How to Tell If You’re Going To Be A Success in Recruitment

Anyone in recruitment’s driven by success.

There are some people in the world who don’t seem to have much aspiration or drive to go the extra mile in their career. These people probably aren’t recruiters.

It’s a universal prerequisite for any recruitment job the interviewee has “drive and ambition in spades.” I mention this to employers, but when advertising for a recruiter, you don’t need to mention “strong work ethic.”

It’s inherent.

After all, it’s a tough gig, and will crumble even the toughest of cookies at some point. So having the grit and determination to succeed stands you in good stead when you’re in a rut.

The good news is, despite what your boss may insist, there are varying ways to quantify success.

We’ll start with the most obvious…

Make money money, make money money moneyyy

This is the number one way of determining your success in recruitment.

That’s fairly obvious.

If you’re making money, you’re making placements and probably hitting target more often that not. And 95% of the time that will be down to your own hard work.

The other 5%? Luck. The previous incumbent was a pure bred who had a canoeing accident, or had to move to Switzerland on a whim for personal reasons.

You’re just the lucky sod to step into their place. And yes, you could’ve sworn you saw them drinking round the corner a few weeks later, with what looked like a bunch of fellow recruiters… but it can’t be them, ’cause they’re in Switzerland?!

But even if you’ve managed to stumble on a hot desk somebody’s created for you, you have to keep that going.

It’s not an exact science, but if you’re towards the top of the leaderboard in your company you’re probably doing pretty well.

You’ll be happy and so will your boss.


Rising through the ranks

Almost every Manager in recruitment will have at some point have billed well.

There’s a belief that if you can put strong numbers on the board, you’re able to manage. And, whilst that’s not necessarily true, it’s a sign of success if your business wants you to manage younger consultants. There are generally two ways you can go in recruitment when you’re promoted.

Manager or Principal Consultant.

If you decide to be a Manager then you’re being tasked with the success of others you work with. That’s a pretty honourable task and definitely a sign of success.

If you decide to go down the Principal route, your promotions will be a result of consistent performance. And that’s the clearest sign you’re either doing pretty well or smashing targets left, right and centre.

Growing a successful team

As an off shoot of the previous point, if you do make it to management level in your business, it’s a tough job. There’ll be lots of personalities who all respond differently to your management style.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and you’ll need a few to keep your team happy.

Having a successful and happy team is one of the biggest signs you’re doing a great job.

You’ll know pretty quickly if your team is happy and successful. For a start they’ll be making money and as they’re recruiters they’re likely to voice their opinions. Either in monthly catchups or after enough Dutch courage on a Friday evening.

A happy network

Sometimes in recruitment you’ll go through a period where you’re not making money.

Even the best Recruiters in the game experience it. There’ll also be a time when your team isn’t happy and you feel stagnated in your job.

Does this mean you’re unsuccessful? Not necessarily. And looking at the satisfaction of the clients and candidates you deal with may provide an insight into how effective you’re being.

Whether you’re reading the latest and greatest recruiter bashing thread on LinkedIn or just get the feeling you’re not doing well, if the network you interact with daily are happy with the job you’re doing, keep the faith.

Because people don’t do business with recruiters who aren’t doing a good job and impacting their career or business.

Happy colleagues

The flip side is obviously your own business being happy with your input. Great input doesn’t always equal great output in recruitment.

There are times when luck or being in the right place at the right time will determine your success.

Ask yourself whether your boss or manager is happy with your effort and performance.

Your last review will probably give you a fair idea.

You’re obviously not in recruitment for the sole purpose of pleasing your boss, but if you’re not about to be booted out the door and are generally liked by senior management then you’ve almost certainly got what it takes to get through any rut.

Stick with it, and keep going.


Are you a failed recruiter?

The reason you hear the term ‘failed recruiter’ a lot is the same reason you’ve caught management lying about the latest exit from the business.

It’s an elitist, ‘with us or against us’ mentality that breeds resentment and contempt for anyone plucky enough to find another path, with different employers. In fact, it says a lot more about them than the object of their disdain.

Chances are, just because you’re in an environment that doesn’t suit you, doesn’t mean you’re a failed recruiter.

It means there’s one thing limiting or damaging your potential, staying put is arguably more of an alignment to failure than rising above it and moving on.

It could be management. The market. Candidates. The hours. Your colleagues or anything else you hold important.

If, in your gut there’s enough to give you hope and belief in your own ability, don’t limit your potential to the opinion of others. It’s possible you’re in a rut and just need a pick me up.

For every ‘failed recruiter’ story you hear, there are far more examples of success stories. Stay strong. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and great and consistent billing takes time too.

Keep the small signs of success above in mind, and be aware you don’t always have to be top biller to be a success.

Keep your chin up, and read Hunted for any assistance you might need along the way.