Recruiters – why do what you do?

whyThe standard answer to the question “How did you get in to recruitment?” is something along the lines of “I fell into it”. For some, that experience doesn’t last very long. But why do those of us that stick around, stick around? At the end of the day it’s not the easiest gig in the world and there are lots of other career options out there. So, I’m genuinely interested in what motivates people to do this job.

When I ask the question, responses are generally pretty bland and standard, something along the line of: “I like helping people” or “I like the money” or “Sourcing talent is my biggest passion in life”

I don’t believe that there is one right answer, different strokes for different folks, although some agencies believe that certain answers are more right than others…… “You want to help people. Well recruitment isn’t for you – you should have been a nurse” for example !!!

But there is one answer that is definitely wrong. The “just because” answer. The answer that may as well be “It’s a job, it pays the bills and I can’t think of anything else to do”.  The answer that isn’t really an answer. There are plenty of jobs out there where you can just rock up, go through the motions with little stress and take home your salary. But recruitment isn’t one of them. 

Personally, I find the commonly rolled out answers a little unsatisfactory. There are lots of jobs where you can help people. There are lots of jobs where you can earn good money too. And if your biggest passion in life is genuinely sourcing talent then you are either lying or you probably need to get a hobby.

What is it about recruitment specifically? Why have you not followed the many others out of the industry door? Why are you planning on sticking around? Again, there is no right answer but these are some of the less standard, and probably more honest answers I have heard:

“I can work from home, so it gives me the work/life balance that I probably wouldn’t get elsewhere.”

“I’m good at it.”

“I like the competitive element and being the number one.”

“It’s an industry that is changing a lot and I find that exciting to be part of.”

“I get more responsibility than a lot of my friends of a similar age.”

“How else would a bloke with no qualifications like me, get into a professional industry and earn what I do. Otherwise I would be a labourer like my mates.”

What’s the point of this? Well, recruitment isn’t the easy gig it might once have been. And the tougher it gets, the better recruiters need to be. So, most agencies are looking for more than just a bum on a seat these days; and for the better ones a steady pair of hands is probably not going to cut it either. A good track record will always be important, but being able to clearly articulate ‘why’ you do what you do is also vital. And before you can do that you need to know the answer yourself. Do you?

Personally, it’s a few things but essentially I’ve  always wanted to run my own business and I am not sure I would be able to do that in another industry.  What about you?

Luke Collard


One thought on “Recruiters – why do what you do?

  1. Lachlan McNeill on Reply

    I thunk a bit on this.

    For me – I feel there are a lot of people in the wrong company / job / career path and sometimes, all it takes is for someone who has seen many people in various levels of satisfaction, to offer an alternative. Likewise for companies who struggle as the owners replicate themselves and miss out on the opportunity to improve their business immensely by adding new energy and attitudes.

    Most people just don’t know the options.

    The rest of times it is often just adding the required boldness and communication to the mix to make things happen.

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