As a headhunter, both as a past employee and now founder of my own search firm, I have seen now more than ever the struggles, triumphs, and challenges of being a headhunter today.
Thus, here are the top pieces of career advice for headhunters, new, experienced, and top-billers alike:
#1. Billing numbers are everything in our business. Headhunting agencies are for-profitbusinesses. In the world of sales, headhunting ranks among the most lucrative due to the unique dynamics of our job as I explain here. If you’re not making at least $100-150k by year three of your career in this business, you’re probably not at the right company.
If you work hard and apply yourself, your leadership team, your firm’s business strategy, and training should enable you to be billing enough to be taking home 6-figures by year two. As an employee, my employer taught me (and many others) how to become top billing headhunters. Like many of colleagues, by age 25, I was taking home over $215k.
If you can’t see 6-figures early in your career, you’re no doubt working at the WRONG firm.
#2. Be extremely diligent with your income. Many of my colleagues who earned 6-figures, while successful, were not personally financially successful. Although they earned within the top 1% of their age group, many were enslaved by debt. Most headhunters, like the general public, have no financial life plan or continued financial education. While being great at sales, earning and running profitable businesses, many headhunters can’t manage their own finances well.
The drinking, lavish vacations, fancy material goods, bravado and peer pressure combine to endanger wealth creation.
However, many headhunters who were really clever about money were able to retire young! This business allows you to earn high income at an abnormally young age with little schooling. What you can do today is to start investing your income into vehicles that you do careful research and study on. I started buying properties when I was 25 and by 28, I could quit from needing a job ever again.
3. Don’t socialize more than you need to. Most headhunters are extremely sociable, thus we’re prone to overshare and feel overly comfortable with our colleagues and bosses. Furthermore, many relocate to a foreign city to pursue their career, thus the easiest way to socialize is to rely on your colleagues within the office.
While it’s nice to also be friends with your colleagues, that can create a dangerous predicament moving forward. Eventually, you will need to compete with your friends and smartly plan your career as well. To complicate matters more, headhunters often mix business and personal lives, which may inevitably spill over and influence drama at work too.
The solution is to maintain a safe distance from your colleagues.
No matter how comfortable you feel at work, especially in light of today’s workplace controversies and lawsuits, please don’t forget that you’re in a place of business. Don’t confuse the boardroom with your dorm room.
My advice for headhunters is based on my own experience having grown into an adult while creating my career within a recruitment agency. I’ve done things, seen things, and now am able to help others examine things in ways that every headhunter can relate to.
Thus, I encourage any and every headhunter and agency recruiter to get in touch with me. My business partner, Victor Wong, and I are here to support your growth and success in our crazy world of recruitment. Heavens knows we need to attract, develop, and retain high performers in our industry!
Get in touch for a 100% confidential discussion by emailing us here.