The Apprentice (Who didn't get fired)

Date posted: 16/10/19


I’ve been working at Beeken Reeves for over a year, and during this time I’ve also been studying for a Level 3 Certificate in Recruitment Practice. It’s been a really fulfilling year and I've learnt so much, so I wanted to share some of my experiences.

What's the qualification?

The REC Level 3 Certificate in Recruitment Practice is the equivalent to studying 3 A-Levels. It's the first step to learning the basics in recruitment, in terms of skills, and knowledge around the rules and regulations of best practice within the recruitment industry. It builds a solid foundation for the consultant to grow and develop, providing the highest level of service as consultant and setting them up to succeed in their career. The Level 3 certificate educates you on both the candidate and resourcing aspect, as well as the more sales focused client element of the role. It's a year long course and upon completion, there are numerous avenues you can explore to further your career. You can apply to go to universities that offer degrees targeted to specific jobs, or follow the apprenticeship route and undertake the REC Level 4 Diploma in Recruitment Management, or simply choose to leave it there and focus on career progression on the job.

Why I chose the apprenticeship?

I enjoyed school, but I didn’t have a chosen career path to focus my attention on. I wanted to do something that would allow me to gain knowledge and understanding, whilst also provide me with hands on experience. My learning style was better suited to a work-based qualification and I'd always been interested in recruitment.

The transferable skills you gain are incredible. The qualification is recruitment specific and whilst you're applying it to your current role it also teaches you skills you can apply to other wider aspects of life.

How has it helped?

It's helped significantly. It provides a really sound level of general knowledge of the recruitment industry and best practice, and it's supported by your employer, who have also given me continuous training and support. My understanding of the recruitment processes has been accelerated through undertaking this qualification, and specific modules on negotiation and presentations have allowed me to feel much more confident when doing my job! I don’t believe I'd be in the position I'm in if I hadn’t gone through the apprenticeship scheme. 

What I've learned?

Wow, where should I start? (That’ll please the tutor!) I've learnt a huge amount. From knowing the laws around advising clients on how to conduct fair talent attraction, to improving my methods of candidate attraction, understanding exactly what people are looking for when moving roles, and the best ways of presenting myself to clients.

It’s amazing when I look back to where I was a year ago regarding my knowledge of recruitment and the way I conducted myself. I was that naïve individual who thought you just put a person in a job and that was that, but it couldn’t have been further from the truth. The level of information you need to understand, the processes you must follow and the time and energy you put in to finding the right people or companies, was a real eye opener. I still have friends who ask me now “Is recruitment really that easy?” and with a wry smile I reply ‘No, it’s really not that easy’.

What’s next for me?

The immediate focus is continuing to grow my own desk. I want to be in a position personally where I have my own client relationships who trust me and will confidently come to me because of the level of service that I provide. I want to be recognised and respected as one of the ‘go to’ people within architectural recruitment! Slightly longer term, my ambition is to then grow a team and have other people working with me that I can impart my knowledge on.

As well as personal growth, I am also part of a growing company and that really motivates me. Beeken Reeves offer the opportunity to be a part of something special and unique, for me that's really exciting. Through my qualification and my experience so far, I believe I can make a big impact and help Beeken Reeves continue to grow.

My director asked me when I first joined: “I want you to think hard. Why do you really come to work?”. My response was initially quite materialistic and based on a guaranteed wage and earning commission. When I took a step back and thought about it, it was quite simple. Personally, I want to continue to improve, progress and develop myself, and that's aligned with the team I work with. Beeken Reeves have a real ambition to be different to anyone in our market. No one wants to wake up and be regarded as the second best or the fallback option and I 100% will help us be number one.

Sam McFadyen

Associate Recruitment Consultant

An enthusiastic and motivated team member, Sam works alongside Part II & Part III architects. He uses his interpersonal skills and industry knowledge to match top talent with their next role.