How you can have a successful career in recruitment

Working in recruitment can be daunting. It can be a rollercoaster ride, but it is one that you will want to go and ride again and again. At the age of seven when our parents, teachers or peers asked us what we want to be when we are older, I am sure none of us was shouting “a recruitment consultant”. However, it is a role that can help you build a foundation and a solid career and anyone can take the plunge if they feel that they have what it takes.

There are a few qualities which can help you become a successful recruitment consultant, I have pinpointed a couple. If you feel like any of these reflect you, then why not take the plunge into the world of recruitment.

A confident Communicator

Being a confident communicator is important when working in recruitment because you want to build the most important brand, YOU! Dealing with clients and candidates on a daily basis will be a key part of your role, delivering a great service and building relationships is crucial, so ensuring you can deliver information confidently and in a professional manner will help with your achievements.

Show Tenacity and Be Positive

Getting a no is all part of the game. However, the strength of picking yourself up and moving onto the next is vital. It can be hard to stay positive, however, positivity and determination is a skill that will keep you ahead of the game, a knockback should only encourage your willingness to learn and keep going.

Willingness to Progress

Career Progression in recruitment is an area that attracts most people to the industry. It can be a fast ladder to climb if you have the drive to achieve it. A structured career progression is one thing that most people will be looking for in a career and recruitment can really offer this. You can start as a Graduate/Trainee Recruitment Consultant and with hard work you can climb the ladder consistently throughout your early years in recruitment.

Be persistent and persuasive in a Professional Manner

There is nothing wrong with being persistent and persuasive, however, in the recruitment industry, it can be best to make sure you are doing this in a professional manner. Don’t use the pushy sales person approach, know when to push back when a client says no or if they are ignoring you (it does happen). You are always leaving an impression when you communicate with clients and you don’t want to build your brand negatively. Like our own values at Highfield, always show professionalism and integrity.

Are you looking for a career in recruitment and possess any of the above attributes? Then we want to hear from you! At Highfield Professional Solutions, we pride ourselves on our professionalism, integrity and expertise and we are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join us!

Contact our Talent Acquisition Specialist, Kay Fadden on 01489 774 010 or email for more information.


The Construction skills shortage continues

The construction skills shortage has been a hot topic throughout 2017 and it seems that it is continuing throughout 2018. As of now the skills shortage in construction has hit a record high. In response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Interim report, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said the industry requires a serious delivery plan in place for post-Brexit skills and immigration policy.

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s Interim update, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Migration Advisory Committee’s Interim update has set out the concerns and evidence which construction and a wide range of industries have presented.”

In their quarterly report on the current state of the construction industry, the FMB found that those that are affected are finding it particularly hard to recruit carpenters and bricklayers, as well has a huge shortage for skilled electricians, plumbers, and plasterers.

With the Government’s promise of building 300,000 new homes a year in England alone. The questions of “Who will build all of this?” stands. With the increasing demand for skilled workers, the wages are increasing, and the cost of materials are at a new high. This is clearly causing a negative effect on the construction companies dealing with this issue.

With Carillion recently announcing its liquidation, a move that affected the jobs of thousands of employees, it is surprising that this has not been an issue in regard to the skills shortage saga. The FMB confirmed that it was currently co-operating with the Construction Industry Training Board as well as the Department for Work and Pensions to place former Carillion employees with small construction firms needing skilled workers.

So, what can be done to combat this skills shortage? I think there may be some simple things that can be tackled to cut the skills shortage.

Gender diversity is a hot topic at the moment in all ways imaginable. However, it may be something that could really help bridge the skills gap. Making the industry much more inclusive could mean more women in the trade. This would encourage a whole new talent pool of candidates that could ultimately begin to mend the current issues.

Making construction a bit more well known could really boost the industry. Currently the construction industry isn’t ever really put out there, especially on the mainstream media. It is a possibility that if construction was portrayed better across all avenues, this could help improve this skills shortage. Construction is so important to help our economy grow; without construction workers there will be no more new homes, or new educational buildings or hospitals. It is something that needs to be considered.

Education on the industry in schools could help inspire the new generations of workers. Showing young people the choices they have within the industry could really push them to take the vocational route and undertake apprenticeships in the trades currently seeing themselves in a skills shortage. Whilst not a short term fix, this could prove a long term solution.

What do you think? Are you a construction worker? Do you agree with the skills shortage saga? Tweet us at @HighfieldREC to let us know.

Which rail qualifications are best for you?

With the progression of HS2 and Crossrail, the rail industry is booming. Now is a great time to look at refreshing your industry knowledge, and gaining some qualifications that will help progress your career in the next few years.

We understand there are many qualifications out there to choose from, so we’ve outlined a few below that will help your CV stand out from the competition, and enhance your expertise in the industry.


Gaining the status of Chartered Engineer (CEng) can significantly boost your salary, and is recognised around the world. Technical Rail professionals should look at this option to highlight to potential employers their years of dedication and expertise in their industry.

