I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. As a type-A personality, the thought of starting something from nothing and seeing it grow and evolve had always been attractive. What would that venture be, I wondered? Just about the furthest thing from my imagination, as it turned out.
As most of us do, I fell into recruitment. I stumbled into it blindly and woefully ignorant, but eager to learn. The agency I started with works on a contingency basis and is focused on contract IT professionals. Being quite the opposite from ‘technical’, I found the learning curve to be huge. Despite the hard work, I fell in love with this crazy industry. Although I always have to anticipate the unexpected and work within a chaotic structure, I get to help people make career altering and potentially life changing decisions. I’ve learned that the harder you work, the better you treat people, the bigger the reward. I have to be organized. It’s dynamic, and it’s not even close to easy.
Sounds fun, right? It is. It keeps me on my toes and excited to go to work. Maybe it’s just my “newbie” shine that hasn’t yet rubbed off, but I’m in the office 2-3 hours early almost every single day. But after just 13 months, I’ve decided to start on the path of independence. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m going to quit tomorrow and open my own business. In an effort to make myself better, I started documenting my thoughts, habits, likes, dislikes, and overall recruitment process. Through this exercise, the idea to launch my own firm took hold.
My current employer and co-workers aren’t terrible. In fact, they are actually pretty awesome. Currently we have two sides to the office – sales and recruitment. As recruiters, we only interact with the candidate and submit them to sales. All of our knowledge of the job order and client culture comes from the sales manager. This model doesn’t make any sense to me as I often feel like I am playing a never ending game of telephone – where one person whispers in another’s ear and the story is passed down the line. Unfortunately by the time it reaches me, it is either completely different or contains gaping holes. Therefore I cannot give my candidates the same value as recruiters who deal directly with hiring managers and clients. Let’s cut out the middle man and get back to recruitment basics – service, not sales! I believe if you are in a pure sales role, you should have a recruitment background. You need to think like a recruiter to sell a recruitment service.
This is why I want my firm to be different. By providing better service, building better relationships and creating a better process, I believe I can run a company that is recruitment focused – not sales focused. Rather than telling the client why I’m different or better than the other hundred recruiters calling them, I want to show them – in both the service I provide and in my recruitment process.
So that in a nut shell is where I think I can make my mark. I’ve not naïve enough to believe that no-one else has ever had the same thoughts or goals. I just believe that not enough people do.
I’ve recently connected with a career coach, who is also an experienced recruiter, to help me along this path. When I started meeting with her I set a goal of opening my business within 15 months. While it sounds like a long time, I have a lot of questions and goals, including focusing on being the best recruiter I can be and perfecting my skills (if that’s even possible in an ever changing industry) before going out on my own. I’m not in any rush – I want to do this right the first time.
Even though I am a few months in, I will backtrack to where I started. I plan on sharing my thoughts, fears, goals, and progress with you during the next 13 months. Follow me to launch from my initial idea, coming up with a name and logo, facing my fears and harnessing my passion, through to helping pick a niche, develop my business plan and action!