Interested in a possible career as a commission based recruiter. Where do I start?”

This question came in to the general Pinnacle Society mailbox yesterday and a number of potential answers popped into my head nearly simultaneously. I am sure my responses will be different than they would have a few years ago.

Are you nuts? I have so many experiences now with people who got involved in recruiting not understanding the ‘commission-based’ part that I have to admire this guy for even mentioning that aspect of it.  I think ‘Are you nuts?’ popped into my head first because of the general experience of the industry in the past several years. I kept thinking it wasn’t that bad for me but I had 25 years experience. Now I question and reject that ‘nuts’ reaction because I think Clyde would tell you I started in these kinds of times not even knowing what a recession was. In these kinds of times this may be the best thing a guy can do if he wants to rely on himself to succeed when it doesn’t seem like such a great time to entrust that to others.

Not here! A couple years ago I reached the age where I realized it just wasn’t fun or economically sensible to try to teach people what I know and how to do what I do. Mostly, they just didn’t care. I don’t blame them. It’s my fault for not learning how to hire better or for not questioning myself more carefully on what I was trying to achieve. I am proud of the legacy of people I left in the industry but the percentage of those I hired just isn’t high enough for me to want to keep doing that. And I found many other guys around my age were right when they told me I could make more money just making placements. And that IS rewarding. My placements all get better jobs and raises. Too many of my recruiter hires reminded me of my framed sign… You Can’t Teach a Pig to Sing. It Wastes Your Time And Annoys The Pig.

Right here! Yeah, even though I feel as I described above I’d do it again in a heartbeat if I thought I really had someone who could appreciate getting what I got for answering a newspaper ad in 1985.

Are you 27 years old? This one’s kinda’ random but I was about 27 when I knew I had to do something that would pay me based on my efforts and 28 when I actually started. Over the years I found what I believe to be a very high percentage of long-term recruiters who started around that age. I think it has something to do with being old enough to know what sucks and being young enough to have the energy to invest a couple years in figuring out how to do this.

My final answer…Go find someone really good at this. Make him or her hire you and don’t ever quit. Why? Because after 25 years in this business 98% of the time I still win the “I’d still rather be me doing this.” when I play that mental game. I could lie and say 100% but heck, who wouldn’t want to be Tiger Woods’ attorney or Elton John’s baby?