Professional membership is gained through initially registering with an engineering institute that is licensed by the Engineering Council. The Institute will then organise your professional review, which may include an interview.

APM and Prince2

For any professional serious about moving into Project Management in the industry, these qualifications are essential and are recognised internationally.

There are many ways to gain qualification, with courses being available online, in a classroom or on site. The University of Westminster is one of many establishments offering the course.

Each course lasts less than a week, which is a small price to pay for the extra £10,000 a year that it is said to be added to your salary.

IRSE Accredited Technician

A niche accreditation for signalling professionals, IRSE demonstrates to potential employers that you are competent in signalling or telecommunications engineering techniques.

You will need to be recommended to the institute from a sponsor (an IRSE Fellow or Member) who is confident you will be able to pass the exams. Once written confirmation from the IRSE is gained, you should apply online, and then complete the online modules.

It is worth noting there are deadlines for application, which will affect the dates in which you are able to complete the online exam.


Aimed towards Rail professionals who work on site, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme confirms to employers that you are capable of carrying out specific work on site safely and effectively.

There are a whole host of different CSCS cards; head over here to find our complete breakdown, to see which one is best for your rail career. From our experience, the Manager card is the most valuable for Rail professionals.


What qualifications do you hold that you feel have helped to progress your career in the rail industry? We’d love to hear what has boosted your CV!

Get your career in rail on track

The number of major railway projects underway and in the pipeline, combined with the Government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan that commits a further £100billion worth of investment by 2021, is making 2017 an extremely exciting time to kick start a career in rail.

The railways of Britain are undergoing a huge transformation with London’s new railway, Crossrail, reaching its final stages, and HS2 expected to start on site this year. Alongside this, Chancellor George Osborne has recently indicated he will continue investing in rail by announcing plans to bring forward spending on other rail projects.

The rail sector and its supply chain contributes more than £10billion a year to the UK economy and employs around 216,000 people – a figure that’s set to increase drastically over the coming years. The high-speed rail project alone is expected to employ around 27,000 people by the end of this decade.

So, if you’re thinking of entering this exciting industry, here are some options you should consider:


Apprenticeships can the ideal way to get your foot in the door and provide a steppingstone to a very successful career. The benefits of being an apprentice include; learning and gaining relevant skills whilst earning a real wage, hands on experience and a nationally recognised qualification that employers look for.


Entering the rail engineering industry can rely on several factors, and experience, as always, can be key. New entrants to the area are expected to have experience and qualifications in a relevant field such as a mechanical fitter, electrician or craftsperson. Protentional employers will look for transferable skills that could help with your transition in to the rail industry.

With the rail industry continuing to push the boundaries and innovate, whilst offering an incredibly rewarding career, it makes prospects within the industry more exciting than they have been for generations.

If you are thinking about a career in rail or would like to hear about the opportunities we have available, then get in touch with our expert consultants on 01489 774 010.

New Year’s Resolutions for Job Seekers

If you’re on the lookout for your next job or thinking about a possible change in your career, then the new year is the perfect time to get your job search on track.

Stop wishing for that new job and simply make it your goal in 2017 to secure your dream role by following these new year resolutions for job seekers.

  1. I will give my CV a makeover

When looking for a new job your CV is your best friend. So, if yours is out of date, poorly written or presented then you could be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage in the job market. Put aside some time to completely revamp and update your CV. This is your first chance to sell yourself, so make sure you cover all your skills and experience that make you the best person for the role.

  1. I will look for opportunities to increase my skills

Are you looking to take the next step in your career but not sure if you have the skills or experience to make that leap? Make 2017 the year you develop new skills or improve on existing ones. Employers want people who can deliver the best results possible, so the more skills you have the more likely you are to stand out in the job market.

  1. Professional Social Networking

More and more employers and recruiters are taking to social media to post jobs or to find potential candidates. Ensure you are on professional social media sites, such as LinkedIn, and make sure your profile is up to date. Think of LinkedIn as your online CV so make sure you are showcasing the best version of you possible.

  1. Plan

Plan ahead – create a plan of the companies or types of roles you are really interested in. Look at the job descriptions of the roles you are aiming for and tailor your CV to suit. Connect with the companies you are interested in and keep your eyes peeled for company updates, industry news and even job postings.

  1. Stay Positive

Searching for a new job can be overwhelming and stressful at times. Don’t be too hard on yourself; finding your dream job can take time. If you are feeling negative, take a moment to look what you achieved today and be proud of everything you are doing to help secure your next role.

How To Ace A Job Interview On The Phone

With the job market more competitive than ever, recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly opting on doing their initial job interviews over the telephone.

The thought of a telephone interview may at first fill you with joy; you don’t have to get dressed up, you don’t have to leave the house and yes, you could even stay in bed! However, let’s not get carried away, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat the phone interview as seriously, if not more seriously, than any other interview.

Just because you’re not face to face with a potential employer it does not mean you can forget everything you have learnt about interviews. A telephone interview is not the time to slack. In fact, you must work even harder to make yourself stand out to a potential employer.

