I have been an agency recruiter my whole time in this business and I am done with it. I would like to explore the independent recruiting world and work as a free lance headhunter. I would like to speak with anyone who has broken out of the agency/corporate recruiting world and has struck out on their own. Any advice? Should I form an LLC? I would appreciate any information or guidance. Thanks.

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Hi David-

      If you have a moment and would like to chat I'd be happy to answer some questions from my perspective- might be helpful to review my web page or profile. www.mrginternational.net-

      

Best of luck, David.  Please share your journey for those of us that have thought about this route as well.

I'll offer just one thought here (of the many there are to choose from...)

 

Let's talk about frame of mind.  Specifically the fear or concern that comes with thinking about going out on your own.  What happens if you don't make a placement soon?  Can you go 6 months without one?  Kinda scary, isn't it?  It was for me too.....until I realized I had to make a placement right where I was (agency) or run the risk of failure.  So either way - I had to make a placement no matter where I was.

 

Once it dawned on me that indeed I WOULD be making another placement (or die) I figured "Hey Jerry - let's do this!" and hit the road.

 

No matter where you are in this business - you WILL be making another placement.  This month or next.  If you don't - you're dead.


Nothing changes.  Except you can recruit in your underwear if you want.  Oh - and you move to a 100% commission rate.

 

Here's a blog I wrote a while back related to what you might be goi...

I don't know your motivation for going out on your own, but if you don't know much about running your own business there is a lot to learn and think about!

If you are great at finding and bringing new clients in, you will probably be successful. If you are not good at bringing in new business, or haven't done it much, it will be hard to make a living.

 

It seems most people think about going out on their own because they look around and think "Gee, I could be keeping the whole fee for myself", but sometimes they don't remember to look at the whole picture: where did the job order come from, what resources are you using to find candidates - and who's paying for them?, etc.

If you have been working stright commission with no benefits, then you probably have a good idea of whether or not it's a good choice for you financially.

 

The flexibility is a plus, but there is a lot of hard work and hours involved when you are building a company. But, again, if you are already straight commission you already know if you want to close a deal then you have to do whatever it takes to get it done!

 

Good luck, hope you keep us upated.

 

For me (recently departing from a firm to go it on my own) I can say without hesitation that my only regret in doing so was lack of planning. For me it took some time to put processes in place (the infrastructure if that works, I've always been the guy that jumps off the cliff and learns to fly). I left that company late last year and spent time screwing off between the holidays enjoying a little family time and really started this little venture shortly after Jan 1. I don't know how much time you have in this, for myself only about a years experience before taking the plunge. Knowing that there are more senior folks out there with a lot more experience is a comfort as I lean on recruiting blogs and other professionals for guidance and it looks like I'll close out the month strong. As far as LLC? protecting personal assets is important in any venture as well as certain tax advantages depending on how things are filed. I would say that even more important is having things in place, processes, data etc.. so that you can do the things that lead to placements ie PHONE TIME. In this business one of the most important things I've learned is that you can find yourself caught up in "busy" work that doesn't contribute a thing to the bottom line. Some of these things while necessary, were taken care of for me as an employee of a firm. Setting realistic goals for yourself is crucial. I don't know your particular circumstances so it's hard to be too specific. Best of luck to you in your endeavors and hope that helps.
Thank you for the insight. I have also thought about the processes and logistics involved and that is where I am hitting the wall. I don't now what I don't know. Time to get some information. Thanks again.
I agree that mindset is crucial and I like the way you put it. I have actually been working from home for about a year now and it was going much better than I had anticipated. I was working with a niche firm and I'm not sure if I should do that again or just free lance in general. most of my experience is in IT so I would most likely stick to that. I appreciate your insight.

Jerry Albright said:

I'll offer just one thought here (of the many there are to choose from...)

 

Let's talk about frame of mind.  Specifically the fear or concern that comes with thinking about going out on your own.  What happens if you don't make a placement soon?  Can you go 6 months without one?  Kinda scary, isn't it?  It was for me too.....until I realized I had to make a placement right where I was (agency) or run the risk of failure.  So either way - I had to make a placement no matter where I was.

