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Home » Blog » Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Posted on October 24th, 2013 by Gecko Recruitment

great expectations

When I first started to manage consultants and grow a recruitment team, the Managing Director of my first recruitment company offered me some advice that I have applied ever since when hiring new consultants. It was simple in the first 6 months of the year you’ll make a financial loss on anyone you take on, the next 6 months you should have recouped that loss and from the start of year 2 you’ll be making profit. That is a huge investment, but well worth it if you’re serious about growth.

This was 2004. Yes that’s right pre GFC. Remember it? Of course I meet recruitment consultants now who only know the more challenging times, who started their careers in recruitment in the very midst of the dark days. Guess what, many of them succeeded. Many of them are living to tell the tale with a strong billing history behind them, and asking the older, greyer recruiters what was it really like pre GFC – was it as good as people say it was?

Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was easier. I feel rose tinted glasses always play a part when reminiscing. My mother always told me the only thing that you will get by looking over your shoulder is a crick neck. Tis true, try it. What I do know is that the same old frustrations, the same old niggles, the same old extreme highs and lows still feature. This will never change. I am sure it is the same in many other industries too, not just recruitment. Our attitudes and practices must evolve though – just like mother nature. Minor changes of improving, moderating and altering our attitude and methods to achieve survival of the fittest.

Coming back to my original point, – ‘Great Expectations’ – if pre GFC breaking even on a new recruitment consultant was considered the norm in their first year, then what should it be now? Two years? 18 months? 14 months? I don’t actually have the answer as the mathematical equation of breaking even will differ from company to company. Although I will give a hint to any consultant, if you just bill your salary in the first year. That is not breaking even, that is making a significant loss. The companies that truly understand and value their staff recognise that adding an extra head count to the company is not going to be a quick fix for increasing revenue in the short to medium term. Those days have gone – like the dodo.

Hiring recruiters is an investment. If you invest in the right people and truly set them up to succeed, then your 2,3,4,5 year return will come back to you in great job satisfaction as well as silver, gold or maybe even diamonds.

By Ali Moores
Gecko Recruitment

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