Absolutely none. In fact anyone who tells you otherwise is simply trying to get money off you, because the vast majority of recruitment consultants simply fall into the job and don’t actually receive any training at all other than how to sell things.
Recruitment consultancy and working for a recruitment agency is essentially sales and customer service. If you have experience selling you can work as a recruitment consultant. In fact if you haven’t got experience selling you can still work as a recruitment consultant because anyone can do the job. There is no mystery to it, no hidden skills that only those who have been on expensive training courses know. Recruitment consultancy is simply selling the services of your candidates to potential employers. Without these things it is quite difficult to make any money out of being a recruitment consultant, but you can still do it.
There are of course organisations like the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP) or the Association of Professional Service Companies (APSCO), both of whom offer training courses to turn you into a bona fide recruitment consultant.
So for example, I work as a recruitment consultant and have done for nearly 20 years and I am a FIRP, which means I am a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals. This simply means I have agreed to abide by a code of conduct, I have passed a qualification called the Certificate of Recruitment Practice, and I have been working in the industry for more than 7 years.
Naturally some companies abide closer to the code of conduct than others, and even amongst the large recruitment businesses there are quite a few who claim to be acting in accordance with the codes of conduct but in reality they ignore them on a daily basis and do whatever they please.
So in summary, you don’t need any qualifications to be a recruitment consultant, but a way with words always helps.
Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and writes regularly on subjects linked to the legal profession and recruitment. Visit his award winning blog at www.legalrecruitment.blogspot.com for over 200 articles.