidence
  • Target driven
  • Ambitious
  • Personable (People buy from people)

You cannot train these skills so if you are naturally blessed with some of the above it could well be a career for you – so get in touch!

What piece of advice would you give someone who is new to recruitment?


If you are 3 days, 3 months or 3 years into recruitment there is always something you can learn from another recruiter or blog or training material online or reading or just asking someone. Also, you learn by doing, the more people you speak to the more you will learn, and the quicker things will click into place mentally.

When your boss/manager/mentor asks you to do something, do it. There is always a reason behind being asked to dos something and in the long run, it will be to benefit you and your back pocket!!

How does The Sterling Choice set itself aside from other recruitment consultancies (or what could be done better?)

That is the question on everyone’s lips, isn’t it?

How do you stand out from the noise in an already overpopulated recruiter market?? In short, you must be the best, you must look after your staff, you must look after your clients, you must look after your candidates, and you must look after yourself. You cannot afford to drop the ball with anything that you put your name or the business name to.

We have an insane training program, something not all trainee recruiters are lucky enough to have at their disposal. The training is made up of on-the-job learning, reading, videos, shadowing and our very own guru’s Gareth and Lukas who have been in the game for several years, starting on the tools recruiting themselves through to where they are now as business owners!

With over 10 years experience under their belts, they still love to get involved in the day job, secretly loving the thrill that comes with successfully securing a candidate a new job.

We have a million reasons why we are an employer of choice in the area, from lunch clubs, holidays, complete trust in our staff for flexible working. A state-of-the-art office on the outskirts of town where there is plenty of options for long lunches in the summer sunshine.

People talk up a big talk about their business values, but we keep it simple with just the four, but they are what we are all about.

  • Shared Success- Celebrate each other
  • Excellence- We relentlessly seek feedback to improve
  • Enjoy the ride – Laugh EVERY day
  • Support beyond recruitment- We look out for each other and do more than make money


Final thoughts – we are always on the lookout for talented new team members, and always welcome interested individuals to get in touch, whether for an initial conversation, to scope us out or send over your CV.


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About The Author

Lukas Vanterpool

I started The Sterling Choice with Gareth Whyatt back in August 2013. We’ve always remained true to ourselves and what it is we’re trying to achieve – A great company with great people and great results! This journey never stops, we are always finding ways to support our colleagues and make sure they leave every day feeling fulfilled.

Over the years I’ve always been asked “what’s your USP??, what makes you different from all the other agencies??”. That’s an easy one for me to answer – “Our culture makes our business and our people make our culture”

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Our in-house team is highly experienced in placing professionals into the Food, FMCG and Engineering sectors. We work with leading organisations across the globe.
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