So, here are our top tips to help you impress over the phone…

Pick your location wisely

If you are lying in bed or slouching on the sofa it will show in your voice. Pick somewhere in your house that will help you get in to a professional state of mind. You could always try standing whilst on the phone as this can help knock your energy levels up a notch.

Don’t get distracted

During any interview, you want to give it your full attention. Make sure you limit any possible distractions, turn off your TV and your computer screen and put away any books or magazines around you.

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Take advantage of the fact that the interviewer cannot see you. Research the company and go over the job description, jot down some notes or important questions you might want to ask but don’t write down too much – you want to sound natural so don’t totally rely on pre-prepared answers.

Check your signal

If you are taking the call on your mobile phone, you want to make sure you pick a location where you have good reception. Interviewers will be busy and they may not have time to call you back if your phone cuts out.

Be professional

When it comes to telephone interviews, your voice and language play a vital role in standing out. Avoid slang words and talking too fast. Smile when you talk as this naturally ensures you sound enthusiastic.

Show your interest

Before you say goodbye, ensure you’ve expressed your interest in the role. Confirm with them what the remaining recruitment process is and how long before you can expect to hear back. Make a note in your diary to follow up if you haven’t heard.

Once you’ve nailed your telephone interview, head over to our career section and check out our face to face interview tips

How to stay motivated on your job search

Looking for a new job role can at times be a difficult challenge to face, checking job boards for your dream job, completing long-winded application forms and checking emails in the hope of a response – it can be easy to get stuck in this draining cycle.
In order to help keep your job search a positive experience we have put together some of our top tips to keep you motivated and one step closer to finding that dream job.
Get the help of a recruiter
We all know how stressful it can be to keep on top of your job search – what have I applied for? Who have I spoken to? When is that interview? Well, that’s where a recruitment consultant can come in handy – they are there to listen to your wants and needs and assist you with the entire job searching process from application, right through to accepting an offer.
This is where the famous saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” can play a part. Talk to everyone and ask about new opportunities, you never know what is out there until you ask.
Market yourself
More and more candidates are being found through social media, so make sure you develop your network and sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook – but make sure you are representing yourself how you would want a potential employer to see you.
Get feedback
If you happen to get a no at some point along the way, see this as a chance to learn. Listen to any feedback employers or recruitment consultants may give you, take it on board and work on it so you make an even better impression next time.
Be kind to yourself
This is probably the most important part of staying motivated on your job search. Quite often we can be our own harshest critic, feeling we should be a hundred steps ahead of where we are.
If you’re feeling negative, take a moment to look what you have achieved today and be proud of everything you’re doing to help secure your dream role!
If you’re feeling a bit lost on the search for your next job why not head over to to see all the career advice we have, or give us a call on 01489 774 010 to see how we can help.

Searching for a Job in Architecture? 5 Expert Top Tips

Here at Highfield we pride ourselves on the unrivaled service we provide. We understand that securing a job in architecture can be pretty overwhelming, so that’s where we come in. We want to relieve stress and help you showcase your skills in the best possible way to get you in front of some of the most prestige consultancies around.

Kelly Vidler, our specialist Recruitment Consultant has put together her top tips to help you in your search for the perfect role.

1. Find the right recruiter

With lots of recruitment agencies out there it can be hard to know where to start, and picking the wrong agency could actually slow down your job search. Pick an agency with a consultant dedicated to architecture – this shows they are a real expert in their field. Thinking of going the job search alone? Well here is what a recruiter can do for you:
– Help format CVs – recruiters know what the clients want to see and what CVs get noticed, we can help you present your skills in a way that everyone will want to meet you.
– Listen – a good recruiter will listen to exactly what you want, they won’t pressure you in to roles that aren’t a good suit.

2. What do you want

In order to find you your dream job, it is important for you to establish what it is you’re after. Talk to your recruitment consultant about what you enjoy, what motivates you and where you see yourself – they will know the ins and the outs of practices and be able to find one that is best suited to you!

3. Keep up to date

Our website is updated regularly with the latest architecture jobs, but to make it even easier it is worth signing up for email alerts so the latest architect jobs are sent straight to your inbox. You can also stay ahead of the competition by following our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

4. Review your CV / Portfolio

It is important to showcase your ability in the right way. Keep your CV simple and use it to detail your experience and skills. Your portfolio should be a balance between great design ability and practical experience, include examples of your strongest work. Remember, presentation is incredibly important; after all you are in the business of design.

5. Prepare for interview

You’ve secured the interview so now you need to ensure you impress.
– Do your research – find out information about the company and projects they have completed.
– Confirm where the office is and don’t be late
– Check out their social media pages so you can get a feel for the practice and update yourself with the latest news
– Interested in the role? Then show it! Ask questions about the company, it’s culture and the work to show you are interested.

Follow these top tips and you’ll be one step closer to securing your next role. If you have any questions, or would to discuss the opportunities we have within the architectural industry then please contact Kelly Vidler on 01489 774 010 or