Recruitment Blog

Learning recruitment in lockdown: Essential advice from a rising recruitment star

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder
recruitment in lockdown

For many new recruiters, the last year has been a trial by fire, with many forced to learn the ropes of recruitment in lockdown. 

Rachel Knox, a recruiter with Everest People in New Zealand, started her recruitment career on the first day of the New Zealand lockdown last year. 

Despite this, Rachel has gone from strength to strength and was recently recognised at the RCSA Industry Awards New Zealand with the 2021 Rising Star award. 

We recently chatted to Rachel about her recruitment journey over the last year and what advice she would give to new recruiters. Check out our Q&A with Rachel below. 

You recently won the 2021 Rising Star award at the RCSA Industry Awards New Zealand, what did that recognition mean to you?

Rachel: It’s all very surreal for me as I’ve never been recognised or won anything before. 

I think winning the award was a proud moment for me and confirmation that what I’m doing is important and valued by the recruitment industry, my candidates, my team and especially my clients.

What motivated you to first join the recruitment industry?

Rachel: I didn’t go to university and had been in administration roles for the last couple of years feeling quite lost and unfulfilled. 

I felt like I could do more with my life and really wanted to start a career that would make me want to get up in the morning and go to work. 

A Recruitment Coordinator role at Everest People became available and I jumped at the opportunity to learn more and grow in a completely new industry. 

How has your career developed as a recruiter since then? 

Rachel: When I first joined as a Recruitment Coordinator on the first day of lockdown in New Zealand, I knew absolutely nothing about the recruitment industry. I was trained in depth by my mentor, Beth Haigh who has been with Everest as a Recruitment Advisor for four years. 

She took the time to really develop me as a person and gave me a wealth of knowledge about people, the way they think, how to be a successful recruiter and providing excellent service to my clients and candidates. 

Six months later, I was promoted to a full-time Recruiter position and haven’t looked back. In the last year, I’ve placed amazing candidates with outstanding clients and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to support me in that journey.

What advice would you give to other professionals who are considering becoming a recruiter? 

Rachel: Take the time to learn the recruitment process, sign up for the professional development workshops and courses. 

Really put effort into yourself, your confidence and professional ability will be reflected in your work. 

Networking is crucial, you can never know too many people or gain an excess number of connections. You never know when you might need them in the future! 

Be a good person and follow the RCSA code of conduct and ethics and you’ll reap the rewards!

What are your top tips for recruiters in their first few years of recruitment? What did you wish you knew when you first started out? 

Rachel: Keep your communication with clients and candidates as transparent as possible. They will appreciate the honesty.

Never burn bridges, New Zealand is too small.

You never learn everything, continue to upskill, and develop yourself professionally and personally.

Follow processes, reference checks, criminal checks and testing are worth the time and energy to make sure you have the right person for the job.

Have fun! This is an awesome industry, and I would encourage people to enjoy the journey.

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