You’re a server at a restaurant who takes pride in your work. Or you’re employed in commissioned-based sales, where the motivation, determination and confidence you bring to the job every day are reflected in your paycheck.

Whether you realize it or not, if you’re successful in the retail or hospitality industries, you’re likely an ideal fit for a future in recruitment.

Recruiters have a knack for reading people and their body language that allows them to develop rapport quickly. They understand that building trust and making someone comfortable are essential to further engagement.

Retail and hospitality professionals form impressions within seconds. They approach new customers most of the time without knowing their story or background or why they might be in such a bad mood that day. The connection they build with a customer hungry for breakfast might not be as meaningful as recruiter to candidate or recruiter to hiring manager. But the skillset it takes is nearly identical.

They know how to talk to a stranger and more importantly they know when to listen. They know authenticity goes a long way while gimmicky sales rhetoric is a turnoff.

In recruiting, making a connection and nurturing it are essential to long-term success. You must develop lasting, trusted relationships with candidates and hiring managers. Recruitment firms connect candidates with opportunity. They know what hiring managers are seeking; it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. A candidate who might be a terrific match for one company might not work for another.

The best recruiters don’t get discouraged easily. They move forward and learn from experience, something hospitality and customer service associates do so often they might not realize how much of a skill it is. Your training ground in retail is ongoing, related to the forced door chimes that signal whether a relationship is about to begin, has ended successfully or has simply ended. It’s a subconscious process that calls for internal reflection to inform the next interaction that can begin in a matter of seconds.

Likewise, recruiters understand they can’t wallow in an opportunity lost. They refine their approach and understand that even one “off” moment can have negative consequences.

When you work in a restaurant or tend bar or you’re on your feet all day in customer service, nobody has to tell you it’s a grind. If you’re going to get ahead, you actually learn to embrace it. Often that means tempering your own emotions in a charged situation. That overcooked steak or snazzy new cell phone you sold that malfunctioned after a week likely aren’t your fault. But you can’t lose your cool no matter how tempting it is to implode in those moments. The best retail and hospitality workers solve and soothe. In fact, they’re often energized by their ability to manage a dispute.

In recruiting, no matter how well you do your homework, you have to be prepared for unpredictable, uncontrollable circumstances that occur because people are people. Nothing is guaranteed. You’re a professional matchmaker who aligns talent. You’re not going to bat a thousand , but you don’t let that defeat you.

Retail and hospitality workers often fall into those jobs, thinking they’ll be temporary. That’s not always the case, leaving many feeling pigeonholed and unsure of how to transition into an office setting. But their skills translate well into recruitment, making for a smoother pathway than they realize.

As a recruiter, you won’t be on the move all day long. If you’re part of Lee Group Search, you’ll enjoy autonomy and unlimited earning potential. No doubt, recruitment is a competitive industry, but if you’ve got a successful foundation in retail or hospitality, you’re well prepared to advance and thrive in a rewarding field.


Want to try it out? Lee Group Search is growing. Learn more about our open recruiter positions on our team here.

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