I'm working with a client in the Northwest looking for a senior recruiter, and it's a difficult search. Recruiters are easier to find than salespeople, and gauging their track record is a lot easier, as past performance for recruiters almost guarantees future performance. The problem? If they're good, it's very difficult to get them to move.
Good recruiters make six figures. There's just no getting around it. You only need 25-40 people on contract (depending on the comp plan) to make it to 100K, and once you're there, you just need to maintain that. 1 placement a week is the goal, and once you've reached that level, you'll never go back.
That 100K is a psychological mark. Back in the 90's, it was the holy grail, announcing that you had made it. Inflation and time have made it less valuable, but it's still an important benchmark. The problem? What firm wants to pay 100K in a draw? So you're left trying to get someone to take a huge pay cut, or you're left looking for luck - someone moves (no rolodex for the city), a company shuts down (economy is bad), or the best AM left because all the contractors were laid off. And how many times does that happen?
Not to mention, the price of a recruiting hire is 25% of the base, but the base is usually much lower than the first full year comp, which means you're working at a cut rate. As I said, it's tough.
At least you know how to screen them. They do what you do...