Secrets From Recruiting Veterans

Recently, I held a class for Independent Recruiters and Business Owners.  Three quarters of the class was made up of Recruitment Professionals with more than 25 years of experience working their own desks.  Having access to one or two Recruiters with more than ten years is a treat.  You can imagine my delight when we had several Recruitment Professionals all in one place, willing to exchange ideas.  Here are a couple of things I learned from our discussion:

  • No More Guarantees – Surprised?  I was as well, but it does make sense. As Recruitment Professionals, our fees are based on sourcing, qualifying, and assisting clients in the interviewing process.  Most of us even go as far as checking references.  Once our client has selected a candidate and that candidate agrees to join their organization, our work is done.  We are not paid to cross our fingers and toes, hoping clients can integrate the candidate into their organization. So why are we including it?  We all know when deals do go sideways; the majority of the time is was out of the control of your average Recruitment Professionals. Taking responsibility for it just sounds like a bad business practice all the way around.
  • My time is valuable, so why should I spend time on a job order that isn’t? Recruitment Professionals hear it every day all day, “If the client wouldn’t take the time to qualify the order, don’t expect them to take time to review your candidates.”  Veterans live and die by this rule, shouldn’t you?
  • Your Bookkeeper or Accountant should be your best friend. As Recruitment Professionals, we tend to work, collect a fee, party, run out of money, work, collect a fee etc. You can see where I am going with this.  By working closely with a financial professional, you will be able to save for the rainy days of a recession, purchase tools as needed, and really avoid the peaks and valleys of the financial rewards that come with being a Recruitment Professional. This is a foundational principle that will help you keep your head screwed on and stay in this crazy game for the long term.
  •  Keep learning.  Nothing will kill you faster than working in a vacuum.  The vacuum will suck the life out of you while you miss out on new and easier ways to do business.  Each of these veteran Recruitment Professionals invest in themselves a number of different ways.  Some attend webinars, conferences, or networking groups.  Others go to sites like,, or spend a few minutes flipping through videos on . Others work with Recruiting coaches (like myself) to ensure that they are working effectively.

In my humble opinion, next to panning for gold, Recruiting is the most labour intensive work you can choose to do.  These veteran Recruitment Professionals have been successful for over 25 years and I would like to thank them for sharing these tips with me. 

Do you have 20 plus years in Recruiting / Staffing? What are your tips for long term success?


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