What we think

This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

FMCG Recruitment Consultant-10 things I have learnt

8th February 2023

Six months into his recruitment journey, Josh shares his learnings as a recently new consultant within the FMCG industry.

During my first year in recruitment, I’d like to share 10 things I’ve learnt in the hopes that it might help others making a similar move. Coming from a coaching then hospitality background it’s fair to say I am not accustomed to an office-based role, so the change has been colossal. I’m loving the journey though!

Here goes…

  1. Empathy is not just a word.

As a recruitment consultant in the FMCG industry, you need to be empathetic to both client and candidate. It’s essential to have a true understanding of ones needs and what makes them tick. If you are aware of what motivates both parties, it really helps you match candidate to role to make sure you create the best scenario possible. Additionally, in some cases you can be speaking to someone who has been made redundant and therefore desperate especially in this declining economic climate. Empathy is key.

  1. Some people just don’t meet your expectations of how you should be treated.

Unfortunately, in rare cases people will probably treat you in a less than ideal way. A big learning curve for me was how to deal with those interactions with people who see recruiters as an annoyance or at best, a means to an end. You learn quickly to thicken your skin and not take any attitudes personally. Luckily, positive relationships massively outweigh any negative attitudes.

  1. Speed is everything.

There’s not only the race against other agencies finding the right candidate but a lot of candidates I speak to who are “open to work” are of course exploring multiple options. If you miss a day (or even an hour!) of communication some candidates may go for the first thing they see, even if your opportunity may be a better match.

  1. Be yourself.

Something I tried to do very early on was stay away from the classic sales pitch and just be myself when communicating with clients and candidates. No two people are the same so no two conversations should be the same either. I find people are a lot more willing to be open and honest if they know they are talking to a human being vs a sales machine. Recruitment, after all, is all about relationships!

  1. Money isn’t everything to candidates.

This one was a big eye opener and yet it was the most valuable lesson to learn. My first impression and from my previous experience I assumed people always made a move for money or status. This however is not true. The number of candidates who will choose flexible working and culture over a pay rise is astounding. In some cases, even taking pay cuts to move into a better suited environment.

  1. Patience and consistency.

patience is key for a recruitment consultant in the FMCG industry

Whilst recruitment is my life, it probably isn’t top of everyone’s agenda! And that’s okay. I have learned that if you call someone then you’re probably not on their immediate call back list. While we have targets and I want to be the first to hit them, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s about setting the foundations and creating the network to deliver success in the future.

  1. Work hours are not 9-5.

Granted as a recruiter I didn’t expect to just work a 9 to 5, but I’ve learned that it’s important to work around people’s schedules. If it’s more convenient for someone, then I will jump on a call with them at 8pm. I’ve learnt to understand that people are also working their 9-5s and won’t always be able to talk during office times. And there are people with kids wanting to put their children to bed before making calls – that’s their priority and rightly so!

  1. Your job is not your life.

Contradictory to my last point but hear me out. Recruitment more than any other job has taught me that you must actively choose not to work. It is very easy on a night to do ‘just one more search’ and you end up still sending emails at 9pm. Now I mange my time making sure when I have work to do it gets done but otherwise when I am out of the office I try to shut off and enjoy family time.

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no.

A big one for me. After numerous terms negotiations it is easy to see the drop in value with some recruiters and unfortunately in this instance, I must know my worth and stand firm. We are not just a “CV factory”. We want to add value to your process weather that’s an in-depth candidate profile or an industry rundown of where your role sits with the industry standard. We’re consultants by title and consultants by nature, and there is a lot of value in that.

  1. Define your own success.

From true elation to rock bottom, recruitment can be a real rollercoaster. Whilst celebrating your big wins, even during a time of bad luck it’s important to celebrate your small wins. When all’s said and done every win is still a win no matter how big or small, and it really helps you stay positive.

As well as these recruitment consultant specific things, I have also gained an added respect and deeper understanding of the FMCG business in general. It’s important to me to be an expert it the field I work in, so I’m well and truly immersing myself into the consumer world and learning new things every day. I’ve found it fascinating discovering the many cogs which get our favourite brands to our homes.

I’m excited to see what the rest of 2023 will bring, and I can guarantee I will be able to add plenty of points to the above list by the end of it!


Seven are experts in FMCG, consumer and retail recruitment.

Have any recruitment challenges you want to discuss? Chat to one of our team!

Are you looking for your next move in the FMCG, consumer or retail world? Check out our LinkedIn page or have a browse of our vacancies – both are updated regularly. 

Other posts you might like...