Human Resources, Recruitment & Training

  • Human Resources, Recruitment & Training

Human Resources, Recruitment & Training

Overview of the Sector

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation over 103,000 people in the UK work in  the recruitment industry (2015)

Typical jobs in human resources, recruitment & training

Human Resources Officer–involves recruitment, talent management and retention. May include drafting job specifications, undertaking interviews and assessment centres, developing training programmes for existing staff in line with business objectives or developing policies on equality / diversity /pay / working conditions.

Training and Development Officer– identifying and addressing training needs within an organisation to ensure staff are well equipped to carry out their job; may deliver the training themselves and/or outsource it to other organisations.

Recruitment Consultant- matching candidates to employment vacancies with client companies. Marketing employment opportunities across a range of media, headhunting and developing employer relationships. Organising and facilitating the recruitment process on behalf of their clients 

What do I need to gain graduate employment?


This sector is open to all disciplines although some employers may state a preference for degrees in broadly relevant areas such as Business Studies, Management or Psychology. There are also relevant postgraduate qualifications available which will give you a particular insight into working in this field. Keep an eye out for courses accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Alternatively you can aim to secure a role in the sector and then pursue professional qualifications later which your employer may support through funding.


There are a number of specific HR Graduate Schemes across a range of sectors from retail to banking – see below for a sample. Alternatively you can apply for a general graduate management scheme which includes a HR rotation. A number of recruitment agencies offer trainee recruitment consultant roles to graduates.

  • BT– offer a Human Resources graduate scheme and placement programme
  • Rolls Royce – offer a HR Graduate and Placement Scheme
  • NHS – offer a Graduate Management Training Scheme in HR
  • Hays– recruit interns and graduates interested in becoming recruitment consultants
  • Angela Mortimer – run a Graduate Development Programme leading to the role of Trainee Recruitment Consultant

Any paid or voluntary office experience that you can acquire as a student would be useful for a career in this sector as it requires strong administrative skills. In addition an office based role may give you some exposure to the HR role within the organisation you are working for. Alternatively, any role that involves sales or meeting targets such as call centre work would also provide a good foundation.

The Person:

If you have strong communication skills and are good at developing relationships and networking with people then this might be the sector for you. It can also be a sector suited to those with an entrepreneurial streak as there are opportunities for people to strike out on their own and set up their own small, specialist recruitment agencies. Alternatively in HR and Training you can choose to work for a large global employer and this can mean being based in a company’s HQ which in the UK usually means London so this sector has opportunities for students hoping to stay in Northern Ireland or further afield.

You will also need to be comfortable working in a target-based and deadline-driven environment particularly if you work for a recruitment agency where staff may be working partly on a commission basis.

Key Employers

Local / Northern Ireland Opportunities

On Campus resources:

Northern Ireland Specific opportunities:

  Advertised roles: 

  • Check local job search websites
  • Check vacancy pages on professional association websites
  • Follow companies and organisations on Facebook and twitter and sign up for their newsletters

 Unadvertised roles & networking: 

  • Connect with groups on LinkedIn
  • Contact employers, industry associations and sector bodies to show interest
  • Attend and network at employer presentations on campus

Job search websites specific to Northern Ireland include:


Lorna Fitzpatrick

Lorna Fitzpatrick
Business Management
Graduate role with KPMG
Read the full profile

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James Rodgers head

James Rodgers
BSc Geography
Management Trainee, Enterprise Rent-a-Car

Read the full profile

UK and Global Opportunities

On Campus resources:

  • ‘Going Global’– MyFuture/Jobs/Going Global– database of jobs and internships, key employers and country guides
  • Opportunities to Internationalise your Degree (Erasmus, Study USA, EVS, INTO China) Advertised on MyFuture
  • Graduate Recruitment & Placement Fair– annual showcase of NI and international firms with vacancies

For further information and jobs in this sector see:

For opportunities and information beyond the UK see:

  • Diageo– offer a HR stream as part of their Global Graduate Programme
  • Reed– Recruitment Consultant graduate training scheme
  • Bright Water– hire graduates into Recruitment Specialist opportunities
  • Recruitment International
  • IITD- Irish Institute of Training and Development

Professional bodies and organisations

Further reading and information

Prospects industry insights and Gradireland sector career guides will help you to search for employment in this employment sector.

Prospects Industry Insights:

Recruitment and HR

Gradireland Sector Guides:

Human resources, recruitment and training


Further information resources are available at the Student Guidance Centre Hub (Opening hours: Mon- Fri 09:00- 17:00), including free copies of Gradireland, TargetJobs and Prospects guides plus self-help guides and employer brochures. The Student Guidance Centre Hub has free wifi, tea and coffee.

This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.

We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.