How To Bill A Million Pounds

How many million pound billers do you know?

As in, who’ve done it within twelve months. Not overall.

They’re rare. Admittedly it’s less rare to find people that say they’ve billed a mill. Once. During a particularly good year. Back in the day.

But how many recruiters do you know who’ve actually put seven figures on the board?

A genuine milly is recruitment’s white whale. Much mythologised, seldom seen.

Compare it to an average consultant. What’s average? The REC will tell you it’s about £90k. Good’s about two, two-fifty right?

Think about it like this: a million pound biller’s output is over ten times that of most recruiters. Four or five times a good one.

Several Hunted partners produce white whales. With more coming through the ranks all the time. So what does it take for high performers to put seven figures on the board?

I spoke to companies on Hunted with million pound billers in their ranks.

And it turns out the answer’s simple. Three things consistently come up as key to being successful:

1. Your internal network’s a goldmine

2. You need an environment where you’re trusted to get the job done

3. And for management to keep a light hand on the tiller

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1: Internal network

I’m a sucker for commencement speeches and Arnie’s at The University of Houston on being a “self-made man” is solid:

“None of us can make it alone. None of us. Not even the guy that is talking to you right now, that was the greatest bodybuilder of all times. Not even me, that has been the Terminator and went back in time to save the human race. Not even me that fought and killed predators with his bare hands…”

Sir, this is a Waitrose.

It might sound like The Kindergarten Cop’s going off on one, but he’s making the point that plenty of people helped him get where he is:

“You can call me Arnie. But don’t ever, ever call me the self‑made man”

Leveraging your internal network’s uncommon in recruitment. It seems counter-intuitive to the principles of self-startership and entrepreneurism that are intrinsic to recruitment.

But the truth is, you wouldn’t be where you are without help. Or if the word H*LP doesn’t sit well with you, then call it support. Or guidance. Or advice.

Splitting fees is a practical way to snag a smaller piece of a bigger pie.

Which doesn’t mean settling for less. It means taking down 50% of £40k instead of 100% of £10k. It means utilising the strengths of the people you work well with and going after big hiring projects together.

Specialisms are important but teamwork makes the difference in unlocking a fresh stream of extra revenue. And the more deals you close with your colleagues, the larger your commission gets.

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Here’s The Lowdown on Split Fees. Done well, they’ll form a major chunk of your billings.

2: Trust

It’s no surprise high performers typically come from a structured background. Because if fulfilling basic activities comes naturally, metrics don’t need to be meticulously tracked.

Hunted partners who foster million pound billers aren’t usually KPI obsessed.

Although if there’s a metric that matters, it should be meetings.

Utilising your internal network’s a culture that can really thrive outside the office. It’s why diaries are best kept open. Because if you’re in the same part of town as a colleague, tag along.

Meet more clients. Cross-sell. Win more business.

Among top performers, there’s a direct correlation between meetings and billings.

Plus everyone wants to be out the office more. And if doing so equals more revenue, it’s a no brainer. Our Recruiter Hacks: Meeting Special has five programs for the outbound consultant to add to their arsenal.

Although ordinarily, building trust’s a long game. The rules are right here.

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3: Management

If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “light hand on the tiller”, this article illustrates it perfectly.

The tiller’s a bar you use to steer a boat. And keeping a light hand on it means not forcing through the waves, but being alert to your environment and guiding your crew through even the choppiest waters.

Essentially: steer the ship, don’t try to control the sea.

Recruitment’s an industry where managers matter. And given how much autonomy and trust’s required to recruit to a high level, your manager could be a determining factor when you reflect on your performance at the end of the year.

We’ve written guides on How To Be a Great Manager and How to Deal With a Micro Manager. And if you’re on a mission to hit 7 figures, you’ll need the former in your corner and not the latter keeping you there.

Some questions to ask yourself if you want to bill a mill:

* Does your manager motivate you?

* Are they empathetic?

* How much have they taught you?

* What are they like when you’re going through a rough patch?

* If you weren’t paid to follow them, would you choose them to lead you?

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So how do you become a million pound biller?

Consider carefully inverting a bunch of commonly held recruitment norms, so they work for you and not against. We’ve looked at the benefits of going against the grain before, with an article containing Entrepreneurial Advice from Tim Ferriss.

And what happens when you’re in an environment based on internal networking, trust and unintrusive management?

For one thing, you’ll find churn’s generally lower. For another, time served’s usually above average across the board. 

No one bills a million pounds in year one. 

Despite what even the most fanciful recruitment adverts tell you. In fact you’ll be lucky if you do it by year three. It’s more about committing to a long-term approach that will serve you well.

Let’s say when you’re starting out in your market you’ve got ten competitors. You’re in a niche you like. You’re consistent. And you manage your clients and candidates well.

In theory, if you’re making placements regularly, you’ll have five competitors in your second year. By year 3, less still. The idea’s that by the time you hit years 5 and 6, you’ll have a single rival or stand unopposed in your market.

And your billings will reflect that.

But hitting seven figures in a year is more than just the numbers on the board. It’s the status that comes with it. How you build on it. What you do next. And, of course, what it does to your commission.

Are you a million pound biller?

At heart, if not on the board?

You’ll know whether you can become a white whale at your current company. And if not? Get in touch with our Talent Team. We’ll tell you which companies have seven figure billers on the books. And what you can do to get there.

Then it’s up to you.