Ten Things Most Tenured Recruiters Believe But Rarely Admit

Mar 1, 2006

(1) The nature of the relationships we have with companies is important, but not most important. What is most important is that a company hires and pays the fee, even if they don’t like us personally. All the talk about how much a company respects us, likes us, admires us, or puts us on the “preferred recruiter” list means zero if we aren’t receiving fees from that company from time to time.

(2) Until a company pays you a fee with no hassles, it is not a “client company.”

(3) Very few of us (if any) have a candidate’s “best interest” at heart, so stop lying. Candidates will see right through you. We have OUR best interest at heart … and the candidate has his/her own best interest at heart. We have bills to pay, families to support, and this is our livelihood. However, we will not make a living unless we satisfy the candidate, so we have a shared objective of a mutually beneficial relationship. (Tell that with the right script to a candidate in the first interview and you will be amazed how few problems you will have).

(4) Most positions can be filled quite effectively without us, so HR people have a point when they say a lot of unnecessary fees are paid. Often, we just happen to introduce someone impressive to a person with clout at a company who ended up liking that person a lot, so he/she got hired. If we were used only when we are needed, we would go broke.

(5) We do not present only the “best qualified” candidates, as many search and placement firms advertise on their web sites. Most often, we screen candidates “in,” looking for reasons to present them. We do not present the best “qualified” candidates, we present the best “interviewers,” who may or may not be the best qualified. We know that hiring is done mostly on personal chemistry, not qualifications. There is nothing wrong with presenting the best interviewers. Why present the best qualified candidate when you know his/her personality is going to be a knockout? You are doing your job to screen this person out. However … stop ADVERTISING or claiming that you present only the “best qualified candidates” … because that is a lie. Use the words “best fit” instead.

(6) We are salespeople, not consultants. There are a few exceptions, but most of the highest billers in this industry are hard driving, quick thinking, very aggressive people. (Some would even call them “pushy salespeople.”). They are masters at persuading people to do things they are hesitant to do. If we are not willing to do that also, we are in the wrong business.

(7) People who are great working a desk, stay on a desk. They do not look for ways to make money off a desk, they do not become corporate recruiters, trainers, or HR people, and they do not write job hunting books which give away placement techniques and tactics which should be kept within the industry.

(8) When people are not making money, they still say business is great. Nobody ever seems to come right out and say “Look, I’m in one helluva slump and need help . . .” That’s probably because good producers in our business are egotistical by nature and do not like to admit weakness.

(9) Ten years on a desk in this business and a person will probably make a career out of it. Many will stay for altruistic reasons, not just monetary. They have come to realize the deeper aspects of what this business is about . . . how they have forever impacted positively (most often) the candidates they place and the companies which hired them. They know they are making a valuable contribution to individuals, their families, business, and society in general . . . and the money is pretty good also.

(10) Long tenured recruiters are like “old soldiers.” They never really “retire” from this business. They fade away.

Neil P. McNulty, Sr.
McNulty Management Group
Virginia Beach, VA
Creators of the “30/30 Placement Program” (TM)

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