I write a lot about recruiting tips and tricks and little nuggets I’ve learned over the years. Here is one I don’t usually share...recruiting is a REALLY hard career. It’s amazing if you’re into it, even better if you’re good at it.....but it’s hard. No joke, it’s harder than it sounds and here are a few reasons why:
Sell the candidate, sell the company - Recruiting has a lot in common with Sales, tons of grinding and prospecting to find business (or candidates if you’re a corporate recruiter) so you spend a ton of time of time on the phone. No big deal, the phone is fun. The challenge is this....you are ALWAYS selling. Sell the candidate on the role. Sell your client on the candidate. Sell the compensation. Sell the benefits. Negotiate the agreement. Sell, sell, sell. You’ve got to have that mindset from the start.
Most recruiters don’t last - Little know fact, most people who start a career in recruiting are out of recruiting within 3 months. If they make it past that...maybe two years but most people get worn down over time because all they do is hammer the phone when the get started. What they don’t realize, great recruiting is more than just hammering the phone...but when you first get started you usually can’t see the forest from the tree.
The numbers don’t lie - My first boss in recruiting taught me many lessons, this one has really stuck. “If you play baseball and hit .300 you’re an All-Star, in recruiting if you hit .200 you’ll do really well...but what that means is 80% of the time you’ll fail. Hiring metrics, pass thru rates, submittal numbers etc etc don’t lie......recruiting is a game of failure and how well you can keep your eye on the wins....and the wins will come.
Most of the tools suck - Yeah, I said it. Most of the tools you'll use suck so when you pull a report...that data sucks too. Recruiters are many things, great tool builders....meh
You’re always on the chopping block - Look, hard truth here. Recruiting is always the first function to feel a slow down. We are the ultimate cost center. Not only are we expensive...but we hire people who are at least as expensive as we are and add to the bottom line. So, when revenues are down or the market crashes who gets laid off first? Recruiters go.....sad but true.
It’s always a hiring problem - Final hard truth but it’s something you’ll find at most companies. Companies always blame recruiting. Attrition high? Hire more people. Miss revenue? Recruiting didn’t hire enough sales people. Expenses too high? Recruiting over hired and drove up expenses. Can’t hire enough engineers? The candidate pipeline is too small. Honestly, I’ve seen all of these examples in real life. What’s funny, is it’s almost never JUST a recruiting problem. Sometimes it is sure but usually it’s a bigger issue about the culture or the way the company operates it’s just easier for everyone to point at us recruiters than it is to say there is a culture or management problem.
There are a million other things that make recruiting hard but this is just a quick short list...for those of you getting started or considering a career in recruiting I hope it helps. My blog can be a lot of puppy dogs and ice cream and I wanted to make sure I keep it real. I love recruiting and will probably spend my entire career doing it but don’t think it will be easy. Chances are you’ll work longer hours and have more ups/downs than most of your friends......but that’s ok, we can handle it.