Those Who Can’t Do, Recruit.

People used to say this about teachers and it really made no sense to me because teachers DO so much and serve such a critical function in society it’s ridiculous that this quote was even a thing.

Teachers possess intelligence, patience, resourcefulness and most importantly, the ability to put up with a lot of dumb kids. Not an easy task at all, so why are we knocking them down with this terrible saying, especially when they actually chose to be a teacher and subsequently obtained the coursework and licenses needed to their job. I love teachers and have nothing but the utmost respect for them.

Nobody grows up wanting to be a recruiter. At its core recruiting definitely isn’t glamorous. You can make ALOT of money if you know what you’re doing, but the truth of the matter is most recruiters don’t ever get to that point.

Obviously there is no formal education in our industry, as we can’t major in staffing or recruitment. Additionally, we don’t have any licenses or certifications to denote recruitment proficiency, nor have there been any formalized best practices from which to learn from.

So What?

With no prerequisites required, literally anyone can be a recruiter. While anyone can DO it, BEING successful at it is a whole different beast. And since recruiters are the lifeblood of our industry, agencies typically try to attract young, naive and cheap kids who don’t know what they want to do with their lives. Most go for anyone who was popular (attractive), competitive or has shown in some shape or form that when stacked against others, they tend to come out on top. While I understand their reasoning for these traits, to be a good recruiter you have to be resourceful and have the motivation to utilize this resourcefulness. Most agencies weed out new recruiters by forcing them to compete with each other by cultivating a cutthroat culture where the top performers get noticed and the rest either adjust or fade out. It is not uncommon for there to be only 1 or 2 recruiters (out of training classes between 10–15) remaining after six months. For those who do stick it out, they realize that the job is tedious, inconsistent and unpredictable and burn out.

Where Do Good Recruiters Go?

Recruiters are the lifeline of our industry but in terms of agency hierarchy, are the lowest people on the totem pole. Successful recruiters can transition to account management or sales, focus more on the client services side, or move up in recruitment leadership, training and/or development.

A lot of recruiters do the agency thing for a bit and then transition from the fast-paced agency world in favor of the slower, less hectic and less stressful world of corporate recruiting. Going corporate provides a bit more stability and a certain level of “prestige” that is attractive to some. Like with everything, you want to go where it suits you and your goals and where you can be your best.

Where Does That Leave Me?

Throughout my career I have transitioned to new roles in account management, training and delivery. In my early days I would look at resumes of tenured recruiters “still” at agencies and scoff:

“This guy is a lifer agency recruiter!”

If I would have found my current resume when I first started, I would have laughed at it and moved onto the next candidate. Why would anyone want to stay in the same role for years? Are they not good enough to go corporate? Why would a 40 year old want to do the job of a recent grad?

I Love What I Do

It’s that simple. I am super blessed that I get to focus solely on that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *