As a headhunter and now as a founder of my own recruitment firm for headhunters, I’m constantly reminded of my first year in this addicting, fun, and lucrative career.
Here are some tips for first year headhunters that I tell my team and candidates I represent:
#1. Adjust your mindset first and foremost.
Successful headhunters are not “born”. They’re MADE through hard work! All of us have a top-performing headhunter in our hearts. It’s just a matter of releasing that ambition into the world. Will you let a difficult candidate or client get you down? Are you giving up on a search because you’re not finding people immediately? How do you react if heaven forbid you have a dropper?
It’s a marathon, not a race. Invest in a steel mindset and work ethic. You will reap your 6-figure income if you put in the work.
#2. Some sacrifices are worth it. Year 1 is one of them.
If you want to chill-out and have “work-life balance”, I’m not sure you’ll make it through Year 1. Year 1 is THE most important indicator of your future potential in this business. For Year 1, short of weddings and funerals of close family members, you better be 100% work-mode 100% of your time. Until you’ve succeeded in terms of billing, don’t even think about taking a breather.
Focus on your career when you first start out. There is no higher priority than setting yourself up for success in Year 1.
#3. Not only do you have to learn, YOU MUST ALSO IMPLEMENT.
I am happy to do countless shadowing calls, training sessions, and coaching with my team and my candidates. However, no amount of learning and encouragement will make you a better biller than for you to actually implement your learns!
If what you’re doing doesn’t work and someone else more successful shows you a better way to do something, do you argue, debate, grumble, and complain? Or do you do as you’re told, whether you LIKE IT OR NOT?
Anything short of something immoral, you better take others’ advice. Monkey see, and monkey better do. If you want to become a top-biller, you won’t get there by ignoring top-billers’ advice and instructions!
Be who you want to be tomorrow by changing your actions today!
#4. Understand that no matter how you feel about your job, there is no option BUT to succeed in billing.
I talk to headhunters all day. Some tell me they’re having a difficult year. Some have legitimate rationale for why; some clearly are not going to succeed in this business. Overall, there are a ton of bad agencies out there that don’t set you up for success, so I always give candidates the benefit of the doubt.
However, many headhunters tell me they’re absolutely killing it! Those are the ones that give our industry hope and restore my faith. Not only do they understand that agency recruitment is THE most lucrative job, they are also role models. For these candidates, our clients are willing to fight tooth and nail to win them over.
Therefore, when you’re on the path to success already in Year 1, you’re INVINCIBLE.
Everyone in this world is equal in ONE way: we all have 24 hours a day at our disposal. It’s up to you how you use your hours at work, what mindset you wake up to, what you choose to do in your free time. Everything you indulge in today, you pay for later.
Thus, in YEAR ONE, my team and I choose to sacrifice to make our business succeed rather than to “take it easy”.
Easy doesn’t beget success. Success isn’t easy.
Make your choice on who you want to be today and don’t regret your life decisions.
If you’re ready to take your headhunting career to the next level or are looking for mentorship and advice, my team and I are here for you. Reach out to Victor Wong to start your discussion today on how headhunting can change your life.