Recruiters are more in demand than ever. Why is that? It’s one of the tightest markets ever and candidates are the ones in control – hiring companies are struggling to find quality candidates and they rely on their agency partners to have the spidey senses to find and match candidates.
I fell into an agency-recruiting career in 2013 and I currently lead a team and I’m training new team members from the ground up at Forbes Rated Executive Search Firm, Landing Point – it’s exciting for me to not only tackle new challenges in my day to day but to also see the success of the people I’ve hired. It’s an exciting place to be right now, my job is at the intersection of people, technology, and marketing.
If this all sounds exciting to you, recruiting may be a deeply satisfying career for you. Here I provide the pros and cons of being a recruiter, more specifically on the agency side:
- You make a difference in people’s lives: If you are someone who wants to have a direct impact on people, this may be the career for you! As a recruiter, you provide economic opportunity for people and also help hiring companies get the talent they need to reach their business goals! It’s a win-win for everyone.
- You learn something new every day from all types of people: By listening and interacting with a diverse group of people all day long, you learn something from every person you talk to. On the candidate side, you learn about different career paths and that no two paths are the same. When working with hiring companies, you get a better understanding of how all business functions work together. By working with a variety of companies and industries you learn what top companies look for in talent and how certain hires will affect business growth. It’s very exciting to be the one to help make that happen. You truly learn something new every day, which leads into my next pro.
- No day is the same and you are in the driver’s seat: Agency side recruitment allows for you to work with hundreds of different companies and if you join a firm where you work with a variety of industries like Landing Point you will never get bored. Every day brings a new challenge and opportunity to run your day how you want to. When working for a contingency based firm like Landing Point you can choose what you work on. While you typically don’t want to turn away business, if you don’t feel you will be successful on a particular search because expectations are unrealistic or it’s with a company that may have a toxic environment, you can’t walk away from working on it (and should so that you don’t make a bad impression with your candidates). While of course, you would want to manage a potential client’s expectations, you are not contractually locked in to take on a search you don’t feel good about. It’s nice to have that freedom. You truly get to control your own destiny and path in the agency recruitment world.
- People are paying for your expertise: By working on the agency side you get to be the creative problem solver every day on both the candidate and client. Candidates are coming to you for advice on how to develop their careers and clients are paying for your expertise on finding and matching the best talent. That’s a powerful position to be in and it feels great to be the expert in the room. When I worked in sales within the creative agency world, I was always showcasing the subject matter experts (the designers and strategists) – I have found my realm where I can be a subject matter expert and it’s insanely satisfying.
- You have unlimited financial potential: You make what you earn in agency recruitment so if you work hard and master your craft you can make great money if you work for an agency with a competitive commission structure like Landing Point. There is a low barrier to entry to get into recruitment (which has its pros and cons), you don’t need a fancy Masters degree to be successful as a recruiter so you truly get a high ROI on that Bachelor’s Degree. Most recruiting agencies are set up for you to make what you put in through either a base plus commission structure or through a draw. It’s extremely motivating to earn a piece of every deal you make everyone truly wins!
- Recruiting can be an emotional roller-coaster of a job: As a recruiter, people are your product and people are uncontrollable, emotional subjects meaning your day to day is unpredictable – just as it is a pro and can keep the job interesting, it’s also a con as it can really kill your mojo some days. This job is filled with very high highs and very low lows. For example, you can get a candidate their dream job, or help a candidate get a job that they would have had no chance of getting otherwise – that feels great! However, you can also experience a low when a candidate lies to you and leads you to believe they are taking the offer you have for them when at the last minute they take another offer. This is why recruiting is for those who are resilient and able to immediately bounce back from a disappointing situation – it can take some experience to perfect this skill, but the key is to learn and move on.
- Income is unpredictable: While this job can be very lucrative when things are going well, your income can also be quite unpredictable. This is not a job where you can rest on your laurels, it’s one for self-motivated people who are trying to do better than they did the day before. While this can also be seen as a pro, you need to be willing to consistently perform at your best since your compensation can vary depending on your performance. Also, the market can also have a direct effect – if people aren’t hiring, you may not have consistent business coming in, which will mean less of an opportunity to make money.
- Not all agencies are the same, do your research: Like any industry, there are good and bad recruiters. If you are looking to get into agency recruitment, it’s imperative to find an agency that shares the same values as you. There are agencies out there that send candidate resumes without consent, or send candidates they’ve never even met or have spoken with. Many recruiters are also short-sighted with one thing on their mind: making the deal happen. You want to stay far away from these types of recruiters. The great recruiters are the ones who truly love what they do, treat their candidates like people (not objects) and while being in a commission based role can translate into being money driven, there is no problem with that as long as you still provide an outstanding client and candidate experience – one that is guided by transparency and respect. I chose to join Landing Point because when I met with the team during the interview process it was clear they were building something different, one where they trained their team from the ground up teaching their recruiters to build genuine, trusting relationships, which is at the core of what makes a recruiter successful.
The Point: Agency recruiting can be a very fulfilling career. It’s one of the only careers I know of where every party involved wins – the job-seeking candidate lands the job, the hiring company gets a great new person to help springboard the company forward, and the recruiter makes money (and feels good!). Keep in mind though, like any job, it has ups and downs and the best agency recruiters are ones that know how to hustle, prioritize, persevere, be resilient, be self-motivated and ultimately know how to connect with people.
Recruiting is an in-demand profession and as technology continues to enhance what we do, it will only continue to get more desirable and exciting!
If you want to learn more about recruiting as a career path, or learn more about careers at Landing Point, email me directly at [email protected].