If you're a Third Party Recruiting Firm looking to expand your recruiting operations in the New Year, chances are you're tempted to go headhunting for an experienced recruiter to round out your team. You all know my views on salespeople. They should be calling you. But a recruiter? That's someone you need to hunt for. You want someone with over 5 years of experience, a track record of success in good years and bad, and a solid knowledge of the ins and outs of the St Louis market.
And you liked to pay them no more than $60,000 as a base, with a solid commission plan that will have them earning six figures within two years.
Setting aside the troublesome issue of non-competes signed by these star recruiters, something else is going to trip you up. You won't get anyone to budge for less than $100,000, guaranteed, for at least one year.
Some of you just choked on your morning coffee, so allow me to elaborate.
Top recruiters in a hot market, at a minimum, are earning at least $100,000. The recruiters I've known with a decade of experience were topping $120,000, and some were making close to $200,000 (although usually in smaller firms), and those were in the lean years of 2002-2005. I always wondered if they could leave, when the chances of taking a huge hit in salary in addition to the fear of getting sued would ever sway them.
Sure, you can take a year off to let the non-compete fall, but then there's the non-solicit, which lasts two years, and then they have to rebuild their earnings. When you're making that kind of money, it gets really hard to start over from scratch. What if your account manager is really bad? What if the company loses its major accounts two months after you join? What if the new office doesn't allow you to work with candidates to get placements the way you're used to? There are too many if's, and a $60,000 starting salary isn't going to cut it.
We're not talking about wet behind the ears, pulling down resumes from Monster, still don't know the difference between a developer and an architect recruiters. We're talking connected, suave, trustworthy, hard-working, you don't have to worry about them because they're more worried about making money than getting fired recruiters.
Of course, you could always hope to find someone who just moved back from Seattle. I wonder what their salary demands are going to be.
Like all markets, you get what you pay for. Comments, angry or otherwise, are best left below.