Recruitment consultants generally start work in the industry as entry-level Associates, contacting prospect candidates and following up with the existing network. When the Associate is deemed ready to start interacting with clients, they will usually shadow a more experienced colleague and attend meetings / calls with both candidates and clients. From day one, business skills are being learnt and practised - from how to write a good email, to phone etiquette, to how to run a meeting. Once the Associate has proven themselves ready to make placements, the sky is the limit. Compensation is usually target driven, so hard work usually equates a big pay check.
Progression within the consultancy is usually also target driven and based on vacancies within the team. But the recruitment sector is huge ($467 billion in sales worldwide in 2016) so the skills you learn in your first role will be transferable to other recruitment firms. The role of a recruitment consultant can also be used as a platform to build experience and contacts to move in to other areas like training, internal recruitment and other sales or management roles.