If you're an Executive Recruiter who works alone you probably have already encountered the ebb and flow phenomena. If you're new to a career in recruiting here's a preview of how the ebb and flow cycle works. When you know what's ahead you can monitor your thinking. More importantly you can map out the actions that create long-term success.
Contingency fee recruiters make the most money. Unfortunately not everyone is prepared for the cycles of production and self-torture that can accompany each stage.
Stage 1: Honeymoon or Euphoric Stage
New recruiters are learning the process and following each step as they were trained. The see the process work and they are successful making placements. Life is good and recruiting is fun.
Stage 2: Make It or Break It Stage
Sometime during the second month typically new recruiters start to take short cuts or they feel overwhelmed by all the potential paths a search assignment can take before a deal closes. While they see the money is fantastic the reality of the work needed to make a placement hits home. Recruiting is not all roses and kisses.
Stage 3: Peak Out
Those recruiters who pic themselves up after stage 2 throw themselves into their search assignments with vigor and behold their production multiplies! Around the fifth month and into the seventh month there is a peak. The intense hard work has paid off yet that level of intensity is hard to sustain.
Stage 4: Plateau
At around the sixth or seventh month, recruiters tend to plateau. They know the recruiting process works. They've experienced a remarkable increase in confidence and skill level. Recruiters can see into the future and accurately estimate their income. This stage ironically, tends to be the moment of truth for many recruiters.
Stage 5: Decision Time
Around month eight many Recruiters go through a self-evaluation process. Maybe they've had a few disappointments. Placements that should have been successful failed. They are frustrated. It's time to decide if you're committed or not. Respect your decision!
In order to move past stage 5 and continue enjoying all the fantastic benefits being a self-employed recruiter has to offer, recruiters need to know a few things.
1. You are completely normal! There's nothing wrong with you so don't waste any time on self-doubt and don't second-guess the process.
Identify areas that bother you. If you feel isolated how can you schedule time to socialize with others? If you want more support decide what kind of support would make you happy. Do you want a Researcher to source candidates for you several hours a week? Hire one! Do you want a colleague to split placements with and share the ups and downs of the process? Those who make it past the eighth month mark have a high probability of increasing their placement closing rate once again.
2. Recruiters who enjoy their independence find refuge in the recruiting business. They continue to hone their skills and methods. They've been through the cycle and won't have to do it again. Headhunters who recruit long-term develop a personal system. Everyone has tasks to do at work and recruiting is no different.
The ebb and flow of recruiting simply needs to be managed. Pace yourself. Stay focused and on task. When you systematically make your daily phone calls that activity generates more activity. Half of your day will be passively taking calls and handling situations that come to you. The other part of your day will be initiating activity. As your skill sets improve your decisions will as well. Recruiting is challenging. Claim your success! The satisfaction dividends are off the charts!
Success in Recruiting begins with the recruitment process. Recruiting is challenging and rewarding. Kimberly Schenk is a Recruiting Coach (7 yrs) and Executive Recruiter (20 yrs). Recruiters who wing it, fail. If you want to be a Headhunter start to build a stellar reputation with your first phone call.