Recruiter Guest Post
Tell me a bit about you and the industry you currently recruit for?
I’ve been recruiting for over 12 years. The last 9+ have been with Platinum Recruiting, a boutique executive search firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to Platinum Recruiting, I spent 3 years with Robert Half. Before stumbling into recruiting, I spent 3 years in corporate accounting with Johnson & Johnson. I went to Indiana University with degrees in Accounting & Finance.
Most of my recruiting experience has been Accounting & Finance permanent placement. However, over the last 5 years, I’ve been doing more and more executive level search including positions like COO, VP of HR, VP of Manufacturing, VP of R&D, VP General Counsel and more. We do a mix of contingent and retained search.
Why did you choose to work within the Recruitment Industry?
I stumbled into recruiting. I was bored with corporate accounting and on a personal level had interest in moving to another city. One of my corporate accounting colleagues from Johnson & Johnson joined Robert Half and talked me into “hearing them out”. Before my friend joined Robert Half, I really didn’t know much about recruiting as a career. Now, I don’t know what else I would do!
What do you find most challenging as a Recruiter?
Markets change but there are 2 major challenges that never go away;
First, recruiting comes with significant ups and downs. It’s crazy. On any given day you can close a deal, lose a deal, pick up a new job order, deal with a counter-offer, deal with a cancelled interview, etc. You can’t get too down. It’s critical to remain optimistic and be able to work through the challenges. It makes the wins that much sweeter!
Second, recruiting is like no other industry b/c both sides of each transaction is a real person. There are no widgets. We deal with real, human emotions on both sides of the process. Employers must like the candidate, candidates must like the employer. If the candidate is married, a spouse will need to be on board with the decision. The human element in our business makes it challenging but also makes it special!
To date what’s the best piece of advice you have received?
2 pieces of advice come to mind:
First, specific to recruiting: “Do things the right way. If you want to be in recruiting for a long time, do things the right way. It will pay off in the long run”.
Second, some advice I received years ago while playing baseball: “Try not to get too high with the highs or too low with the lows”
I received this advice long before I knew anything about recruiting. I think it was during high school. All these years later, crazy how applicable this advice is to recruiting.
Lastly if you could go back in time and give yourself some advice 3 months into being a Recruitment Consultant what would it be?
4 things come to mind immediately:
Personal Branding: I would stress the importance of personal branding. When I got into recruiting in 2005, social media wasn’t as common. But, personal branding was still important. And, now, it’s more important than ever.
Long-Term View: It’s easy to get caught up in each individual deal. And, that is important. You must close deals to survive. But, don’t take your eyes off the long-term. Do things along the way to set yourself up for long term success: Personal Branding, networking, read more books, self-improvement, fitness, the list goes on.
Confidence: Easier said than done when you first get into recruiting. But confidence can make all the difference in the world. It’s easier to have early confidence if you’re on a good, successful team. Confidence helps you make better phone calls, results in better client visits and interactions, etc. If you’re doing things the right way, for the right reasons, be confident. Don’t worry about the level of person you’re dealing with. The CFO you’re talking to use to be a staff accountant. If you care about what you’re doing and work hard, you can help that CFO. There’s a fine line, you don’t want to be cocky. I’m not suggesting that. But having self-confidence is important. Especially when battling the ups and downs of recruiting.
Be prepared for the grind! Recruiting can be fun and exciting, but it isn’t all glamorous. Far from it. Recruiting is FAR MORE grinding than it is happy hours and celebratory dinners. If you can’t embrace the grind, if you hate the grind, find something else to do.
You can connect with Jon on Linkedin and Twitter;