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?