Ask Barb: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

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May 30, 2012

Dear Barb:

I’m thinking about going off on my own and just working from my home. I have three small children and day care is expensive. Right now my owner pays me 40% of my commission and I do all the work and he gets the other 60%. I could produce less and still make more money if I just worked from home. Do you have any advice for someone like me? I have four years of experience and I produce a little over $300,000 in permanent placements. I’m not signing my name for obvious reasons.


Dear Anonymous:

It may appear that your owner is getting the majority of the fees you are generating, but the profits that end up being generated are significantly less. Your owner is paying the overhead, insurances, tools they provide for you (Applicant Tracking Systems, Research Tools, Job Boards, etc) not to mention matching taxes, benefits, etc. You would be surprised to see how low the percentage of profit is on your placements. There are times where there isn’t a profit, but you still receive your 40%.

It’s also important to remember, you can’t take your clients with you – those belong to your company’s owner. You also won’t have the benefit of splitting deals with your co-workers or getting the support, training and financial investment being made by your owner.

You mentioned three small children and the cost of day care. If you don’t intend to keep your children in day care, how will you be able to make your calls? Most recruiters produce less when they are on their own and if you drastically reduce your hours to nap times, etc., what impact will that have on your ability to produce? Before you make your decision, list the pros and cons on a sheet of paper. This forces you to take emotion out of your decision making process. The results may surprise you!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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