Mid-life Career Change - Consider Recruiting!

By: Kimberly Schenk

If you're looking to use your business knowledge and experience in a new way, consider Executive Recruiting as your next profession. Recruiting offers great pay, a flexible schedule, multiple employment options, and possibly most important of all, a balanced life.

There is a myth that recruiters must be great salespeople. That is not true. Good sales skills can always enhance ones' performance but it is not essential to be a successful recruiter. What is needed is a consistent work ethic, the ability to follow a method, a professional demeanor, honesty, integrity, and enthusiasm. Successful recruiters do a lot of listening vs. a lot of talking. Developing good listening skills can be learned and is one key ingredient to making more placements.

The recruiting industry is flourishing. Growth expectations are between 50% and 70% by 2014. There are different ways to do business as a recruiter. First, there are Retained Search Firms. They are known to get their fee up front. They are paid whether or not they deliver the candidate who gets hired. They tend to have the highest fees in the industry. There has been a steady decline in the companies who use these firms because of the internet and the ability to access candidates on all levels. Many companies switched to contingency fee recruiters because they are paid only if they deliver the best candidate.

Contingency fee Executive Recruiters are paid a fee when their client-employer hires a candidate the recruiter found and that candidate starts work. Contingency fee recruiters are known for their ability to access 100% of the candidate marketplace (vs. the 20% reached by ads alone). They have the skill sets to use third party referrals and that elevates their ability to make great matches. 85% of employers responding to surveys rate them as providing the best caliber of candidates. Executive recruiting fees traditionally are 20% - 30% of a candidates' first year salary.

Staffing agencies advertise themselves as finding jobs for people. Their standard practice is to focus on numbers. If 20 people respond to an ad they try and bring all 20 in for an interview. Their clients use and often depend on their temp services. Staffing temp jobs leads in many cases to hires. They focus on high volumes of candidates, job orders, interviews and placements. Their recruiters are used to a fast pace, high volume, high energy atmosphere.

The good news is 98% of companies have used staffing agencies. The bad news is they have a turnover rate of 50% to 90% of recruiters with less than six months experience. As candidates become more sophisticated, they are becoming less cooperative with the old fashioned "control" tactics many of these agencies use.

Contract Recruiters work directly for an employer with multiple positions to fill. Assignments can last one to six to twelve months. Contract positions may turn into permanent assignment job offers. This segment of the recruiting industry is growing rapidly and is a happy alternative for good recruiters who don't really want their own business. The average compensation rate is $25.00 to $75.00 per hour. Some positions pay more depending on the industry demand. A few pay less. It's a great value for employers. They can hire many candidates for a lower cost per hire.

Recruiting is a wonderful profession, in my opinion. I strongly recommend investing in a recruiter training program that teaches sound principles and methods. Learning a system will place you in the top 15% of producers. The key to being in the top 15% is understanding how to use third party referrals vs. job boards alone. Visit Our recruiter training e-book offers a great value.

Knowing how to approach candidates who are happily employed and knowing exactly what to say will set you apart from the 85% of recruiters who rely solely on job board resumes. Your compensation will reflect the difference as well. When you know how to use third party referrals, you're no longer making cold calls; you're calling contacts complete with phone numbers and some background.

If you have common sense and a desire to do what is right for the candidate and your client you will find recruiting to be rewarding emotionally, intellectually, and financially. The maturity and judgment that comes with life experience will enhance your performance as a recruiter. If you want a new career try recruiting!

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