The Experienced Recruitment Consultant Dilemma: Top Biller or Leader?

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The Experienced Recruitment Consultant Dilemma: Top Biller or Leader?
Originally published Feb 19, 2019 10:39:27 AM | By Guy Day

If you’ve managed to surpass two years in the recruitment industry, then you’ve already achieved more than most: a commonly cited statistic is that 80% never make it as far as this.

It’s at this two year point that most experienced recruitment consultants ask themselves, “What’s next?”. Should I strive to become a top biller in recruitment and focus purely on sales? Or would I have better career prospects in a management role?

What traits set apart the mediocre billers from the top billers and the top billers from those who can lead teams to success?

Recruitment Leader

People management and leadership can be a hugely fulfilling career path; knowing that you’ve helped other people grow and achieve their own potential. Yet, it is a difficult job that requires a huge amount of skill and patience. Whilst many may see management as the natural ‘next step’, it’s not for everyone. You have to enjoy seeing others grow, develop and excel more than seeing your own name on the top of the leaderboard.

A report from Crunch Accounting found that 45% of employees consider quitting their jobs because of poor leadership. With just 20% of recruitment agencies managing to grow past ten people, effective leadership is clearly a skill in demand in the sector.

So what skills do you need to be a good recruitment leader? In our experience, those that succeed invariably:

  • Listen more than they talk.

  • Have high levels of emotional intelligence.

  • Are great motivators who can keep spirits buoyant.

  • Enjoy seeing others grow, develop and excel.

  • Have an honest, inspirational and factual communication style.

  • Have lots of patience.

  • Are always willing to learn and develop themselves.

  • Take their work seriously but not themselves too seriously.



Recruitment Top Biller

Recruitment top billers are natural sales people. You love the thrill of business development, enjoy building relationships with candidates and get a real buzz as your name climbs up the leaderboard. You may toy with whether the next step is to manage, but you need to ask yourself these questions:

Am I prepared to give up the freedom? How will I feel when my name is no longer top of the leaderboard (as you can’t have it all)? Would I feel a pinch of jealousy if I train someone new to bill more than I did?

If you prefer to keep chasing those recruitment highs that come only from big billing, that’s your drive towards following a sales focused career path.

The next step is to go from ‘good’ to ‘top biller’. In our experience, you’ll need to following traits:

  • Dedication  to constant improvement.

  • Focused on tomorrow, not just today.

  • Have a true understanding of what your drive is and a laser-sharp focus on it.

  • Exceptional people skills and empathy, instinctively knowing how to build relationships and network.

  • A commitment to learning all there is to know about the industry you  recruit in.

  • Confident yet humble.

  • An exceptional work ethic

  • Tenacity and conscientiousness

  • Know how to work hard and play harder.


The right tools and support for the job

No matter how experienced you are, or what route you choose to take, you’ll always need to the right tools and people behind you.

In our guide. "The next phase: what happens now in recruitment? A Career guide for experienced recruitment consultants" we provide more information on two different recruitment journeys you can take - leadership or top biller - and why these traits are so essential to your success

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