Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Defining Success In Recruiting
January 8, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Recruiting, Research

When you ask recruiters how they measure their success, most of them will tell you that it is related in some way to their placements. Notice I didn’t say NUMBER of placements, because that is going to vary depending on the kind of positions for which you recruit. Examples:

  • A recruiter who only recruits C-level executives might view success as making one placement every 6 months, if those placements are worth six or seven figures a pop.
  • In contrast, a high-volume recruiter who places candidates in call center environments wouldn’t be able to put food on the table with one placement every 6 months. They might view success as making 10 placements per month. For the C-level executive recruiter, this is simply an unrealistic expectation, given the nature of their work.

One size never fits all, so generalizing success in recruiting will always yield you inaccurate data. We all have different amounts of experience, different approaches to client and candidate management, different methods (and tools!) for sourcing, and let’s face it, we each have our own biases to our own way of doing things.

What this means is that you don’t need to go running off signing up for every new resource just because it worked for someone else, or changing the entire way you work just because one of your peers found success with a new method. But in the same breath, just because a particular method or tool doesn’t work for you, this doesn’t mean it will not work for anyone. Each situation is unique.

Define your own success and don’t measure your results against anyone but yourself. You don’t know other people’s stories, what their focus is, what tools they are using, what their fees are, and what their cost of living is.


5 Comments so far
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I monitor success by the quality of the placement. If I place a candidate that is a good match of what they desire in a position then I have done my job well. If someone is unhappy and quits or gets fired then I have done a poor placement for both parties. There is no better satisfaction to me then getting a thank you note or “I am happy” note from someone I place and from the client.

Comment by sdazzo

I have to vote quality as well. I worked third party for years (retained and contingency, but all professional, mgmt. and exec positions) and wouldn’t start a search unless we knew how a new hires success would be measured and then working with the company to follow up on performance.
Since we built our rep on quality the money followed.

Comment by humanresourcespufnstuf

[…] hard to measure in a recruitment environment. Amybeth Hale has an excellent article that describes ‘how do you define a successful recruiter’. Most of times, the success of a recruiter is tied to his/her annual billings per year. We think […]

Pingback by How do you define success in recruiting? | The Engineering Search Consultant

Agree with you, Amy.

Comment by Fundoo recruiter

Hi Amybeth,
I do agree with you on the ways in which we all Define Success. It all depends on the kind of hiring that is been done ( Level, Skills etc). But don’t you think that more emphasis is been given on the numbers of placements made.

Kunjal Kamdar

Comment by ramblingrecruiter

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