Fireside chat with Andrew to reveal the myths of the recruitment industry

January 27, 2023

Last week, hosted a fireside chat with Andrew Ladommatos, who has guided thousands of recruiters in Hong Kong and APAC on their successful career paths. We were honored to have him break some recruitment myths and share tips on what it takes to be a great recruiter through an interactive session with our Head of Recruitment Innovation: Vivian Xiang.

About Andrew

Andrew is from the UK and arrived in Hong Kong over a decade ago. In 2014, he started his own rec-to-rec business placing recruiters into recruitment firms across Asia.

What is Recruitment?

Recruitment is often mysterious to the public, so Andrew started off the discussion by explaining what recruitment meant to him.

The Recruiter’s job is to match candidates/talent to companies. Your client/companies will use recruiters to find talent, which is hard to find. As a Recruiter, you usually specialize in one industry, such as banking, retail, or law firm, or one job function, Finance, HR, or marketing.”

Breaking the Myths

Vivian, being a recruiter for over 10 years, had heard myths about the industry so she wanted to clarify them with Andrew.

Some people say I want to get into recruitment to help people. The reality is that helping people is one part of the job, but our job is essentially to help the company find the talent they need.”

He added that “… [people think] that recruitment is easy to make money, and recruiters are rich. However, the truth is, it’s tough for the first few years to reach a high salary. Yes, some recruiters start earning HKD 1 million, but that’s pretty rare in the first 1-2 years. Usually in year 2 (if very good) or year 3+. And a lot of people never get up to that earning level.”

The Challenges and Opportunities

Obviously, like any field of work, there are challenges and opportunities, so what should recruiters prepare themselves for?

Both Vivian and Andrew agreed that recruiters need to be tough-minded and not give up easily because their success is contingent on many uncontrollable variables, including candidates accepting job offers and passing probation. They added that it’s usually tougher in the first year of recruitment and gets easier with time.

The sad truth is that recruiters leave within their first year, but there are definitely rewards for those who get through the turbulence.

Andrew elaborated on this and explained “… you can make a lot of money if you work hard. In Andrew elaborated on this and explained, “… you can make a lot of money if you work hard. In recruitment, in the 2nd or 3rd year, you can earn around HKD700-800K annually (if you’re good); in Hong Kong, there are not many industries where you can earn that. Apart from the money, it’s a fast-paced job where you learn a lot. You deal with many executive people, and get exposure on how successful professionals [progress in their careers].

Traits of a Great Recruiter

With Andrew’s experience in working with recruiters, we were curious if he can detect great recruiters from just a few encounters.

I guess this question can be answered with what are top recruiters’ common traits. I think the first thing is that you have to be a competitive person[with]a winning mentality. If you get a job from a client, you must be determined to jump on your network and utilize it quickly to find that candidate as soon as possible. Often the company calls up multiple agents, and to win, you need to have that competitiveness and intensity.”

“Second, the engagement skills, a lot of people think the person in the center of the party would be the best recruiter, but I don’t think so. Many top recruiters are introverts because recruitment is a lot about one-to-one conversations. So the engagement skill is about whether you can get people to enjoy speaking with you, can get people to find you interesting, and can convince someone to talk to your clients.”

“The most significant part of recruitment is to convince someone, even those who might be skeptical, to try an opportunity. To tell them why they should give a try on an interview takes a lot of convincing skills. And then, on the client side, you need to convince the client to meet someone who might not even have a great CV. So again, you must influence and persuadeto be a great recruiter.”

The conversation carried on with more interesting topics including hot trends within the industry. Please watch the full video here for more insights about the market.

Vivian Xiang

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