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Mastering your Market: Becoming a True Recruitment Specialist

Joining us with over 20 years working within Recruitment, Richard’s experience speaks for itself…

The breadth of markets he has worked within spans accountancy, finance, construction and more. But, for all his many experiences working within different sectors and mastering different recruitment methodologies within both corporate and SME businesses, Richard is excited to return to work within the professional services sphere at Heat. Read on for Richard’s discussion of shifts in the market, the importance of passion for your market, and the feeling of coming home.

“Over the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate to work within a wide range of verticals.

From spending around 15 years within accountancy, to then moving into insurance and financial services, construction, facilities management and maintenance, my career has ranged from working within Corporates, SMEs, and also a company that specialised in retained search. Naturally, being able to work within so many industries and with such a variety of roles and clients, I’ve been able to gain some invaluable insights along the way.

One of the most crucial bits of information I can impart is that recruitment as a process typically remains the same across all sectors. Of course, every search tends to be slightly different, as both the individual job and the individual you are placing will have a set of specific requirements. But, regardless of the sector you are working within, the recruitment process is boiled down to the same steps and follows the same pattern. Because of this, it can become easy to slip into a fixed routine, and then find yourself starting to become disengaged in the process and, rather than pushing yourself to go further, you start taking it for granted.


“The recruitment process, whatever you’re doing, whatever sector, you boil it down to the same steps.

This is why it’s crucial to really invest in your market and break out of the cycle of the process; keep learning about your market, or you might end up stagnating. Unless you’re prepared to really get passionate about your market, network within the industry, and take the time to do a bit of research, you’ll limit the success you have within your career. For me, this was why I decided to do the Cert CII Qualification: because you need to gain an understanding about what your candidates and clients do, and live and breathe it. You need to throw yourself in if you want to see success. And, when people move, if they really love their market and have invested time and energy into it but then don’t love the next one they move to, that’s where people can struggle.

In terms of where the recruitment industry is heading, I would suggest that it’s becoming increasingly crucial to think laterally. Recruiters and recruitment businesses should be thinking about how they can grow outwards and become true consultants. If you’re enthusiastic about your market, your earnings, and your job then you could be a mentor or a figurehead within your team. Equally, becoming a true expert in your market is invaluable, and this goes beyond simply making fees. Recruiters have a reputation for being mercenary, so set yourself apart by giving something back: go and do talks, volunteer to help young people with their CVs, and ultimately really engage with the market you are in. In my view, it comes down to mindset: you shouldn’t think of recruitment as simply placing candidates and making fees, there’s miles more to it than that. A lot of people underestimate the impact you can have as a recruiter. Some of the people I’ve placed are still within that same role I placed them in today: the impact you can have on people’s lives is tremendous.

“Unless you’re prepared to really get passionate about your market, network within the market, and take the time to do a bit of research, you’ll limit the success you have within your career. You need to throw yourself in if you want to see success.”


“In all honesty, coming back into Insurance market feels a lot like coming home.

I’ve covered a lot of new markets and learned a lot of new skills in adapting to new industries, but there’s a lot of value to sticking to a market and becoming a true specialist within it. Prior to joining Heat, I was offered a place in a completely different market, which would’ve been learning something entirely new. However, I think the seed had already started to grow in my mind: I was starting to realise I wanted to return to the professional services, and one of the key things that stood out to me about Heat is that Insurance is part of the company’s DNA. Heat have been operating in Insurance for 16 years, and the specialist recruiters who are working within the business have a huge combined number of years in the area, whether that be running desks or within the industry itself. We have a strong track record in the industry, and I wanted to marry up both my network and understanding.

Heat have been covering a lot of ground remotely and opening up a northern office brings with it a wealth of new opportunity. For me, it is so valuable to be able to go out and speak to a consultant and say we have this DNA: having the knowledge and network that we do, as well as the opportunities for progression and the market-leading commission structure, all combines to make a compelling opportunity. Corporates definitely have their place, but the culture at Heat is very appealing: the level of flexibility and transparency, coupled with the investment in technology, is unlike anything I’ve seen at other firms before. You certainly won’t get that everywhere you go. The joy of this investment into tech is that the whole suite is designed to make the manual processes of the job easier so that you can focus on doing the human part of the role. This is above and beyond what you would get elsewhere and is designed to allow you to grow your business efficiently and effectively.”


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