Of course you wouldn’t! That would be out of the question in anyone’s opinion, right? Well – that’s exactly what you are going to do when you go to work for another agency.
Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Believe it or not that is happening throughout the staffing world! As the economy rebounds and jobs start opening up – many recruiters are now looking at either changing agencies or getting back into recruiting from being off for a while.
Let me be clear: When you get hired into an agency you are expected to generate business. In most cases you’ll be expected to go find an opening and then fill it. That’s what we do. There is no magic box awaiting you at your new desk. Probably a computer, a phone and a few new pens. YOU are the one bringing the magic!
So there you are. Let’s say you have a reasonable draw. $4k would be a good starting point. So you dive in – ready to make something happen. By the end of your first month you have a few sendouts. Ending the second month you’ve probably got a placement or two in the pipleline. By the end of the 3rd month you’ve made a placement and are heading toward your next. Right? You bet I am.
But what if you don’t have anything happening? You’ll be canned. You didn’t bring the magic. Your desk will be cleaned out and another hopeful staffer will be brought in to replace you. And you get to go try again.
What I’m getting at is this. You HAVE TO MAKE A PLACEMENT EITHER WAY! Get it? So why borrow 10-12 thousand dollars to get started when you will then be paying back 50-60% of every placement you make for eternity? See the math here? Over the course of 2, 3, 4 years just look at how much money you will be paying back for the initial loan to get started? The numbers are staggering!
When I got my start in recruiting (1987) it would have been impossible to start working for myself. There was no internet. Boolean strings were not a common term being thrown around. Client names were found only in the Harris Directory and what we called the Blue Book. Our database was a giant cluster of drawers filled with candidate folders. You HAD to be with an agency. There was just no way around it. And the phone bills? Outrageous!
It is such a wide open world now. Everything you could want is right at your fingertips. Candidates, company names, no long distance charges – you name it. If you’ve been in recruiting a few years and are looking for something new you should consider becoming an independent recruiter. Do yourself a HUGE favor – hire yourself!
Click the image for a larger view – you’ll love the details!
One of the first motivational images I have from early in my career is this poster. I’m quite surprised to have found it! I’ll be having a copy made to once again adorn my office wall.
Take a look. Perhaps it will offer you the same thoughtful reflection I have needed at times. You’ll see that anyone can get started. There is no gate or entry fee. Simply step forward and cross the line of opportunity and you’re on your way! Now for some it might be a little easier – perhaps they were dropped off at the front door by their rich uncle or had a friend pull them by the arm. Either way – at least in the USA – the door of opportunity is really not even a door. It’s a wide open path inviting us all!
You can see the people – eager for their share of success – begin running once they have started their journey. Right off the bat though there are distractions. Bohemianism looks like an easy destination. Just off to the right there – right inside the gate. It looks like a great time for sure!
On the left there is the Right System. It looks like quite a few can start right there – stay on the train and make it to the top of the hill. Kinda makes me wonder why more people don’t just do that right off the bat. Get your hands on a reputable system and stick with it. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But as you see – the temptations only get stronger the further up the hill you go.
Hotel Know it All? I’ll admit to have spent a few nights there. Look at the other hangouts. The Always Right Club. Can you imaging the conversation going on in there? Wow! I don’t need to practice? Nobody can tell me! Sound familiar?
Check out the Hand of Vices reaching out, grabbing people and dragging them into the River of Failure. How about the Hot Air Balloon ride? Or how Lack of Preparation is a giant hill – but you could bypass it simply by doing the work?
I hope this poster can inspire you the way it inspired me years ago. It’s not easy getting to the top – and much harder staying there. So watch out for the pitfalls. They’re everywhere!
Changing jobs is tough on people. They’re usually not comfortable with it – no matter how caring, transparent and helpful you are. Quite often the very people who say they’re interested decide during the process it is easier to lie to you than face their fears.
Sure – the thought of a new desk, brand new company and a clean start are appealing. We all enjoy being wanted. It’s human nature. But once we begin moving from theory (talking about a change) and into reality (you have an interview this Thursday) people begin second guessing things……and they will make up all sorts of excuses to slow things down. They don’t want to tell you what is really on their minds – they’d rather make up a convenient/plausible story as to why they need to “do it later”…….
