The Hiring Recruiting Firm

Most recruiting firm owners and leaders want a productive & profitable recruiting staff.

Some of the reason you may want to expand your staff includes:

  • You don't want to be limited to what you alone can do.
  • You are overwhelmed and need help.
  • You want to scale to significantly increase your revenue and profitability.
  • You want to be able to take true vacations and have coverage when you're ill.
  • You want the camaraderie of having a team.

These are all legitimate reasons to hire new recruiters. The above benefits often seduce recruiting firm owners to quickly hire multiple recruiters in the hope that they can catapult their firms to the next level.

But, the problem is… Hiring the right people is very difficult indeed.

If you've hired recruiters in the past or worked at firms that have, you've probably seen people fail. However, you didn't see the full impact if you were an employee and not an owner. If you are the owner, you experience the total cost when new hires don't work out. These costs include:

  • The emotional stress and distraction you experience when dealing with problem employees.
  • Salary, payroll taxes, benefits, tools/technology, training programs, etc
  • Loss of important production time because of training and managing people instead of recruiting and placing them.
  • Reduced placements and damaged relationships with candidates and clients.
  • Harm to your firm's culture and your standing with current employees

Hiring Recruiters & Recruiting Staff - Many firm owners and leaders give up on hiring new recruiters after experiencing the pain of failed recruiter hires on multiple occasions. They decide it's not worth the effort and give up on their dreams of becoming a larger, more profitable firm. What a shame! If they only got the help they needed to learn how to hire the right people, things may have been very different for them.

How to hire recruiters who are likely to succeed.

Over many years, we've discovered that 75% of new recruiter hires fail to meet expectations. That's disappointing for people who make a living helping their clients hire! What's the cause of this failure rate? A combination of a lack of training on hiring new recruiters and incorrect beliefs about the importance of previous experience in the recruiting industry.

Below are the two steps in hiring new recruiters who are likely to succeed in your firm:

Step 1: Debunk the big myth.

The big myth is that you are better off hiring new recruiters who have recruiting industry experience. Intuitively, hiring recruiters with prior industry experience should increase the odds of success. After all, experienced hires should take less time and effort to train & develop, and you already know they want to be in the recruiting industry, right? Actually, that's wrong for the following reasons:

  • Many experienced recruiters did not receive quality training. They've learned ineffective processes and have developed bad habits. Unless their way of doing things aligns with your way, you will likely face ongoing resistance to adopting your processes. When you hire people with little or no recruiting experience, what you teach them is all they know. It's  much easier to "train what's right" than to "untrain what's wrong."
  • The recruiters open to moving are usually the lower performers concerned about keeping their jobs and hoping that things will magically work out if they find the right firm. They rarely find that "right firm."
  • High-performing recruiters tend to excel in their firms. They're making more money and are treated with greater respect and appreciation than the low performers. Because they're doing well, they're not excited about having to start over or potentially dealing with a non-competition agreement. 
  • You pay a hefty compensation premium when hiring experienced recruiters. This lowers your profitability and raises your financial risk. 

The term for the above issues is Recycled Recruiter Syndrome (RRS). If you've worked in firms with a history of hiring experienced recruiters, you know how true this is!

Step 2: Hire people with the right characteristics.

You can train skills and experience, but it's extremely difficult to train characteristics. The basic skills required to be an effective recruiter are not rocket science. People with the right attributes and desire to succeed should be able to learn the basics within a few months and then continue to improve from there. It's common for recruiting firms to hire inexperienced people who outperform seasoned veterans within six months.

When you hire people with the right characteristics, you've addressed a crucial step in how to scale a recruiting firm.

The characteristics that you want to assess with potential new hires:

"Character and values" reflect the habitual way that people behave. These traits are difficult to determine with traditional interviews. You need a well-designed process to identify them correctly. Issues with character and values usually don't manifest themselves until people deal with challenging situations. But tough situations frequently happen in the recruitment industry. 

Examples of character and values include the person's grit, work ethic, resilience, and honesty. When people's character and values don't align with the culture you want to build, you are forced into a toxic situation. This impacts everyone's performance and damages relationships with your clients and candidates. 

Innate characteristics reflect how people are naturally wired to think and behave. You can think of them as the  "wired-in preferences" we all possess. The places that we naturally desire to focus our energy and attention. Some examples of innate characteristics include the tendency to apply analytical thinking to solve problems and the propensity to take action when unclear on how to proceed. As with character and values, you need to use the proper process to accurately identify people's "wired in preferences."

By applying the two steps above, you set your firm up with the following advantages:

  • You can access a much larger pool of candidates when you aren't limited to the small pool of experienced recruiters. This makes your search quicker and easier.
  • You can significantly lower your cost of new recruiter hires when you don't require prior recruiting experience.
  • You greatly reduce the odds of making bad hires.
  • You bring in people who learn to do things your way from the beginning. Getting people to change their ways is very challenging.

Recruiting firms come to The Recruiter's Coach to apply the two steps above. This allows you to stop the RRS cycle, which is so stressful and costly. 

The Recruiter's Coach delivers the following solutions and outcomes:

Owners of small/mid-sized recruitment firms face an extremely challenging environment that includes:

  • Outside pressures to commoditize your work and lower your fill-ratios, fees and margins
  • Client created challenges like filling their own jobs, using multiple competitors, unresponsiveness, closing jobs after you produce, etc. 
  • Changes in supply and demand for the people you place
  • Internal employee challenges which include bad hires, high turnover and low productivity/ engagement
  • Difficult questions on topics such as new areas of specialization, new offerings, additional locations, etc. 

So why do most struggle while some rise to the top of the industry? The most successful owners/leaders turn their problems into “growth fuel” to improve. Instead of wishing things were easier, they choose to get better!

They choose to develop themselves and their people rather than just improving processes and technology.  Since processes and technology don’t select, develop and operate themselves, their effectiveness is dependent upon people’s effectiveness.

  • Processes: This includes sales/marketing, recruiting/sourcing, client & candidate relations, competitive strategy, business decisions, finance & accounting, etc.
  • Technology: This includes selecting appropriate technology and increasing people’s proficiency in utilization
  • People: This includes hiring, onboarding, training, development and day-to-day management. The people side of the business is the most complex and challenging part for the following reasons:
  • Hiring the right recruitment professionals who are likely to are likely to succeed is very difficult. You need an objective, repeatable, approach that sets you up to make consistent, quality hires.
  • Onboarding, training, and development that’s highly-effective and not too burdensome is hard. You need efficient & effective processes that does the heavy lifting for you!
  • Providing leadership and management that brings out the best in yourself and tough. Leadership & management are two different things. Few people are good at both. You need to capitalize on what you do well and develop in your weaker areas.

New Recruiter Hiring Solutions

Outcomes of Each Solution

A much larger pool of candidates is available when not limited to experienced recruiters.
Your search is quicker and easier, while you can also be more selective.
A proven hiring process that focuses on character & values and Innate Characteristics.
Your firm grows and scales without the pain and costs of frequent bad hires.
Hire people who are eager to do things your way from the beginning.
Training and managing new hires involves fewer headaches and greater productivity and revenue.
Hire people who don't require a big premium for prior experience.
A significantly lower cost of new recruiter hires increases your profitability.

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