Here is the thing, I have been doing this for a couple of years now and have made about 2 dozen successful placements and love the game.  The problem for me is that I do not know how to turn business down and have ended up working in many spaces.  I have some some video game stuff, some GPS stuff, semiconductor, Android, you get it... I am always told to pick a niche and stick to it, but I have had a hard time turning business away.  Plus, I like having a wide portfolio in case one space dries while another flourishes...

Anyone ever felt like this before?  Any advice/ good reads that you can toss a guy's way?

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Good question, and I hope a lot of people post some responses. I am the same here, I've been recruiting for 3 years now, and I'm not "specialized: in a particular "niche". I have been doing well wiith that, like the variety, but have wondered if I should focus on a particular industry or field. I will say that I have recently been much more selective in taking on new work, but based on the clients not the types of positions so much.

The debate about niche or generalist has raged since the mists of time in recruiting.  I have always been a generalist except for about three years during the oil boom when i made the decision to niche in an industry albeit not in a particular skill..thank god.

Then came the bust that always follows a boom.  For the last 25 years i have been a generalist.  I love the variety.  I love the learning that it takes to move from placing a doctor while working on an IE spot or CFO or a Tax director or supply chain opps manager or a feedyard manager or sales rep or Sharepoint developer or Systems Administrator or a Sr. Loan officer or a PhD with DNA research experience or a lab director.

I found my niche, i'm a recruiter.  :)  I don't turn away business unless it is something i really hate like telecommunications, god i hate that industry.

I agree with these ladies. The closest I ever got to specializing was during the construction boom. I was a home building recruiter and worked primarily with mid sized builders in Arizona and Nevada. I filed anything from a receptionist to a CFO. Having a broad scope helped me when I moved in house. I recruit for every non-sales department and my people have nothing in common but the key card. I specialized in accounting for a short while but I quickly learned I do much better with variety. If its working for you keep doin what you're doin!

How about being a generalist within a niche?  Sounds crazy, right?  Well - it's what I do.


Information Technology ------- within manufacturing, retail, banking, software, government, insurance, automotive - - ----  you get the idea.  From DBA's to Project Managers and ERP Analysts - Web Developers to RPG Programmers.

 

Is there a niche within there?  You bet.  Plenty of them - and I know quite a few recruiters who have picked one and stuck with it. 

 

But in the broader sense - a generalist recruiter working Accounting, then Engineering and then and HR role next might have a bit less consistency.  But it can be done.

I have been in an extremely nichey niche since I started in the industry about 4 years ago (senior execs in the accredited medical education space). My version of "diversifying" has been to open my practice up to related positions like medical writers, project directors, marketers, etc. But I've been thinking more and more about broadening even more for many of the same reasons Sandra mentioned. I believe that my core skill set is highly transferable and I'm willing to challenge myself to learn other sectors. I've done some projects on the ad agency side as well as healthcare publishing and they were rewarding. Could be time to kick it open even wider.

BTW Sandra,  why is it that you hate the telecommunications industry so much?  I have one telecom client and I would like to know why I should NOT have another... at least get your opinion...


Sandra McCartt said:

The debate about niche or generalist has raged since the mists of time in recruiting.  I have always been a generalist except for about three years during the oil boom when i made the decision to niche in an industry albeit not in a particular skill..thank god.

Then came the bust that always follows a boom.  For the last 25 years i have been a generalist.  I love the variety.  I love the learning that it takes to move from placing a doctor while working on an IE spot or CFO or a Tax director or supply chain opps manager or a feedyard manager or sales rep or Sharepoint developer or Systems Administrator or a Sr. Loan officer or a PhD with DNA research experience or a lab director.

I found my niche, i'm a recruiter.  :)  I don't turn away business unless it is something i really hate like telecommunications, god i hate that industry.

Hey Sandra,

I just wanted to ask you again... what is it that you hate about the telecom industry?  Is there a reason that I should avoid it?

Sandra McCartt said:

The debate about niche or generalist has raged since the mists of time in recruiting.  I have always been a generalist except for about three years during the oil boom when i made the decision to niche in an industry albeit not in a particular skill..thank god.

Then came the bust that always follows a boom.  For the last 25 years i have been a generalist.  I love the variety.  I love the learning that it takes to move from placing a doctor while working on an IE spot or CFO or a Tax director or supply chain opps manager or a feedyard manager or sales rep or Sharepoint developer or Systems Administrator or a Sr. Loan officer or a PhD with DNA research experience or a lab director.

I found my niche, i'm a recruiter.  :)  I don't turn away business unless it is something i really hate like telecommunications, god i hate that industry.

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