As in any business, the world of Recruiters, “Headhunters”, “Executive Search Professionals”, etc. includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are those in it for some good cash for now, and those in it to build a great long-term sustainable business. Which are you?
This industry is characterized by a glut of new recruiters when times are good, and dramatic reductions when times get tough. It’s an easy business to get into, but it’s a tough business to stay in during economic downturns. I often tell people… “This is a business that, when times are good, there’s almost nothing better. There’s a lot of relatively easy money to be made. However, when times are bad, there’s almost nothing worse. The ‘gravy train’ dries up very quickly and companies recruiting budgets disappear.”
There are a number of factors that go into making someone successful in this industry over the long run. However, I believe one differentiator is being willing to add value for people whether you’re likely to make an immediate buck or not. Especially in a down economy, when many good prospective candidates, and perhaps some former (and potentially future) clients are out of work, finding ways to be of help to them pays great long-term dividends. Do you invest significant time and energy into people that can’t be of immediate value to you? Do you view people as people, or simply evaluate them by whether they are worth money to you or not? Are you willing to find ways to assist people that don’t even seem to be of potential value to you down the road?
Many recruiters do, and many, many recruiters don’t.