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The Laid Off IT Guy! Becoming a Recruiter?

If you’ve followed me so far you know that I’ve got a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit.  I’m writing this blog from my own interest in freelance writing for InformIT, after all.  My friend Andy, the recruiter, told me about how well he was doing since he went out on his own to start his recruiting business.  He controls his own hours, has fun meeting new people, talks to them all of the time, etc.  An idea popped into my head, “Have you ever thought of expanding your practice to include IT?”

“Yes”, he said, “But I don’t have the experience in that industry.”  “Well, I do”, I replied.

I told him that I didn’t know much about the recruiting business, but I do know IT and my peers.  My only understanding was that you got paid a pretty good commission for making a match, but didn’t know anything about sourcing leads from employers or candidates.  I started doing some math in my head that if the average IT guy made $60,000 and I got paid 25% or $15,000 for making a good match, I’d only have to find 1 a month to have a really good year!

If it was that easy, a lot of people would be doing it. What I found out from Andy’s blog (http://www.cgpnetwork.typepad.com) is that the recruiting business typically loses 16-22% per year.  This year already, the industry is down 37% and the prediction is 30%.  That tells me that it isn’t easy.

I’ve got an uncle in California that has been an executive recruiter for 23 years.  He works strictly with retained searches; that is, his company has the exclusive contract to fulfill a position.  That certainly sounds easier to me than earning a contingency fee, competing against other recruiters to fulfill the same positions.  It certainly took a lot of work to build the reputation with his clients to be offered exclusive search contracts.  But Andy prefers doing it his way, and he’s doing great.

As much as I’ve considered my interest in working for myself I’ve not talked myself into taking the plunge as an IT recruiter.  I think that I’m a better writer than a talker.  I hope you’d agree.

Let me hear from you.  Post your comments!

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