My work experience diary – part 1

In October 2016 I joined KDR Recruitment for work experience. I chose KDR as they are a small local company in Knutsford who specialise in Information Management and Data Analytics recruitment. As I have never worked at a recruitment agency that specialise in this topic I felt there was a lot for me to learn, especially as KDR and the industry is fast-paced and constantly evolving.

As part of my work experience I worked at KDR every other Friday.

Week 1

My first day at KDR Recruitment was quite informal, I was introduced to the entirety of the team and was shown a very detailed presentation on the company’s past and how it got to where it is today. I thought it was really interesting to see how KDR had grown over 13 years, and the managing director, Mark Dexter, put a lot of effort into making sure I understood; which I had not experienced from previous work experiences with other recruitment agencies.

After this meeting I sat down with the marketing and social media executive, Gemma, who showed me all their social channels as well as the admin side of maintaining them and the website. During this I was asked to write a blog on my experience at KDR.

Throughout my first day I completed several tasks, but matching up job specifications with a CV was definitely my preferred task as I found it very interesting not having done this before. I thought it was exciting to read through candidate CVs to see all the different skills and qualities people possessed. During the matching process the business and recruitment support administrator, Anise, showed me how to prioritise my searches to make it more efficient.

The one main thing I took away from the day was how inclusive KDR is. Mark and Chris, the recruitment delivery manager, were more than happy to have me sit in their meetings so I could understand what actually goes on in the company and see it from a business side. During these meetings I realised that KDR mainly focus on their customer service, rather than money. All this was very engaging, and I liked how I could ask Chris as many questions as I wanted throughout the day as they are a small team.  From speaking with Chris I learnt there are three individual aspects of recruitment – sales, research and accounts.

Week 2

On my second week at KDR I was introduced to KDR’s recruitment software, the software allowed KDR to speed up a large part of their recruitment process as everything is stored on it. As this software was new to both me and KDR I was involved in a meeting with Anise, Mark and Chris on how they were going to use it efficiently, we also discussed any issues we may have with the new software and how they could be resolved.

After this meeting I was shown another piece of software all the recruiters use called Broadbean. This allows them to upload their job descriptions to multiple job boards at one time. I found this process very interesting and could see how beneficial it could be to a recruitment agency.

Again, throughout the day I had the opportunity to ask as many questions as I wanted to Mark and Chris and I felt that at the end of the day I knew more about recruitment than I had before, although there is still plenty for me to learn.

Week 3

During my third week with KDR I was shown another piece of software they use regularly, this time I was shown a job board called Dice, which KDR use for sourcing candidates, especially in America. Anise showed me how the resourcers use the advanced search option on the site, so that I could then help Mike and Ben with the searches in finding the right people.

As KDR is moving onto a new recruitment software, Firefish, my job after lunch was pulling off all the CVs from the old database that they would no longer be using so they wouldn’t lose any of the CVs or data once they move over.

Later in the day I sat down with one of the recruitment consultants, Amy. Amy showed me how the recruitment process works from sourcing a candidate to qualifying them. I shadowed her as she spoke to candidates on the phone so that I could hear what information the recruiters need.

The one thing I took away from the day was that to be a recruitment consultant you need to be extremely organised so you know who you are talking to and what you have already spoken to them about.

Week 4

My morning started quite similar to last week with using the US version of the job board Dice to find CVs to match criteria that Mike and Ben had given me. This included location to a certain mileage, skills and salary. Although it was similar to the previous week I still found it beneficial as I was able to improve my skills in searching and resourcing.

After lunch I sat down with Gemma who showed me how the website admin works and what it looks like from the back-end. As KDR’s new website is about to go live I was asked to find any bugs in the website, I was told to try and “break” the website on both desktop and mobile. I firstly tested it on my computer and found no issues but when I tested it on my Android phone I spotted an issue with the image sizes on blogs. I immediately told Gemma and she showed me how she would normally fix an issue like this.

Week 5

This was my first week back after the Christmas and New Year break. My task this week was to help Anise with her role in assisting the resourcers with their tasks.

KDR’s aim is for their database to become a comprehensive library of every candidate relevant to the industry, so that in the future they will only use job boards to look for candidates that are new to that specialist market.

Therefore, my role today was to go onto the job board called Jobsite and search for candidates that have uploaded their CV in the last 6 months that are also relevant to Data Quality and Data Governance. I then downloaded their CVs to a file and checked their names against KDR’s existing database.

Once I had done this I passed the file onto Ben who will now spend the next few weeks ‘qualifying’ these candidates. This means that he calls them up and asks them for their experience and what it is that they are looking for in a new role. Ben will then add this candidate to the database where he and the other resourcers can search for them when they get new jobs and criteria through.

This job is important because it helps make the resourcers role much faster, as eventually they will only need to search the database to find candidates for their jobs instead of searching through 3 or 4 different sites.

Week 6

This week I was helping Gemma search the database. My job was to search the names of people who are known to open KDR’s monthly newsletter on Firefish, KDR’s database, to see how they are interacting with KDR on it. I had to find out if the person was known to KDR on Firefish, if they were signed up for email marketing and if they had registered for their own candidate portal. By doing this Gemma will be able to target specific campaigns depending on how people are interacting with KDR.

Today I learnt how important it is to tailor each interaction with candidates as they are all different, by doing the searching I realised that some people were really active with the newsletters but were not with Firefish.

Over the past six weeks I have definitely learnt a lot from KDR Recruitment. If I were to summarise my experience so far I would say it has been really beneficial in helping with future job choices. From working inside the business I have realised there are so many small, but important, details to working in recruitment that I would not have known without this experience. I would highly recommend work experience to anyone who is unsure what industry to go in.

I look forward to my next 6 week with KDR!

Written by Alex Platts

Click here to read the 2nd part of Alex’s diary

What advice would you give to Alex for his work experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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