From Maths Graduate to Analytics Recruiter: My Perspective on Recruitment


From Maths Graduate to Analytics Recruiter: My Perspective on Recruitment

Having recently read a number of blogs from recruiters, hiring managers, and even people outside the recruitment industry, I thought I’d try my hand at writing about my own industry perspective.

I’ve now worked in recruitment for almost seven years, and below is a general overview of how I got into recruitment and developed a career in this industry, along with a few pieces of advice for anyone who’s just starting out.

One thing I want to stress from the start however, and it’s something a lot of people forget, is that everybody is different, and what worked for me might not work for you. But for now, I’ll not get bogged down in that, and save it for a follow-up post!

Why Recruitment?

Before a career in recruitment beckoned I had just completed a Maths and Statistics degree, which was followed by 18 months working in a betting shop, then some travelling around Europe. When I got back, I wanted to see more of Europe and thought the best way to do this was to earn some decent money.

The experiences I’d had with recruiters up until that point made me think, ‘Actually, I could probably do a better job myself’, and gave me the desire to have a go at helping people who’d had similar experiences to myself, to find a job they love.

Initially I thought recruitment would give me a quick win, and coming from a family of mechanics and used-car salesmen, you could say it would be the stereotypical ‘perfect’ position for me. However, I soon realised that there was a lot more to it and that you actually do have to work hard!

How have I developed?

In terms of development, I think we can rule out the first 18 months as doing a good job and mostly call it keeping my head above water! Whilst to a certain degree you make your own luck in recruitment, I must say I was also pretty lucky to join a company that was patient with newcomers, as not many recruitment consultancies are.

Starting out in recruitment was a huge learning experience for a naïve guy from west Wales; I think Paddington Bear had more life experience during my first visits to London! However in early 2012, something clicked and I’ve not really looked back since. Recruitment has been my job and I’ve been proud to tell people what I do.

I’d never perceived myself to be an out and out salesperson – not many Maths graduates are – but I knew I could do a good job if I just listened to people. It’s fair to say there have been a lot of ups and downs over the years, but I hope I’ve helped a number of people along the way.

Where I feel I’ve gained the most respect in my job, is by just being myself. I don’t go into meetings trying to be the loudest person in the room, or claim to be the most knowledgeable person on every subject.

I also don’t oversell or overpromise, and always offer an honest answer to a client, candidate, colleague or manager. Of course, if all recruiters were honest we wouldn’t have any problems in the industry, but hey, that’s life and it’s not just a problem in recruitment.

I’ve also always worked to help fill roles that I find interesting and in general have kept to my specialism within Data and Analytics; when you’ve got a background in the area you recruit into, it really does make the job easier. The fact that I’m also interested in Statistics, Machine Learning and Programming helps, because it means I can be just as enthusiastic about a job as a company or candidate.

What would I say to newcomers?

My advice to anyone who wants to work in recruitment would be to not just look at the money. You can get a lot of satisfaction from what you do, because the large majority of the people you’ll deal with are good, regardless of the times you want to bang your head against the wall/desk/phone!

It’s all about delivering what you feel you can and being honest when you cannot. Don’t be afraid to say no to a client when they offer you something you cannot work on, or to the perfect candidate who wants £10k more than the budget.

Don’t be afraid to say no to a manager who wants you to send 10 CVs to a job when you know the client won’t like it. If you’re afraid, then perhaps recruitment isn’t for you.

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology, Financial Operations and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact or call 020 7871 3666.