How long did it take for you to make your first placement? How long do you tell your new recruiters it will take to make their first placement? How long does it really take for them to make their first placement?

I ask this because yesterday when I was listening to David Kippen talk on the Recruiting Animal show, he said that what new employees are sometimes told is very different than what really is. It made me think of recruiting and all of the people I have trained over the last 10 years and how the hardest part about becoming a recruiter is making the first placement.

** Post about David Kippen here

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My first placement ever only took about 2 to 3 weeks (from when I started on the job order to when the contractor started); but that was because it was a contract positions, and it was with a candidate that had worked for the agency before. II worked in placing contractors 99% of the time my first 4 or 5 years recruiting. My first perm placement for that agency (and the only one, since I was in the temp/contract division) took about 4 to 6 weeks from start to finish.

At my last position, it took me about 6 weeks for my first perm placement. It was a long process.
I think that how long a placement takes varies by the industry and types of positions. Also, what kind of buy in you have from the hiring managers. So it is a tough question to answer. I do think sometimes when companies are interviewing candidates for a recruiter position, when they ask "how long do you think it should take you to make your first placement" that can be a loaded question. I don't think that it is some sort of trick question on the interviewer's part, but if the industry you have been recruiting for is different than what they are in, it can feel like a trick question.

Depending on the position and industry, I think many companies would be estatic if the time from opening the job order and a new employee starting could always be within 45 to 60 days max. But sometimes that is just not possible.
I have managed teams of recruiters and was responsible for hiring, coaching and developing their recruiting skills. Someone with raw talent but no previous recruiting experience can expect to close their first direct hire deal within 3 months. That is to say if they are skill marketing their candidate to find the job order and then fill the job order on their own. Even a seasoned recruiter who is working in a new niche industry can expect a 6 - 8 week window on average depending on the niche they choose and how hot it is. I always asked my recruiters to have two niche industries to work in because inevitably the market would wane in one and continue steady in another. I also encouraged the buddy system within a niche so that the recruiter could fill more positions and pocket more money with splits.

I have had brand new recruiters find and fill positions in less than four weeks but never longer than 3 months did it take for them to have a placement as well as a consistent pipeline of candidates and job orders to work on.
"I always asked my recruiters to have two niche industries to work in because inevitably the market would wane in one and continue steady in another. I also encouraged the buddy system within a niche so that the recruiter could fill more positions and pocket more money with splits."

This is very smart. When IT was waning, I still had some IT positions to work on, but I also recruited in some other areas as well, since it was tough when there were too many candidates in various IT positions for too few open reqs. Not only does it keep money coming in, but it also can give really enrich a recruiter's experience.
I'm new (15days) to recruiting/resourcing & was getting frustrated till I read your discussion. Haven't had my first placement yet & was wondering "what do I need to do to make it happen".
Would love to get tips & suggestions from you seasoned recruiters.
Took three months and 4 days. I had signed on with a company that 'sold" me on this $100k a year opportunity" and promised me a lot of training. I had a 3 month draw of $1500/month.

With in 3 weeks 5 of the 6 guys working there where gone and I found out that collectively they had billed $138k the year before. One guy doing $86k. All I could think was what a pile of liars.

Three months later I had run out of draw. The area president old me I was no bloody good 2 months earlier and reiterated it at the annual Xmas party in Montreal in front of all the other recruiters at the annual awards banquet.

I was furious so I went out at lunch time and called the client "Fairweathers" in Ottawa and said ti was time to shit or get off the pot. They made the verbal. I went back to the "party" and announced I had closedd my first deal over lunch. They all laughed. I bet my area president my fee and handed him the phone to call the folks in Ottawa. They verrified it to his dismay. I cashed the cheque a week later. $9000 instead of the $4500 I was going to get. My 2nd, 3rd and forth deals came in rapidly after that.

I took the realestate portfolio for my own a week later without telling anyone and went on to do $758k my second year. [for which i earned $52k] I left to start Perry-Martel International the day after my 2nd anniversary. I convinced my wife and her 2 sisters to sell their family home and invest in the business - my mother too. Never really lokked back.
In my experience the real issue is not the first placement, but the first payment. I made my first placement the second month I was in business, but did not get paid for it until the fifth month. We tell our recruiters that if they meet all their goals they will have a paycheck in four months.

I was going to ask you how you knew it was "time" to start your own business...I've seen your website before, couple years back...Now I know why...52k off of 758k!!!!! WTF!!! That's ridiculous, I thought I was getting screwed...But seriously, when did you realize you were ready to branch out on your own, and what advice can you give others on doing the same...

OP, sorry for going off topic, but inquiring minds need to know this stuff...
I knew it was time to go for me when i decided I was good at this ANd my boss had no morals. Unfortunately I was never in it for the money [true] but the exciment and my reputation as a straight-shooter who always delivered was key to me. My boss at the time just wanted me to drive business into the 'shop". I went into therapy for 4 months before I worked up the courage to go out on my own. My boss had literally convinced me i was just lucky. I finally convinced myself that if I was lucky for him i'd be lucky for myself.

In my last position I was Director of an Executive Recruit Firm. To be fair, I didn't expect a new recruiter to make a placement in under 3 months. BUT that is for executive placement, for hourly and contract, 1 month or less.
I"m new to recruting and haven't made any placement yet. This is my second week as a recruiter and i'm enjoying doing cold and warm calls. I work hard, read and ask questions in order to improve my skills.
My question is, is it easier to specialize in one area of try to fill different jobs.? I would appreciate any pointers or help that a new recruiter can use.


You rock ! a rockstar.. :)

Thank you so much for your response. My past jobs that i have held were clerk, Law school recruiter (for a fortune 500 law firm), comp tech, system admin and also worked for a collections co. With my background i realize it's eaiser to specialize in IT and financial services. Also i have to point out that i was really good with collections ...made 90% of collections, so i'm looking forward to doing good in recruiting. Yes, i know it's different but as someone pointed out,you have to believe in yourself.


I'll never forget the hard, hard struggle I had in making my first placement. I suffered from 'attitudeitis' where I thought (as a rookie) that I would do it my way instead of the MRI way, which is where I started. I was a hot shot sales guy who knew how it should be done - or so I wrongly thought.

After 90 frustrating days of working 10 hour days, making hundreds of calls and doing it my way - and mentally resigning dozens of times - I had the good fortune in working for an owner/manager who said words of gold. He said "Kid, if you want to fail your way go ahead, but try failing my way first". It struck home, I religiously followed the system from then on and billed $300K that rookie year in the following nine months.

I have never forgotten the lesson that Bob Bassman of Kaye/Bassman taught me and it was one of clearing out your mindset, leaving your ego at the door and totally consuming a working program, then working it with focus, energy and integrity.

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