On my commute this morning, I was reading an article in the Guardian about a chap looking to find a new job in recruitment. He kept being rejected at interview stage for being “too nice”. I scrolled straight to the comments, and in true Daily Mail style, there was an outpouring of vitriol.

"Recruitment is ... for lying, cheating, shallow, commission hunting, CV shuffling liars who don't care about getting the right person in a role or finding the right job for a candidate."

"...recruitment consultancy is nothing to do with 'helping people...'"

"Bullshitting is a major requirement for any recruitment consultant."

"It's a despicable industry that adds no value whatsoever."

And my favourite:

"I think one of the requirements to work in the recruitment industry is to be totally incompetent."

Where to even begin.

In any industry, any job function, there are people looking to get ahead by stepping on people beneath them. Recruitment for sure isn't any different. But it 100% makes it hard to justify to people that I meet, what I do.

I had a memorable dinner back at Cambridge University, my old stomping ground, where I was sat next to a Computer Scientist. After introducing myself, he asked what I did. I knew what was coming.  "I work for a start-up in London, we place graduates into innovative and fast-growth companies," was my cagey answer. "So you're a recruiter?" the reply came. And then he turned away from me and blanked me for the rest of the evening.  

When I left university, it took me a while to identify exactly what I found rewarding in my work, and how I wanted that to translate into a career.  I concluded that I get a buzz from working with energetic, like-minded and entrepreneurial people, and feel satisfied when I can give people genuinely useful advice. I like the fact that we're adding value to and facilitating the growth of the companies we work with, and that our job opportunities provide an outstanding platform for candidates to start their careers. My team at Instant Impact are job match-makers, we like achieving. We care. We're nice people.

So yes, I work in an industry that has a dubious reputation, but I'm part of a company that is shaking things up. And although (at the moment) I might not always like to acknowledge that I'm a recruiter, I'm super proud of what my company does, and the people I work with.