19 March 2024

The importance of resilience in the recruitment industry

Written by Simon Brownjohn

The recruitment industry, with its fast-paced environment and the constant pressure to match the right candidates with the right opportunities, places a premium on resilience. As you navigate a highly competitive landscape, building relationships with both clients and candidates is crucial. The dual focus on service delivery to businesses, and providing opportunities for individuals adds layers of complexity and emotional investment to the sales process.

In recruitment, resilience is about more than just coping with rejection from clients or candidates. It’s about continuously engaging with a diverse array of individuals, adapting communication styles, and remaining optimistic and motivated even when placements fall through or clients decide to go with another service. The ability to bounce back from these setbacks, learn from each experience, and apply those lessons to future interactions is crucial.

Resilience in the recruitment industry means being able to rapidly adapt to changes in the job market, technological advancements in recruitment processes, and shifts in client needs. You need to commit to ongoing learning and development, ensuring that the services and solutions you are offering remain relevant and competitive. Critically, you need to be able to effectively communicate these to a diverse audience.

As you gain industry experience, you will be exposed to larger sales opportunities with increased complexity. When navigating the intricate landscapes of large multi-nationals or the government sector, the unique challenges and opportunities will demand a high degree of resilience and emotional intelligence. You will find yourself navigating bureaucratic processes, adhering to strict compliance and regulatory requirements, and often enduring lengthy procurement cycles. The stakes are high, and the sales process can be painstakingly slow, testing the patience and perseverance of even the most experienced sales professional.

Resilience in this context means maintaining positivity, being proactive, and with a constant focus on solutions. It requires an understanding that success involves more than just the immediate sale; it’s about building long-term relationships and trust. You need to be adept at managing expectations—both your own and your clients’- in addition to colleagues, peers and upper management.

The capacity to learn from each interaction, refine strategies, and persistently pursue opportunities, even when faced with bureaucratic hurdles, is what distinguishes successful sales efforts. Resilience here also means staying informed, adapting sales strategies accordingly, and finding innovative ways to demonstrate capability within an often narrow, prescriptive and constrained tender framework.

The rewards can be significant. Not only in terms of contract wins, but through the development of lasting relationships and building credibility (both externally, and also within your own organisation). It’s not easy, you’ll face setbacks and frustrations, so when you get a win (of any size) – celebrate it, before moving on to the next opportunity.

Join our team. We have a range of roles available across several industries, including Professional Services, STEM, ICT, Government and Management & Executive. Find out more.

Author: Simon Brownjohn, PERSOLKELLY General Manager – Growth

Simon brings over 12 years’ experience leading and preparing major bids and tender responses, in addition to managing significant Corporate and Government contracts. He has developed and implemented temporary and permanent staffing solutions, workforce planning and management, and led projects across Managed Service Provider (MSP), Contingent Workforce Outsourcing (CWO), and HR Consulting.  

Simon has built and managed recruitment teams, providing oversight and direction, and ensuring services are delivered to both time and budget, and to the standards set by both PERSOLKELLY and our clients. He was the Recruitment Manager for the hugely successful Commonwealth Games project team, and is currently General Manager – Growth for PERSOLKELLY across Australia.