Well folks it's been 6 long months since I opened the door to my nice new office here in Orlando, FL and well...I see it coming to a close right before my eyes. With thousands and thousands gone for websites, rent and supplies here I am humbled.

There was a time when making $100k was fun and challanging but in the end you got your placements..now an experienced person in the staffing & recruiting game for the past 9 years and well.....I have nothing.

More and more people have fallen off, clients aren't responding and well...the economy sucks.

I am sitting here in my nice office as we speak thinking about what should have been and the reality of what now is and how I have now squandered my savings to do something I have always wanted to do at the worst possible time to do it.

Now I need to face the realization that I can no longer afford school for my daughter, my car or my rent..let along my cell phone.

Where do you go from here and with nothing...how the hell do you get there?

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try using www.medefis.com , you might find some matches there .
I would also dig into how to get government contracts and tap into the possible grow in government funded healthcare ( Indian Health Services )
It has to turn, your right! Not sure that it will be soon but it has to turn.

I just pray that it is sooner than later.

Brian Raybold said:
Boy, I hear you my friend...It is not easy out here. I have been looking for a new role since December 1st. I have 10 years experience, been successful, most of the way through an MBA and praying to find 50k a year...

Mike, it has to turn soon...
Michael, your message here is quite humbling. I am normally a playful cat here on RBC (to pass time in between calls, not to mention connect with other Recruiters as I work from home by myself in solitude 90% of the time), but in your case, my heart goes out to you.

In no way, shape, or form, am I going to position myself as a Guru or provide any 'tough love' here. Frankly, with the potential of losing your home, vehicle, on top of your concerns about your daughter's education, I believe that me coming across this way would not only be myopic, but non-sympathetic as well.

I can recall my situation before I got into f/t Recruiting, and it was a harrowing experience. I built (from scracth) a consulting company that would take on early-stage technology projects and do 3 things: A. Ensure that the product we were finishing (application development) was what the market needed (and wanted . . . and was willing to pay for), B. Finish the product, and C. Assist with early-stage sales (typically 'pilot projects') and early commercialization. We did this for low hourly rates + equity. This model was insanely successful until I made a bad decision and took on a Demon Client. It wasn't long before my growing firm was now facing closing its doors. It's hard to communicate what it is to let your staff go and close the doors on your baby until it happens to you. I can tell you, Michael - I've been there . . . and it's tough. Also, it was squarely on my shoulders - I should have pushed back when scope was continuously creeped (I'll stop there). The good I learned from this is that it compelled me to go to Grad School (B-School) and round out my skill sets. I also grew up quicker, so in those senses, it was a good thing.

From a position of understanding, I firmly believe that your biggest direct expenses are 1. Payroll, 2. Leases. In all sincerity, the #1 reason startup businesses fail is undercapitalization. Your burn rate is critical - there will be variable expenses, but it is imperative for all of us to get our fixed expenses down because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Currently, I work from my home and so does my colleague that I taught this business to. We get together once a week in person, and try to connect each day. I prefer 'splits' with those I work with rather than those I do not . . . and while I don't like the idea of 'splitting' with other firms, I have seen many stand behind the merits of such.

That being said, you can only 'cut' so much. You can nearly eliminate your entire burn . . . but without a bump to the top line (sales), you will not survive. Your niche is extremely sound . . . and I've seen more medical positions listed on the online VMS usual suspects than any other market segment. I sense that the organizations you've been assisting have put the brakes on several of your searches, thereby leading you to take on new ones. Today, I don't like filling multiple searches with one Client - I will take 1 or 2, but then round out with other Clients just in case they freeze hiring. Let me ask this: Can you market a few of your highly impressive candidates?

P.S. Although I can't offer financial advice, there are options out there - the concern is cost-of-capital. To offer a positive -- One thing I always keep in mind is that if I'm going to fail, I want to fail fast and regroup even faster. It's not how many times we fall; it's how many times we get up. Each individual search is a microcosm of a bigger picture. And in my eyes, this is not a 'failure' by any means - in the words of Lord Tennyson, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
Mike as an recruiter who became an independent a year ago, I can definitely feel your pain, particularly when one spends allot of none-billable hours, supplying candidates just to have clients drag their heels or end up pulling the plug altogether, for one reason or another. It can be frustrating, especially if you’re counting on those hires to pay next month’s mortgage. I've been there also.

On the other hand, we have to understand that the majority of these companies are in crises just like most of us. In these cases, we have to weather the storm and continue to build the relationship and move on to companies who are in better terms to hire people today.

Also, now is a good time to look at other services that you can provide to your clients/candidates, such as hr selective services, RPO, payroll, to which you’re receiving residual payment based on the service you provide, not based on hires alone :-)

Best of luck.
Greg Z. Manson.
Well one of the things you can do with this is discuss the timeline. Tell them that you are willing to work with this if the timeline since the person applied, etc. was less than 90 days ago, otherwise no. There are many points of negotiation in this argument to make it a win-win for both parties. Sell the fact that you are making the match...that is where your service is, not only bringing the candidate to light. If they have a person in their database, yet do not have them interviewing for a job that you know is a good match, how does that help them? Bottom line it does not and making them aware of that is critical.

Michael Fortin said:
The clients have been telling us that they won't accept candidates they already have in their "systems". This means if they have ever applied there in the past or sent a resume. Unfourtunetly during the candidate screening process they have no clue who they have and haven't sent resumes.

We spend time and resources to recruit what we think is a great candidate only to have them shot down.

