Recruiting has always been a profession people fell into. Someone who is a natural connector, great in sales, loves talking to people, a great listener, and has great intuition to name a few winning characteristics. Recruiting was never a career track you went to school for or aspired to get into one day like marketing, accounting, finance, law, medicine, etc.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED! Recruiting is now a growing and desirable profession and new college grads actually want to start their career in recruiting, not just fall into it. What was once just another aspect of HR is in now it’s own separate division, usually referred to as Talent Acquisition or People Operations (or POps!). Why is this? The main reason is because the gap between skills employers need from employees and the talent available with those skills is larger than ever! Recruiters are in demand! Companies turn to outside agencies like Clarity as an extension of their talent acquisition teams to widen their network and fill jobs more efficiently
I personally fell into an agency recruiting career in 2013 at Clarity, a little over 4 years later, I still love what I do and tackle new challenges every day. The job of a recruiter is also evolving from the post and pray method to strategically connecting top talent and companies with the help of social media and other technologies; recruiters are on the cutting edge of people, technology, and marketing.
If this all sounds exciting to you, recruiting may be the path for you. Want to know what it’s like Here, I provide the pros and cons of being a recruiter, more specifically on the agency side:
- You will change people’s lives: If you are someone who wants to have a direct impact on people, this may be the career for you! While most people innately want to help people in some way, not all of us can save lives as doctors. I don’t love blood and wasn’t looking to go to school for another 8 years+! While being a recruiter and being a doctor are not comparable, both professions help people and can save lives – as a recruiter you provide economic opportunity for people and also help hiring companies get the talent they need to reach their business goals! It’s a win-win for everyone.
- You develop both personal and professional skills: By listening and interacting with a diverse group of people all day long, you learn something from every person you talk to. On the candidate side, you learn about different career paths and that no two paths are the same! You hear new perspectives, ways of thinking, you actually do learn from your candidates. When working with hiring companies, you get a better understanding of how all business functions come together. By working with a variety of companies and industries you get the inside scoop on what top companies look for in talent and how certain hires will affect business growth. It’s very exciting to be the one to help make that happen! You truly learn something new every day, which leads into my next pro.
- You will never get bored and you control your destiny: Agency side recruitment allows for you to work with hundreds of different companies and if you join a firm where you work with a variety of industries you will never get bored! There is a new challenge every day and opportunities to pursue new areas as well. On the agency side, if you work for a contingency-based firm like Clarity, while it’s in your best interest to fill positions and not turn away business if you do not feel you will be successful in a search, you are not bound to work on it as internal recruiters are. While of course, you would want to manage a potential client’s expectations, you are not contractually locked in to take on a search you don’t feel good about. It’s nice to have that freedom. You truly get to control your own destiny and path in the agency recruitment world.
- You get to be a subject matter expert: By working on the agency side you get to be the creative problem solver every day on both the candidate and client sides. Candidates are coming to you for advice on how to develop their careers and clients are paying for your expertise on finding and matching the best talent. That’s a powerful position to be in! It feels good to be the expert in the room!
- You can make great money: If you are successful in agency recruitment, you can make great money! There is a low barrier to entry to get into recruitment (which has it’s pros and cons), you don’t need a fancy Masters degree to be successful as a recruiter so you truly get a high ROI on that Bachelor’s Degree. Most recruiting agencies are set up for you to make what you put in through either a base plus commission structure or through a draw. If you put the hard work in and are good at what you do, you can make very good money. It’s quite motivating to earn a piece of every deal you make, everyone truly wins!
- Recruiting can be an emotional job: When your expertise is people and people are emotional subjects you can’t control, it can make for a bit of a roller coaster. You can have extreme highs and lows. For example, when you help a candidate get a job in an industry they have been wanting to break into or if you were able to place a candidate at a client company you have been dying to work with – it’s an amazing high! The opposite end of the spectrum is when a candidate takes another job versus the one you were working on with that person, or a client company has you do a ton of work on a search but then finds a candidate elsewhere – that’s a low! As a recruiter, you are a purveyor of people, not objects, so it can be unpredictable, chaotic, and sometimes disappointing when things don’t go your way. This is why recruiting is for those who are resilient and able to immediately bounce back from a disappointing situation – it can take some experience to perfect this skill, but the key is to learn from the experience and move on.
- Pay can be inconsistent: The opposite side of the coin of a commission based job is that when business goes down so can your pay. This is not a job where you can rest on your laurels, it’s one for self-motivated people who are trying to do better than they did the day before. While this can also be seen as a pro, you need to be willing to consistently perform at your best since your compensation can vary depending on your performance. If you work hard, it will pay off.
- There are good and bad recruiting agencies, choose wisely: There are great recruiters and some really bad ones that can taint the industry’s reputation. If you are looking to get into agency recruitment, it’s imperative to find an agency who shares the same values as you. There are definitely some skeevy recruiters out there who only have one thing on their mind, MONEY. While most recruiters are money driven, there is a major difference between a recruiter who is short sighted, just trying to make a quick placement to get the commission. And then there are amazing recruiters who truly love what they do and want to help great companies and people find each other and are in it for the long game, truly trying to make the best matches to build long term relationships. I personally chose to work at Clarity because when I met with the team during the interview process it was clear they were different. 4+ years later we continue to hire genuine and passionate people working towards the same goal of helping companies grow and succeed by hiring the right talent while helping job seekers seamlessly land their dream job and change their lives for the better.
Agency recruiting can truly be a fulfilling career. When you win, everyone wins – you help multiple parties at the same time. You should keep in mind though, the most successful agency recruiters are also skilled in sales and are able to build meaningful long-term relationships.
Recruiting is a hot field and as technology continues to enhance what we do, it will only continue to get more popular and exciting!
If you want to learn more about recruiting as a career path, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to email me directly at email@example.com. And in the meantime, check out what it’s like to recruit at Clarity. If you are interested, apply here!