What makes a recruiter switch firms? I mean really is it just about the possibility of earning more with another firm? Or do all recruiters want to manage large teams and then regions running a big firm? 

Some of the most successful recruiters I know have stayed within a firm or started their own firm and really locked down their niche market.

So my first question is do recruiters move for the same reasons as our candidates?

I would argue that we are just as needy as our candidates and just as fallible when being seduced by another firm, in fact given the amount of moves some recruiters have had I would say we are more susceptible to a better offer than our candidates. But is that offer always better? This is where I say it really has to be something great to get you out!


Good recruiters build a reputation and that reputation also enhances the brand you are working for. How do you calculate reputational damage to your personal brand when you move? Can you measure client loyalty? Are you sure your clients will move with you? Now obviously if you are unhappy, feeling unloved and underpaid these are all strong motivators, so I am not saying don’t move but if you are a successful recruiter, earning good money and you have been with a firm for a good few years then really why are you moving? Especially if you have a good market, good boss, good clients are you actually going to earn significant multiples somewhere else by moving? Are you really going to be a good manager when you are very good at managing yourself? Out of 5 excellent recruiters I would say only 1 will be a good manager and the top firms recognize this but it is also why they loose allot of excellent recruiters.  The top search firms in the world are not run by lots of managers far from it, they have teams of excellent niche recruiters who understand that they want to manage their own desk and get on with being the best in their market. They are called principles or partners and often have benefits packages that far outstrip that of a manager in a big firm.


So my missive today is to all those recruiters who are being wooed by the rec to rec’s…. Ask yourself do you really want to move to become a manager or do you want to be the best recruiter in the market place….. They are to very different paths each with their own rewards but identifying which one you should be is key and many get it wrong.  Some people just want a change and that is also fine but make the change something great not just old for new. Now back to the title of this bumbling missive, don’t envy the competition the grass is not always greener and remember they are salespeople as well, if your good yes they want you but they want you to do exactly what you are doing now! Is that really reason to change?

Views: 284

Comment by Chris Bailey on May 21, 2013 at 4:18pm

Cant believe none of you have commented on this :) really thought it would raise debate! lol might have been my Sunday red wine getting the better of me! 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 21, 2013 at 5:39pm

Meh. My clients for the most part went with me (unless I was changing disciplines) and it was about two things - Money and Autonomy. Period. If I could make more and be left alone, I would listen to a new opportunity. Sure I could have gone independent, but I like having co-workers and being part of a "work family" - maybe some day but I've been on the corporate side for a few years now and love it.

Comment by Chris Bailey on May 21, 2013 at 5:48pm

I love the Meh... clearly you made the right choice but it amazes me how many take the wrong path and end up bouncing around the recruitment world without setting it alight... thanks for commenting! 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 21, 2013 at 9:15pm

oh heck I bounced around a lot in my agency days... :) I'll admit it lol I always left for a better opportunity and there is definitely a progression - I started out placing contract drivers who used their own cars to make auto parts deliveries and now internal for Microsoft. I've placed just about everything inbetween and I think you DO have a valid point - we spend so much time coaching our candidates on leaving current (and otherwise perfectly satisfactory) jobs that we are quite susceptible to the grass is greener argument... Doesn't staffing have the highest turnover rates? I think I read that somewhere years ago.

Of course I can only speak for myself... and part of it might be my ridiculously short attention span. :)


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