I'm sitting here in a hotel lobby in Boston thinking about the first placement I made when I started my recruiting firm in 1997.

The company made an offer that we were going to extend to the candidate. The client was mine and the candidate was recruited by my wife. It was about 10:30 my time. The fee was going to be 17k.

So it's about 10:30 pm and I give the good news to my wife who is almost asleep in bed. She say's great, I'll call the candidate in the morning. I say what are you talking about, we have an offer on the table now and we need to get a verbal acceptance from the candidate now. I said get up, lets make a deal.

I then scripted out exactly what I wanted said and how it was that I wanted the script to be delivered, I rarely ever made an important call without it being scripted. We went over the script and then she made the call. She got the acceptance and it all worked out. 17k fee.

What about your first placement? How did it go down. I know you remember.

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My first placement was a legal secretary. When I first started at the agency, there was no internet, everything was paper files and applications that we had candidates fill out. I was handed several dusty boxes of old candidate applications to sift through, calling to reactivate them and calling any references that looked interesting. This candidate was a co-worker reference, a legal secretary, and it was lucky timing, she was just thinking about making a change and we had a few great jobs for her. I think the offer was for 30k, which meant our fee was 6k, and I remember being thrilled to put that 3k up on my board. The other 3k went to my boss, who was working the client. I sat right across from him, and he told me exactly what to say....and it worked! Candidate was thrilled with her new job, and I knew I'd found the perfect job for me as well. :)
My first placement was an engineer! $20,100 placement. I had no idea what I was doing or how I found the person they couldn't live without - but it all seemed to happen in a matter of hours! From my contact to his interview with them was 48 hours, the offer came the next day. I never worked with another engineer...strange.
My first hire: I got to work a req, my first very own req, and it turned out to be a hard-to-fill position with a (we've all had 'em) PICKY hiring manager.

This is a Field Engineer in NYC; and not just in NYC, it had to be IN the buroughs, someone who knew all 5 of them, they couldn't live on that side of the bridge or live here or wherever.

Finally, I find the perfect candidate. He goes in to interview, and I call my HM for feedback...

'Well,' he says, "He showed up wearing rose colored John Lennon glasses, and he had a wondering eye...I didn't know if he was looking at me or the wall!" I was mortified at this point because he was a very demanding person. He said, 'I liked him; I'm ready to extend an offer'. - I was thrilled! And it's a memorable story...
My first placement went great....NOT! I had no training at this and didn't know where to start. I saw an ad the local newspaper for a medical sales rep position. This was 1986! I called the number and found that a rcruiter in Georgia had placed the ad. He agreed to do a 50/50 split on an $8,000 fee. I quickly found the right candidate, somehow, and he got the job! However, I never got paid from the other recruiter. He filed bankruptcy! Also found out he owed a lot of other split fees as well. Watch out who you split with!
Mines easy... October 08 I started my agency. Im in New Zealand and October 08 was about 6mths in to recession here. I had recently relocated back from Australia so I started with no clients, no candidates, no budget a new sector to me and during a recession. Nothing like a challenge!!!! I placed 3 board members in my first month!!! NOTHING will ever beat picking up the phone and doing what us recruiters do best... talk. What a great lite hearted topic to ease the gloom... nice one!
My first placement was a usability architect, a perm deal at a company with a LONG hiring process. Tough sell - took awhile to find the guy, but even longer to close the deal with the client. Looking back on it, I'm shocked that he was still available when they finally decided they wanted him! That's where I got my first lesson in the value of communication and relationship building. Never would have been able to secure him if I hadn't stayed in close contact with as much feedback as I could provide the whole time.

I remember it well because the company I worked for at the time wouldn't pay commission on it because I identified him before my probationary period was up (even though the deal didn't close for months after!). Ahhh, memories! :)
1974. Sacramento, CA. Placed a bank teller while working for my Dad as a summer job.

loved the stories here Slouch, do more!
Great thread. I've been a recruiter for about five years, and opened my own firm in 2006. My wife started working with me in January 2009, and we/she just got her first job offer today. Just like your situation, it was my client company and her candidate. She just got done presenting the offer to him and it looks like he is going to accept. As for my first placement, it actually came from a wrong number. I was calling companies in one industry, dialed the wrong number, and actually called a company in the Timber industry. I talked to the General Manager, we had some things in common (prior military), and he told me that he was looking for a supervisor. I got a 30% fee and made my first placement six weeks after I started. It's amazing what you can do when you don't know any better.
My first placement I will remember always as I believe it was the first placement for the entire company. This is back in the days when we charged applicants to find jobs (something I believe will come back again soon). I had a nice young man who answered and ad I had placed in the newspaper for a finance trainee position. His background was two years out of high school and then had been a solid worker managing an adult book store. Thru good old cold calling I got him into a "normal bookstore" and after letting him use my sport coat and tie, then the company scissors to cut his nails, prepped him and explained "bookstore experience" was enough and no need to delve into the content of his previous role during the interview. Well lo and behold he got the job on the first interview and my first placement of about $1,000 dollars. You have to start somewhere. Cheers, Tom
I had fallen off the roof and broken my femur in 2001. My brother, a recruiter in Oregon, asked me if I wanted to assist him while I was healing. The requisition was for an automotive metallurgist (I didn't have a clue). Told a good friend about it (probably expressing I did not know where to start). He made one call to a recent graduate that he remembered and it was a $20,000 placement within the month. My husband took a picture of the check.
This is a fabulous discussion!

I never made a hire but I've supplied plenty of candidates who became hires for my customers! When I first started phone sourcing it was 1996 and the halcyon days of Silcion Valley. I didn't know what the difference was between a software engineer and a hardware engineer, much less what software or hardware even was! I was solicitied to do this job not understanding what it was I was in for. It was a good thing - ignorance was bliss. I was fired after a few months but man what I learned in those few months! I loved this business and decided nobody was going to take it away from me. I created an email list and solicited unwary customers. I still have many of them today!
It was Jan 1986, in Los Angeles, my wife and I sold everything and moved there right after we got hitched (still married to her ;-). I joined a firm that didn't allow you to make any calls for a month, we had a team of 5 people with desks facing each other. I trained by picking up one of the lines while any of the other 4 were on the phone, we took the speaker out of the handset so the people on the other end couldn't hear me in on the call. For 1 month I listened to 4 different experienced recruiters working the full life cycle, handling objections, overcoming the "no" factor. We would have discussions after calls to help me understand why/how the process went and how we felt about the results along with the expectations of what might happen next and how it should be handled. We used index cards for the industries and for candidate intake. You could hear someone talking with a client and you could literally throw a resume attached to an index card to that person so they could pitch a candidate while on the call - it was a riot! We placed accounting/finance staff. When placements were made, all fees went into the kitty and were shared by the team, with the manager and assistant manager getting a larger % and the other 3 getting % based on their production that month. In the first week of the 2nd month that I was on the phone, I made 6 placements that week! I was hooked! - it was a lot of fun and the whole team was very supportive/helpful/excited, you could feel the hairs rising on your arms as each deal was going down and everyone ^ 5'd, the energy and enthusiasm was addictive, and of course we were looking at the fees we were collecting going into the kitty. It was some of the best training I've had, or seen in the corporate world, you'd feel guilty if you weren't pounding that phone and producing activity because we were all facing each other and supporting each other to be successful. 23 years later the rest is history ;-)

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