I am unsure why we were told to hold off on our candidates, clearly they like the candidates enough to take them through 3 and 4 interviews respectivly. Financial or not, I really have no idea why they pulled the plug other than them saying "We're going to hold off for now".
Outstanding recommendation. That is the differentiating factor between companies now. Staffing firms are calling all over the place and managers are getting hammered with calls all the time. How much of a true differentiator do you have over the next guy. Probably not that much. But what if you now offer a service suite, one of the offerings being staffing and the others being complimentary services that add value. Well then you stand out in the crowd and immediately become more of an interest. In addition, I here a great deal about perm. Contract is where the growth has and will be over the next few years. There are companies out there that will float payroll and handle backend needs if that is what you require. But this area is a huge benefit for recruiting companies, as contract labor is becoming even more popular.

Greg Z. Manson said:
Mike as an recruiter who became an independent a year ago, I can definitely feel your pain, particularly when one spends allot of none-billable hours, supplying candidates just to have clients drag their heels or end up pulling the plug altogether, for one reason or another. It can be frustrating, especially if you’re counting on those hires to pay next month’s mortgage. I've been there also.

On the other hand, we have to understand that the majority of these companies are in crises just like most of us. In these cases, we have to weather the storm and continue to build the relationship and move on to companies who are in better terms to hire people today.

Also, now is a good time to look at other services that you can provide to your clients/candidates, such as hr selective services, RPO, payroll, to which you’re receiving residual payment based on the service you provide, not based on hires alone :-)

Best of luck.
Greg Z. Manson.
Michael -

I run into the "they are already in our system" as well. While pre-qualifying candidates I gather info on when they were last actively seeking work. If the answer is less than 1 year I ask specifically if they have submitted for any position with the client on their own or through another agency/firm.

Then when I get the "they are already in our system" I have someplace to go to continue closing the deal.

I agree with you that these times are tough and clients are throwing up all kinds of objections before closing the deal.

Hang in there!


Michael Fortin said:
The clients have been telling us that they won't accept candidates they already have in their "systems". This means if they have ever applied there in the past or sent a resume. Unfourtunetly during the candidate screening process they have no clue who they have and haven't sent resumes.

We spend time and resources to recruit what we think is a great candidate only to have them shot down.

I am unsure why we were told to hold off on our candidates, clearly they like the candidates enough to take them through 3 and 4 interviews respectivly. Financial or not, I really have no idea why they pulled the plug other than them saying "We're going to hold off for now".
Hi Michael,
I understand your frustration. I worked with a client before who gave me the old 'don't submit anyone who is already in our database' spiel. They were in the position to do this because they were literally working with every agency out there and didn't care that they spun everyone's wheels with little hope of a placement. I think the only thing you can do is appeal to the line manager and try to cut HR out of the loop altogether. There's a solid chance s/he is as frustrated as you are, maybe the HR person won't be long there.
The other thing I noticed in one of your comments was that you said other agencies were posting ads for these jobs?
There was a time I used to go on Monster and the big sites to see what job openings I could compete for, but I gave that up to find the smaller and medium sized companies that weren't in every single agencies' cross-hairs. I have been pleasantly surprised. There are plenty of companies out there who can pay the fee AND do not have a dedicated recruiter. That's where the gold is IMO.
Thanks for all the advice folks, I am really trying to restructure things a bit to see what we can do. Unfourtunetly I am locked into a lease here with REGUS, so that alone is $2k a month regardless.

In many cases I am only working with the HR Managers, most have been with the companies for years and have forbid us from going directly to managers. Although, I do squeak by every now and then. :-)

I would really like to focus on the temp side of the business because that is where the immediate return is IMO. If we could get some immediate billing up and running ASAP then it would make it all worth it.

Again, I am just having trouble getting into the doors with these people, as I mentioned I see other companies working with some of these targets so they are clearly using agency.

Again, we are a Healthcare staffing/recruting firm so that is and has been our main focus.

To top it all off, this morning I stopped to get a bottle of Diet Pepsi...somehow the top is melted to the bottle and can't be removed...like me it's building pressure and probably going to explode. :-)

Ugghhh!
Michael, if I may also a new phenomenon in our world:

I have several Internal Recruiter friends, and they are open and honest that the first thing they do upon receiving a candidate resume is look for a web signature. And no, I don't mean just Linkedin. I mean any web signature at all (i.e. their name on an association list, etc.)

At this point, they only have to simply say that they have that candidate in their system . . . that it was "imported through their contact capture program" or "our system auto imports any and all information from our competitors." It is very difficult to prove otherwise . . . so it has been imperative for me to assert up-front with Clients that if I present a candidate who is ready to pull the trigger, it's my candidate, period. If this is not accepted, then I move on. It's why I cut off entire access to any boards - I don't want someone thinking I'm merely perusing for active resumes to throw their way. Hell, I don't even want to find myself 'checking' to see if the candidate has a resume somewhere on a board, because chances are that they do (given how worried everyone is today given our increased number of layoffs).

I find it odd that we have to go back to square one and remind our Clients that our job is to actually recruit someone as opposed to merely find their information. But more and more, I am finding myself doing that . . . so I can only hope that all External Recruiting Partners can have a unified front in explaining that our job is to actually recruit someone and get them to "yes".

A name is merely a coconut high up in a tree. A profile is a coconut that has fallen out of the tree and lay on the ground within sight. But they're still coconuts and if the monkey can't bang it open, it doesn't matter anyway. It's up to us as External Forest Monkeys to break the coconut and make a tasty beverage for our Clients.
Do you have an attorney? Check with an attorney about that lease.

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