Finding and hiring top recruiter talent is the toughest search assignment to work, yet it is also the most profitable.
You will receive a fee for a successful search assignment; however, a successful placement of a recruiter in your firm will create an ongoing annuity based on the increases in sales, client development, and an increased candidate database.
Further success will be realized in the internal momentum and synergy among your recruiters that comes with the addition of another productive recruiter.
Of primary importance is starting a recruiter hiring process based upon a solid understanding of the truths. Armed with knowledge of the realities, you can plan and execute a strategic hiring process with great success as a predictable outcome.
Reality #1: More will fail than succeed.
Good times, bad times; this is a challenging business fraught with pitfalls and variables.
An average individual will often fold under its weight. A proven prescription for the best individual formulation of characteristics and experience is paramount but not a guarantee against failures.
Employ recruiters in multiples and raise the odds of successful recruiter hire. Some of the dynamics of hiring two or more recruiters at once are:
- Peer pressure to perform. Each recruiter measures their daily successes against the others. The inherent competitive nature of top producers will manifest itself in the group dynamic created in by peer group.
- Efficient and wise investment of in-house training “pledge class” camaraderie (most recruiters work well together when they started together).
- Letting a recruiter go does not put the staffing plan back to square one.
Reality #2: Hiring recruiters is inexpensive; it is not firing them that will be extremely expensive.
Recruiters are typically paid in a high end, incentive-based plan. Hesitating to fire a failing recruiter out of “sympathy” deprives the non-starter of the opportunity to find another job to which he or she may be better-suited.
It is human nature to give a break to a failing person. Keeping a failing or unmotivated recruiter brings an air of failure to those on your staff who are succeeding. Appraise each new recruiter consistently and react accordingly.
The old adage applies: “People do what you inspect, not what you expect.”
Reality #3: Recruiters are, by virtue of their work and if selected correctly, aggressive and dynamic people who make things happen.
You may not like the best candidate for a recruiter role in your business. Hiring only people you like (as opposed to those who produce results) is the biggest mistake you can make when building a business. Your mentor, your staff and your own experience at the desk can lend assistance in screening for the “hunters”.
You need relationship builders seeking the big score, not telemarketing “order takers” or others who may be looking for a deal a day transactional fix.
How to Find Recruiters
What to Look For:
Nothing will have greater impact on increasing your profit like a good recruiter. To limit your search for recruiters to friends and personal contacts is a limiting way to build a business. Friendship is a welcome spin-off benefit of effective recruiter hiring; it is not the major criteria.
An empty desk is a drain on income. (You still have to pay expenses to maintain an empty desk and its resources.)
However, it is not significant when compared to the cost caused by a failing recruiter at that desk. Here are some suggestions:
Successful Recruiters Are:
Willing to take calculated risks
Can stand the stress of occasional big deals, as opposed to daily small deals ($30,000 a deal vs. a “DEAL” a day for $125)
Handles rejection and opposition (give your potential recruiters a hurdle or two to cross)
Deal-maker (“hunter” personality) seeks opportunities to create success and wealth and shares little concern over guaranteed income.
Street-wise (“sixth sense” for what’s going down or as golfers will say, “they can read the green”)
Business-wise (aware of hidden agendas and corporate politics)
Effective communicators and listeners with professional demeanor (how will your clients and candidates react to this person?)
Tenacious and overcomes obstacles
“Half full” versus “Half empty” personality
Focused; avoids distractions
Record of past accomplishments
The “people person” who wants, more than anything else, to help people.
Burned-out corporate casualties.
The financially desperate who cannot function under the stress of financial need.
Burn-outs from other recruiting firms.
Gold diggers from other recruiting firms who want a higher commission rate versus a more fruitful environment and resources that aid in creating wealth.
Best Sources for Finding High-Potential Candidates
Successful sellers of other high-end services (real estate, brokerage, insurance, investments, high end capital sales, etc.)
Tele-marketers wanting a step up, but not qualified to take it because they lack the characteristics and abilities of top billing recruiters
Parents with sales experience who have been out of the labor market for several years
The retired professional who is not ready to fully retire but seeks a better route to income than they may have in any other opportunity
Those to whom $80K-100K is a serious and reachable goal (an average recruiter will create much more than that level of income)
What about Advertising?
Advertising is not a first step, passive or primary avenue to viable recruiters, however, advertising can provide additional recruiter candidates.
Limit the contact information provided in the ad to your personnel services firm’s name and telephone number. This is a phone-intensive business. Those who would hesitate to pick up the phone and sell themselves are not suited for this career.
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Guide: Practical Tips for Remote Hiring
A suggested text and format for an effective ad on a website, blog, or other venue would be:
Aggressive communicator needed to master an executive search practice. Professional skills training and development provided. 2+ years of search or sales-oriented experience is desired but not paramount to success. Experienced recruiters are welcome to explore the high potential in our firm. A proven track record and the desire to earn high income are essential.
Your inquiry will be treated with the highest confidentiality. Call us at: 513.555.1234 and ask for (hiring manager)
Call (your firm’s name) (telephone #) (555) 555-5555
Ads can provide too many non-qualified lookers. This is particularly correct in a period of near double-digit unemployment. Many well-intended and hopeful people see our profession as one at which they could succeed.
We know that this is a common misperception based upon their limited exposure to our work resulting from their exposure to us as a hiring manager or candidate. Limiting contact to a telephone for first interviews can help screen out those who do not qualify with a minimal time investment. An individual’s verbal skills and listening capability are critical qualifiers.
Remember that most client and candidate relationships are developed by telephone conversations. Call strong possibilities after normal business hours.
Personal networks can add candidates. Let your contacts in on the fact that you are expanding your business and need talented people. Follow up on these networking calls (most people think of the right person later . . . and might not call you back on their own). Social media sites focused on professional relationships such as LinkedIn are best.
Days are often interrupted by salespeople who would like you to buy copiers, supplies, printing, etc. Keep their cards. Call them for referrals. Salespeople with higher sales skills often know one another. (Finally, remember salespeople willingly do favors for potential customers.)
Be careful about who you hire. You are making a big decision!
Hiring a recruiter can be as costly as the decision to remodel a kitchen, buy a car, or take a great vacation.
The challenge of being a search recruiter requires 100% commitment and intense mental focus. The personal and financial investment you will make in the effort to develop billing recruiters is a major one. (Conservative estimates range from $12-15K per hire considering base income and expenses.)
Another consideration of miss-hiring is the loss of revenues while trying to develop a lost-cause candidate.
Food for Action, Not Thought
The demand for our services is rising and demographic realities dictate a historic demand in the near future as the candidate talent pool evaporates.
The conditions and realities of the recruiting marketplace present us with the best of times to build our firms and increase our revenues, right now.
The most successful and solvent recruiting firms start hiring and developing talent in advance of a hot marketplace.
The well-advised owner knows that building a staff of highly productive recruiters is the only fail-safe strategy to creating equity in your business. When it comes time to consider selling your enterprise, the buyer must see a going concern in your absence. Great tools and investments in technology pale in their potential to create wealth and equity when compared with what top producers bring to your business.