Saturday, January 23, 2010

DEAR CR: I Am Researching Recruiting Positions


My name is Amber and I am researching headhunter and recruiting positions.

I read your interview on I found myself fascinated by your responses, being that my initial job experience has been somewhat parallel. I love the interview process and being offered 'the job.' In fact, across the course of my career(s) and interviews there has only been one position that I was not offered the job. I consider myself a little lucky, but more so extremely professional and the best candidate when I set my mind to do something. Fortunately, when I do decide to change jobs I always have several quality offers on the table.

Currently, I am an advertising sales executive for a major company. I used to love my job, but now I feel like there is something else I should be doing. Don't get me wrong, the pay is great and I get to interact with all types of people and learn about different businesses; but there is something missing....

As long as I can remember, I have assisted family, friends, and acquaintances with brainstorming job opportunities, writing resumes, prepping for interviews, and building self-confidence. Like you said in your interview, "just be yourself." That has always been my mantra. The last several months, I have been considering starting my own headhunting business; but with my domestic partner currently in law school the budget is pretty tight. Also, I believe that I need experience with a reputable company.

Without divulging too much more, I would like to ask you: can you suggest headhunter or recruiting contacts?

Any other suggestions or comments are welcomed.

Thank you for your time and consideration,




You don't need experience with a reputable company to start a
headhunting business. Most people you work with will not want to
train you, and you may pick up bad habits without knowing it. If
you're in sales already, you know a little bit about bringing in new
business. Recruiting is no different, except you have to find clients
AND candidates (aka two sales pipelines). If you practice bringing in
new clients and finding talent, you're already ahead of most people.

First, don't think you need a vast amount of money to get started.
Start while keeping your day job. For example, right now I'm working
as a consultant for one company and I work a recruiting contract on
nights, lunchtime, and weekends. It's a lot of work, but I like the
money it brings in. You will need a lot of cash if you start billing
out contractors, mostly because you need to pay the temp employees and
that is usually before the client has paid you.

What you do need to get started is a sense of what industry you want
to serve. You might start by talking to a few of your trusted clients
now, the ones you might consider friends outside of work. Ask them
when and how they use staffing services. Do they hire temps? Do they
use recruiters to hire full time employees? Do they pay buy the hour
or per position?

Finding clients in recruiting is probably like selling ad space, you
just gotta get in there face and let them know you're the one who can
solve all of their problems. Finding candidates is a little easier.
You just figure out how to track them down, I personally use LinkedIn
quite a bit, and call them up. All you have to ask a candidate is
this... "Hi, my name is Amber. I'm hiring an X and I see that's the
kind of work you do. Would you like to find out more?" Most people
are flattered and curious about being approached and want to find out
if you can offer them an interesting job or more money.

As for connecting you with other recruiters, I recommend just tracking
some down on your own. I think you'll find most recruiters are
reasonably approachable. I do a little bit of coaching if you really
want some professional guidance. I charge $500/month for 3 one hour
sessions per month and daily checking via email M-F.


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