Go Global? Develop A Solid 30 Account Base First

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May 22, 2013

Dear Barb:

Is international recruiting something I should consider? I live in Seattle and place primarily in the Bay Area. I keep hearing about people making a killing placing in Europe, Asia and other international areas. I’m a sole proprietor and don’t have the advantage of a team to support me. Do you think this is a way to avoid getting hit when the U.S. economy takes another dive?

Justin G.

Seattle, WA

Dear Justin:

You never shared your niche or area of specialization in your question. I always advise that a client territory of 30 accounts is pretty much recession proof. This is comprised of 10 key accounts and 20 back-ups. The key accounts call you first, view you as a trusted advisor/consultant and hire multiple candidates from you throughout the year. The back-up accounts call you and others and probably view you as one of the vendors they utilize for top talent. However, they know who you are and the services you provide.

The greatest error made by most recruiters is that 75% of their income is generated by five clients or less. If two or three of their clients stop hiring, they are at square one when it comes to client development; no one knows who they are or what services they provide.

I believe these 30 accounts should be in no more than five or six geographic locations. This allows you to develop a sphere of influence in these areas and you can multi-use the job orders and the candidates. I would state the exact advice to you when you are considering placing international candidates. You don’t want to place one candidate in Asia, another in Mexico and a third in Canada. It’s important to develop geographic influence in a few locations rather than spread yourself out so thin.

It’s important to remember that each country is governed by specific employment laws. If you are representing a candidate from one country and the job is in another, you must be well versed on employment laws.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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