Is it possible to start a recruiting business without prior experience?

I know many people will think I'm nuts, but I'm a self employed mortgage broker that has gone from making great money to virtually nothing. I believe many of the sales/customer service skill that I have would help make successful in the recruiting business.
I know the traditional route is to go work for a large company and then go out on your own after achieving some success. However I have investigated that avenue and cannot at this stage of my life go back to an environment where the company will hire anyone with potential and see how it goes. (All the while the company makes a hefty portion of the fees as long as one of their recruiters places the candidate.)
Any constructive thoughts would be very much appreciated.

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Actually you'd be much better off if you went to a larger company and worked for them first. Primarily because you'll get paid to learn! You'll get a draw or base plus commission and yes, you give a percentage to the agency, but half of a lot is much better than all of nothing, wouldn't you agree? One of the key benefits of working at an established agency is leverage, you can tap into your colleague's job orders by placing your candidates with them, and when you get your own job order, you'll likely have multiple co-workers giving you candidates, which means you're able to produce more quickly for your client and make more placements overall than you will on your own.

If you were to start on your own in a recession especially, you'll have a much more difficult time of things. You'll be competing with recruiters with years of experience, and what do you have to offer? Nothing really. You have no expertise or experience in recruiting, so will find it very difficult to get job orders and without job orders, what do you have to offer to candidates?

Recruiting isn't for everyone. Working for an established agency will give you a chance to try it out on their dime, rather than taking all the risk yourself and you can save yourself a lot of time as well as you'll learn what not to do as well as what to do. Whereas if you try to do this on your own, you have noone to warn you when you're about to take a wrong turn or give bad advice.

Good luck,
~Pam
Great and sound advice Pam.
Related string.
Regarding- "However I have investigated that avenue and cannot at this stage of my life go back to an environment where the company will hire anyone with potential and see how it goes. (All the while the company makes a hefty portion of the fees as long as one of their recruiters places the candidate.)"

my question is why not?

this reminds me of the recruiting tip I left here

It takes years to really be good at this. You can and probably will make money before the "years" pass but to be very good at this, it takes time. There is nothing wrong with giving half your production away as long as you are learning and your placements are on the rise.

There are many companies now that are building their business models on motivating recruiters not to give away the chunk of placement fees by way of creative split models and things like that but really, it's those recruiters who can't function in a normal recruiting environment that latch on to this. I don't advise being creative in the beginning of one's recruiting career. Go work for someone who is successful and will teach you how to do this right.
Is it "possible"? Of course it's possible. This is America - we are all free to choose our destiny at any time.

Is it "adviseable"? No.

While it may seem the company is makeing a "hefty fee" you would be the one getting a lifetime of knowledge. Maybe you would only need to work with an agency half the time it would normally take to get your bearings on this profession - but you need to work with a mentor in some way/shape/form to get started.

Good luck - it's a great profession and I applaud your desire to jump in!
You can be President without much legislative experience...
My advice is go to work for a reputable agency and become trained on our business. This is a tough time and companies are working with recruiters that have had relationships for a long time. While most are trying to stay active and work by managing activity rather than numbers, your best results income wise would be to work somewhere that they are established. You will have to sign a non compete though most likely but the training is what you need to have.
Hi Jerry,

Yes, it is possible. I started as an independent recruiter back in 2003. I was a Software Manager/Director prior to that and my only "experience" was being placed by recruiters. My Partner Julia joined me in 2004, from a similar background. We've done well.

I have several friends who tried doing recruiting and didn't make it for a variety of reasons, and a few who tried it out and made a career out of it. One of those spent a few months as a salaried recruiter before starting on her own.

One thing that I am sure of is that one needs to work very hard and full time to get going. One can't succeed just by trying recruiting out part time, even on split job orders.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to share my experience.

-Irina
http://www.linkedin.com/in/irinashamaeva
Thanks to everyone for their input. The message seems to be loud and clear - it might be possible to put it together, but making it work and being successful would prove to be difficult at best. Thanks again.
I made a very successful career change from a business development executive to an executive search consultant. In my view, the key to that success was a very large network of c-level connections who could influence the decision to hire me, tenacity in the long road to making it work, a financial cushion to see me through the first year and credibility having run large organizations and built world class teams myself.
This is a very interesting topic that I have taken to heart. I, too, am considering becoming a recruiter. I have interviewed with several companies and I have heard the same story: it will take 3 to 6 months to make your first placement. Although, one of the companies that I am interviewing with explained that they have a new recruiter that made 2 and almost 3 placements in the first 90 days; but they thought this was rather extraordinary.

I have read that everyone is really feeling the pinch securing orders. With this in mind, what is a reasonable time frame to start seeing some placements, in light of the current economy of course.

Thanks.
I completely understand where you are coming from. Its hard going back to certain structures once you have tasted a real commission check in the past. I get it.

I'm also in the process of trying to figure out if I should do this on my own. I got out of the biz last month after being in it for 5 months. You can't really put a price on the experience you gain. There are so many little beneficial details that I would have never picked up without observing my colleagues.

I guess I was one of the few ( according to Sidney) who were able to do 3 deals within my first 90 days. I did my first deal my 2nd month and did two deals my 3rd. This was in the current economy, just a couple months ago. I'm as confidant as the next guy, but realistically I don't think I could have done it without guidance.

I know its not much advice, but I hope it helps. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.
Alon, That is certainly encouraging news. As noted, the companies that I have interviewed with thought that those were extraordinary results. Prior to hearing this information, I had thought that you could be generating commissions relatively quickly with the proper mentoring, training and dedication.

Just out of curiosity, did you have the same success in the next several months?

Again, kudos!

Sid

Alon said:
I completely understand where you are coming from. Its hard going back to certain structures once you have tasted a real commission check in the past. I get it.

I'm also in the process of trying to figure out if I should do this on my own. I got out of the biz last month after being in it for 5 months. You can't really put a price on the experience you gain. There are so many little beneficial details that I would have never picked up without observing my colleagues.

I guess I was one of the few ( according to Sidney) who were able to do 3 deals within my first 90 days. I did my first deal my 2nd month and did two deals my 3rd. This was in the current economy, just a couple months ago. I'm as confidant as the next guy, but realistically I don't think I could have done it without guidance.

I know its not much advice, but I hope it helps. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.

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