When no agencies are hiring, where can I get a legit start in recruiting?

After several years, I am getting out of construction company ownership. I want to put my researching, networking, sourcing and general digging skills to good use in the recruiting industry, and feel that I would be an asset for a company once I could get started.

My issue is that none of the agencies in my area are hiring due to their business slowing down. I understand that people say you need to get your start in an agency, and I understand also the reasons why they say that. But I feel confident that I could still be successful being independent at least as a start. what I am looking for is a legitimate opportunity to do some split fee placements. I've heard horror stories of people making placements and not getting paid, and that is absolutely something that I do not want to do.

Have any of you worked with any companies or individuals on a split fee arrangement and had success?

Is there a database of clients looking to fill jobs that actually have the intention of paying a placement fee?

I am resource full and relentless, and I believe that if there is a person out there for a job that I can find them. I just need the opportunity to prove myself.

I would love some direction, thank you.

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Or are there agencies that would allow me to recruit for them remotely, so that I don't have to be local?

Have you cold called all the agencies in your area? Especially the ones that do construction recruiting? They'd likely be the ones that would be most interested, given your background. 

Agencies are usually always open to hiring people that they think they could make money from. I would call the sales manager and ask for an informational interview, even if they're not hiring ask to meet with them. That's how I got my first job at an agency. :)

Hey Pam, thanks for the response. I have cold called them, that's where I learned they weren't hiring. The informational interview on the other hand, I never even thought of...thanks!

If you have contacts that can bring in new clients, you should be able to find an agency or independant recruiter to work with pretty easily. You mentioned that you feel you could be succesful just going out on your own, so what has stopped you so far?

You could also look at your experience owning a business and hiring employees for it. Were there challenges specific to that industry that you can help companies overcome?  Maybe there is a type of recuriting service that could be tailored to that that you could offer.

There are a lot of job postings for recruiters, virtual included. I would be careful though of those who ask for am upfront fee, or want to "help" you set up your own office. Some are legit I'm sure, but many are not.

Pam's advice was great, at least you could get to meet some of the people in the recruiting field near you. By the way, where are you located?



Amber, thanks for the advice. Nothing has really stopped me, I am working on several split fee placements right now, but would like to work with an agency for the experience. As far as my experience, I would consider myself an expert in construction recruiting. I think one of my main concerns with specialization is that I will be limiting myself. And until I know where the best fit for me in the most lucrative field will be, I want to keep it open. So maybe I could "freelance" as a construction recruiter for a few firms. Does that seem logical? Also, I am in the DFW, Texas area. Thanks again!

It will be difficult to freelance for several firms without having recruiting experience, especially if you are referring to agencies. Generally, agencies are reluctant to do this because they worry about confidentiality.

Here's what I've seen work repeatedly, you call the hiring manager at all the local agencies and ask for an informational interview. You tell that manager, "I have decided on a career in recruiting and am just not sure which agency will be the right fit. I understand that you may not be hiring, I'd still welcome the chance to meet with you briefly, to learn more about how you approach recruiting and pick your brain a bit about the field. Are you free one morning this week, before your day gets busy? Or any time that's convenient for you, I don't want to take much of your time."

This works for a few reasons, you are letting them know you are going to do recruiting, it's just a matter of where. That kind of professional confidence is highly attractive. It also raises curiosity, who is this guy? Maybe we should check him out.

That is exactly the approach I took, and the woman who hired me emphasized that they had no openings....each time she brought me in, and even when she offered me the job!  I actually blogged about informational interviews recently and went into more depth on this story if you want to check it out, http://www.customsearchgroup.com/blog/bid/187714/Use-an-Information...

I also noticed that when I was at this agency, every time the owner was informed that a possible new recruiter was also interviewing at the competition, the sense of urgency to meet and possibly hire this person was dramatically increased. I saw some people hired that I really scratched my head at, but they were pending elsewhere, so were snapped up before the competitors could get them.

This may not get you the job, but it should at least get you in the door a few places. Curiosity and competitiveness is a powerful thing. :)

Just my two cents.  Take it for what it's worth.  I've been a recruiter 12 years.  In those 12 years I've been through agencies, a consultant, and owned my own firm.  I've seen 20 years of experience be not as good as someone with 2 years of experience and I've seen others who just kill it all the time.  I've seen how natural talent arises when given opportunity and where training absolutely plays the key factor in success.

Pick an industry:

You can do what you like but if I were you I'd look in one of two areas.  1. Something you are already familiar with and have an existing network of relationships or 2. An area of hot growth (technology).  The problem with #2 is that it's going to be a tougher start because you have more to learn.  

Learn the craft:

I don't know how many people come on here to say what you say about how "they think they can do it despite the lack of training and experience".  Bill Gates said it best.  I can't quote him but I'll paraphrase.  "The world doesn't pay you for your self esteem, they pay you for what you produce".  Everyone thinks they're the greatest thing.  Everyone is justified in their own eyes.  Learn the craft.  Read, take classes, work for an agency (I know this last one is the tough one for you).  It's insulting to think people can do anything without training.  If it were that easy why do we get paid at all?

How about sales?:

If not a recruiter, how about on the relationship side?  I bring this up because of your connections again and industry.  If your industry is going to crap then maybe not the best idea but maybe there are related industries (construction - real estate - finance - engineering)

Anyway good luck.  There is no magic bullet or easy answer.  Maybe some of this stuff will help or maybe it won't.

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