Sunday, February 3, 2008

Recruiter Motivation

Motivation energizes our efforts to keep taking the actions that lead to placements. Money has never been a true motivator for me. It's a nice reward for sure, but once there's plenty of money around the moment of truth arrives for each Recruiter. What is it that makes us want to do our job well?

A long time ago I put together a little system in my own brain that keeps me on track. I suspect most other Recruiters have done the same although many of those systems remain unvoiced.

I value freedom in both my work and personal life. Recruiting has provided a means for me to maintain my freedom. I'm also fond of efficiency. I set out each day to accomplish two important functions. I try and get those two things done within 4 hours. My commitment to recruiting revolves around this deal I made with myself. Each day I will work until two crucial tasks are completed. If I get those tasks completed within 4 – 4 and ½ hours the rest of the day is “free” if I so choose.

It's that simple. My productivity centers around getting 2 – 3 send-outs a week (which translates into 1 or 2 placements a week). So each day I either need to recruit a candidate to send out on an interview, or get a job order.

The thought of having an unfulfilled job order drives me crazy. The idea I may let a client down creates great agitation within me and pushes me to act. Some credit such tenacity to a mid-western work ethic. I think it's part that and part some kind of guilt. Guilt related to what I don't know. I also know that what pushes me forward to complete a task is self respect.

I focus entirely on whatever task is at hand. If I find a candidate on the 6th phone call of the day, I move on to a few reference checks and a new job order if my wonderful new candidate is not a match for any of my current job orders. I always interview a new candidate twice before scheduling a send out. I've found candidates need time for my questions and their responses to germinate. The second interview tends to have more substance.

Recruiting candidates, scheduling send outs, and getting new job orders are critical to any Recruiter's success. All the other steps involved in a placement are support tasks, in my opinion. I never do support type tasks unless one of the primary tasks are completed in any given day.

There are Recruiters out there who work 50 and 60 hours a week. They may even be making up to a million dollars a year. That is possible. I'm most content when I operate to please myself and in a way that produces balance in my life. I've owned businesses that did require me to work 60, 70, even 80 hours a week. Once those businesses started to succeed I was able to put managers in place to smooth out operations. I no longer want to work that hard and don't. I can no longer sustain 50 – 70 hours week for months at a time.

I know of recruiters who interview 18 – 20 people a week and make 4 – 8 placements a week. More power to them. "Recruiter, know Thyself," I say. March to your inner drummer and take pleasure in the ample rewards that accompany impacting the futures of businesses, candidates, and your personal circle of friends and family who interact with you everyday.

One final point. If there are parts of the recruiting process that you avoid...find someone else to complete those tasks. Don't fight with yourself. Know your strengths. Do 'splits' with other recruiters and you'll be able to maintain your motivation and enjoy everything this great profession has to offer.

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