Expert Insights: Working Effectively With Recruitment Consultants

In this short series aimed at those in the accounting profession, I share some insights from specialist recruitment consultants in the accounting field.

Today’s blog post is from my interview with Devya Athwal, Director of Athwal Resourcing Limited.

Tell us a little bit about you and your background

After gaining the ACMA qualification and core finance experience within the corporate world, as a business auditor with Electrolux, Eidos and working internationally with GKN, I entered the world of recruitment.

Since 1999, I have personally placed accountants from entry level through to finance director level and have supported Midlands businesses with their permanent finance and accounting vacancies.

More recently I set up Athwal Resourcing, a specialist recruitment business based in the Midlands.

What are some of the common mistakes you see candidates make when it comes to working with a recruitment consultant?

Not selling themselves to the recruitment consultant.

Not knowing their key transferable skills.

Applying for every role advertised.

What should candidates do before approaching a recruitment consultant?

Candidates need to know themselves, the key skills that they have gained and how these skills are transferable.

Determine the direction they want to take with their career.

Be clear about the type of roles they want.

Establish what they enjoy and what they don’t enjoy, people tend to do better if they enjoy their work.

What contributes to a successful candidate recruitment consultant relationship in your experience?

Honesty – Both ways if a candidate does not have the right skills then the consultant should be honest with them, e.g. feedback from interviews.

Likewise candidates need to be honest in terms of skill base, aspirations and ability and the money/package they are on.

Trust – Consultant to deliver the right roles for the candidates and that the candidate will not let them down in the interview.

Flexibility – To meet the consultant and also the client

Respect – Each other’s judgement and views

Empathy and listening

What would be your 5 top tips for candidates when it comes to working effectively with recruitment consultants?

Know your Unique Selling Points and how you will sell them to consultants and prospective clients.

Know where you are with your career and where you want to be.

Treat others how you would like to be treated yourself.

Keep regular contact with recruitment consultants.

Work with a few good consultants; meet with them face to face so both parties understand each other. Do not use the scattergun approach of working with many consultants.

Anything else you would like to add?

Some of my long standing current client relationships have come about from candidates who I have known in my earlier years of recruitment, by treating them as I want others to treat me, these candidates have become my current clients.  Likewise old clients have also become my candidates.

Devya Athwal is a Chartered Management Accountant, Director of Athwal Resourcing Limited and specialises in financial recruitment. Learn more here

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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