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Recruitment Consultant to HR? Is it possible

Hey everyone, hope 2024 has started great for all.

I am writing this post with hope but also some confusion re. uncertainty.

I'm currently in my early 40s, worked as a recruitment consultant since 2005 (with 1 career break during Covid.), mostly candidate focused but still lot of sales involved. Have recruited doctors for the NHS and of late financial services & consulting professionals for the Big 4.

Having said that, I'm also skilled in doing compliance checks (these are intense for NHS), arranging & co-ordinating interviews across different time-zones and interviewing candidates along with extensive admin work. Have used different CRM systems as per the need.

I've been thinking over the last couple of years to move into HR as I want to get out of the sales oriented monotonous approach of working a recruitment firm and feel like I'm now worn out. I'm thankful for some great managers I've worked for and have done quite well I would think. But I'd now rather work towards a more satisfying & solid career. Also because HR has a wider scope and endless learning & development possibilities.

I have not yet enrolled into doing CIPD level 3 as I'm not sure if it's even worth pursuing due to my age, or with so much experience in recruitment. Also, I've heard people taking on a junior HR role first and then studying towards CIPD alongwith. 

Should I apply for apprenticeships or graduate programs? I've applied for junior, trainee HR roles from last 1 month & more and have had no luck so far. 

I'm wondering if this pursuit is worth spending time on, or or is it extremely competitive & not worth pursuing. Rather to carry on in my recruitment profession & find a more bearable opportunity?

Any advice or suggestions will be highly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

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  • I cannot think of any reason why someone working in recruitment cannot move into more general HR. If you are in LinkedIn then I would suggest sending Martin Drake a nice message asking for his advice. He is a recruitment consultant who recruits HR people.
  • Hi Vikram,

    Best of luck on reflecting about what you would like in your next stage of your career. Have you thought about becoming an internal recruitment specialist within an HR team and moving that way? It would seem like your skills and experience would be a great fit for that, and perhaps you could gain some knowledge in the other areas (like employee relations, providing advice, learning and development, etc), through training. Early on in my career I made a similar transition from Learning and Development admin into HR Admin as part of a big team (I was lucky - my manager seconded me for a year to broaden my experience) and then developed my career from there.
  • I made this move.

    I agree that moving to internal recruitment or an RPO is likely to be the best "bridging" option.

    In general, any and all career moves are "possible". The question is whether you are willing to accept a decrease in remuneration to retrain - as while you will have many transferable skills, it's unlikely you will be as expert as you are in recruitment after your 20 years there!