 

Once it dawned on me that indeed I WOULD be making another placement (or die) I figured "Hey Jerry - let's do this!" and hit the road.

 

No matter where you are in this business - you WILL be making another placement.  This month or next.  If you don't - you're dead.


Nothing changes.  Except you can recruit in your underwear if you want.  Oh - and you move to a 100% commission rate.

 

Here's a blog I wrote a while back related to what you might be goi...

Thanks. For the most part I have never worked straight commission and the prospect of doing so is a bit daunting. I am also thinking about tools that I would have at my disposal as well. There is a great deal to think about and I appreciate your insight.

Amber said:

I don't know your motivation for going out on your own, but if you don't know much about running your own business there is a lot to learn and think about!

If you are great at finding and bringing new clients in, you will probably be successful. If you are not good at bringing in new business, or haven't done it much, it will be hard to make a living.

 

It seems most people think about going out on their own because they look around and think "Gee, I could be keeping the whole fee for myself", but sometimes they don't remember to look at the whole picture: where did the job order come from, what resources are you using to find candidates - and who's paying for them?, etc.

If you have been working stright commission with no benefits, then you probably have a good idea of whether or not it's a good choice for you financially.

 

The flexibility is a plus, but there is a lot of hard work and hours involved when you are building a company. But, again, if you are already straight commission you already know if you want to close a deal then you have to do whatever it takes to get it done!

 

Good luck, hope you keep us upated.

 

Al I took a look at your site. I do have some questions. It looks like you would rely mainly on referrals or networking to find candidates correct? I imagine there would be a great deal of travel involved as well then yes?

Al Merrill said:

Hi David-

      If you have a moment and would like to chat I'd be happy to answer some questions from my perspective- might be helpful to review my web page or profile. www.mrginternational.net-

 

David, since you have been working from home you have already handled one of the main problems people face when they go independent. Self motivation to work alone. A couple of questions. Do you have any kind of non compete? If so take that to an attorney. Talk to a CPA as to your situation whether it would be best to set up an LLC, DBA or 1120C Corp. When I started my firm I set up my firm as an 1120c Corp. Requires Corp taxes and individual taxes paid separately but there are advantages tax wise and personal liability wise. Discuss with your attorney/CPA to decide which works best. Check your state requirements for license requirements.

When you go on your own, it's your railroad. You can blow the whistle any way and any time you want. It doesn't take many placements at 100% of the revenue before you quit holding your breath. Then the trick is to manage revenue so you can make it through any "dry spell".

As Jerry says, if you don't make placements you fail, nothing changes about that. The only difference is if you bitch about the boss you probably won't get fired. The big difference is there are no excuses.

A good recruiter doesn't have to stay in a niche unless you want to. On your own you can take any search you wish. Sometimes that flexibility will pay the bills while the big ones are taking longer. Go for it!!

David,

 

You're getting good advice here...and you'll get more.  There are even Starting a Business for Dummies books out there to give you very specific pointers on dos and don'ts. Also, What Color is Your Parachute?  will walk you through the mindset of making a decision to go out on your own, or not.  I'm sure you're on to them.

 

Sandra makes a good point on sharing, "A good recruiter doesn't have to stay in a niche unless you want to".  You have an expertise in IT recruiting.  This tells me you can make the leap to most other technical disciplines and certainly non-technical disciplines.  Why is this important?  Starting out you need TRACTION and the sooner the better.  Broadening your scope will actually enhance your business traffic.  How you can manage and leverage it will be on you and can be huge if you can hang...and bro' you made it through the Marines and this far into your professional career.  Making this change will be testing your metal again, but you've been in tougher scenarios. No doubt--this will be challenging but YOU WILL SUCCEED when it's all on you.

Hell, you'll be taking work from all of us--SO BE IT.  We live for that competition because it's not personal...it's for you to take if you can make it work for you.  And when you do, we'll applaud you and ask for tips and stories and share the road with another crazy-like-a-fox recruiter.

Valetino, you are indeed a man of few words.

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