Why do I bring this up? Simple. I will not ever reschedule an interview once it’s on the books. Period. And I’ll tell you why. After tracking every bit of activity on my recruiting desk one thing became clear – I never placed anyone that had their interview rescheduled. While I have no scientific evidence as to why this is the case I do have some ideas.
When an interview is on the books – and my candidate calls to reschedule I tell them in no uncertain terms: Nope. Either you find a way to make it happen or I’ll tell the client you’re not interested.
I then go on to explain to them exactly why. I let them know the chances of a rescheduled interview turning into a hire are very near zero. If they truly are interested then they need to make the appointment.
Do this. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Once you confirm your position as the professional in the situation – you can have the REAL discussion. This is when the true concerns are brought to the table. It’s a delicate conversation – but one that must occur.
Note: Once I realized this simple fact (roughly 5 or 6 years ago) I stopped rescheduling interviews. Could I have overlooked a placement or two? Possibly, but that’s the risk I decided to take.
(ORIGINALLY POSTED IN 2009 – But Some Facts Never Change……)
Her name is Holly. In all my years of recruiting she has been one of the (very) few who is somehow able to come up with a great candidate for any position – anywhere – any time. She’s been a partner for quite a while – and on our team full time since the beginning of last year.
I wanted to just take a minute and give her the recognition she deserves. Here is a quick rundown of what she’s been able to accomplish in just the past month or so. Note: This is by no means her entire contribution – just some highlights!
We’ve been working quite a few searches for one of the more “discerning” clients to cross my desk in years. We’ve been hunting for an HR Manger in Southern Wisconsin for months. Many more months that I personally would have wanted to stick with it. But Holly doesn’t give up! Our client’s new HR Manager starts on the 14th. Thank you Holly!
Last week another client gave us a 48 hour exclusive for a PLC Software Contractor. I’ve never placed anyone in that field – neither has Holly……that is….until this morning! Her guy started at 9 am today. Thank you Holly!
In January a dear friend and split partner asked for our help in another area – a Computational Linguistics/Machine Learning Software Researcher. Are you kidding me? What is that? I still have no idea. But guess who does? Holly! Her guy starts in a few weeks. Thank you Holly!
Not impressed yet? Well – how about the call I got during the Animal show last week. A new client needed some immediate PC/Networking help for a few months. They need someone to start right away. After describing our service – (wherein the resume also has a play button on the top – and he will be listening to the candidate describe his/her background while he reviews the resume) – he was looking forward to hearing someone describe their experience fixing printers, working with Group Policy and their background with Windows 2003 and 2008.
Guess what? Within 3 hours he was listening to a fully qualified and interested technician describe the exact experience and background he is looking for. They’ll be interviewing tomorrow at 9 am.
I have received calls from several (which means more than 2) recruiters these past few weeks. All had the same general questions for me: How’s business? Is the worst over? Have any job orders? What’s it like in your market? Is it safe to jump back in the water?
I’ve got news for you. Unless you plan to do something different to compete “this time around” you may as well hang it up!
So you were a big hit in the recruiting world before this whole thing crashed, eh? Made lots of money? Big deal. We all did! I’ve got news for you – it wasn’t you. It was the market. The mad skillz you thought you had were hardly unique. Post your job, sort through some resumes, blast them over (to the client that emailed you the job req) and make a placement. Life was simple enough. Life was good.
Guess what pal? That’s not gonna fly this time around. The game has changed. You better bring a different level of service.You don’t get to play this time unless you do something that sets you apart from the hordes of hopeful staffers wanting to jump back on the gravy train. So you better think about it.
Does your presentation sound exactly like the recruiter who called just before you? Will the recruiter calling “your client” have something a little more unique to offer? Are you better? Can you be? Will you be?
Sorry to bring you down – since you’re feeling pretty good having somehow survived the downturn. You feel the tough part is over – and you may be right. But some of you sense that you’ve somehow won the race……and you haven’t. You’ve merely survived long enough to compete again.
We’re starting a new race. You’re at the starting line. Look to your left – see them all? Look to your right – the competition is hungry!