So, you want to be a recruiter? Not just any recruiter, but a home-based recruiter? Let me help pull back the curtain a bit to the real life of a home-based recruiter to see if this is really the job for you.
Where are you in life right now? If you’re a busy Mom, with little ones running around, and don’t want to hire help with the kids, this probably won’t be the job for you, at least not right now. If you’re the main ‘bread-winner’ with the great health benefits needed for your family, and you are responsible for bringing in the consistent income, this may not be the job for you either — at least not to jump into full time. I believe in taking big risks in life when you’re following your heart, but always calculated risks, so you don’t fall too hard, if you do fall. This is a job you can start to learn part time, in the evenings, and on weekends. In fact, if your desire is simply to “source” and find the candidates, leaving much of the other interviewing to someone else, you can easily do this part time, and learn the business before committing to it further.
I’ve taught many women, and men, over the years of how to become successful home-based recruiters. My favorite success story is probably Melissa, the nanny I hired for my daughters when they were small. She was my full time nanny for almost 5 years, and was the best nanny I had hired. She was special — very driven, very honest, and someone I really trusted. When the time came, and the girls were old enough not to need full time nanny-care, I started to teach Melissa about the business she had been watching me do over the years she had worked in my home. Although her main dream was to be a stay at home Mom one day, life doesn’t always give us what we want. At least not in the beginning, as I suppose life gives us more of what we need, rather than what we want. In Melissa’s case, she had her first baby, and realized she needed to make more money. I remember teaching her the ropes, and actually hiring another nanny to watch my kids, and sometimes her baby too, so that I could teach her something that would give her a good life.
Melissa never finished college, and although I recommend this more for women that have the college education, Melissa was tenacious, driven, ambitious, smart, and very charismatic…all the great qualities of a good headhunter. I know there are many non-college educated women that can fit this bill as well, it has just been my experience that the most successful recruiters I’ve worked with over the years did hold a college degree, so I’m only speaking to what I have found. As anything, there are always exceptions to the rule. In fact, Melissa was one of them. She did great, and was able to support herself full time after 6 months. I hired her for my own company in the beginning, at SalesSource Inc, but considering I was at a place in my career where I wanted to take the summers off and not bring on too many job orders, eventually I had to help push Melissa from the nest, so to speak. She found a recruiting job very quickly. It was so fun giving her the reference, and knowing I had helped change someone’s life. She was, and still is, a successful recruiter. She’s made changes over the years to accommodate her growing family as well, but continues in a career that gives her the flexibility that I believe she always desired. I’m sure this is still a means to an end for her, as it was for me…the main goal is complete freedom with passive income, but how lucky was I, and now for her, to have a sustainable job that she loves with opportunities to grow that are boundless.
I give this one example, just so you know that this is possible. This was a good example of someone with no college degree, very little business experience, that within 6 months became a full time recruiter. But, in this same example you must realize, that she was also not typical. She may have not had her college degree yet, but she had the other important characteristics that were needed in this type job to be successful. Do you have these characteristics? Are you tenacious, do you not give up until you get what you want? Do you enjoy speaking to people, and does your energy seem to actually increase, as you connect with others, even strangers? Are you a positive person? I think negativity can be felt through the phone, just like a smile can be felt as well. So, although I’m sure there are many negative type people that have made a lot of money recruiting (in fact, I’ve met many), I do not believe this is a long-term sustainable role for them. You want your job to fit naturally with who you are. Trying to force it, will just lead to unhappiness, so really be honest in asking yourself these questions, before embarking on this adventure.
So, to move forward on this question of “should” you be a recruiter, there are some other things to ask yourself to make sure this is a viable career path. If you have the personality and aptitude for this role, do you have the space in your life for this, not just mentally, like when discussing where you are in life, but physically speaking. Do you have a quiet office space to work from? Can you create one, free from distractions, before you ever make your first phone call? I have many things to discuss on this topic that can help lead you to the most effective work space, but to start- just focus on a well-equipped office with working computer, printer, internet, filing, etc. And above all, a space that is quiet where you can lock yourself away for at least 3 hours at a time, ideally twice a day.
Alright, we have the ‘who’, the ‘where’, now onto the ‘when.’ Like I just mentioned, time management will be key, but so is energy management. When are you at your best, energy wise? Are you a morning person? Or are you more of an afternoon person? I always did the standard 8-5 day for most of my career, however, looking back, I can tell you my best work was done from about 9-12pm. And then from 1-3. Something about the way the afternoon sun would come thru my office window after 3pm made me want to slow down and enjoy the day, separate from the work. I didn’t always have the luxury of stopping at that time, but I learned to have the most important calls, and the ‘hard work’ of my day, scheduled for those peak hours. Usually trying to do the things I liked the least early in the morning, to get them out of the way.
To this day, separate from work stuff, I do my household duties early as possible. For many years, I had full time help, so basically outsourced the cleaning and laundry to someone else. But these days, although I still have someone come in to clean, I prefer not to have someone lingering in the house during the day, since it’s just my husband and I, while the kid are in school. Yet, the daily chores, that are not so fun, still need to get done. Therefore, I still follow this rule, and make sure one load of laundry is complete before my oldest daughter heads out the door at 6:50 am. The kitchen is clean from breakfast, and the house is completely tidy before I step out to walk the dog, around 7:50 am, when my younger daughter leaves for school. I suppose I may be giving too much detail here, but I’m simply giving these real life examples, so you know how important this time and energy management is to your success. It’s the only way you’ll manage to create a life balance that you will love, while being able to also enjoy your career. For me, I’m not as effective in my office, unless the more important world, of my home, which is outside my office doors, is clean and peaceful. And then when able to turn my attention to my work, I would first accomplish the task that I wanted to get out of the way. For me, this was the sourcing of candidates, which is the “research” part of the job. This is the part I outsourced very often, but when I had to do it myself, as you will also have to do in learning this job, you will need to give dedicated hours to researching. This is your time at your desk hunting down qualified candidates, hunting the job boards and scanning hundreds of resumes.
By having a dedicated time, those first 2-3 hours in the morning, I would get it done, and then have the fun part of the job for me left ahead. For me, that has always been talking to people on the phone, offering something that I think would make their life better (in this case, it was an opportunity for a better job). This part of recruiting always re-energized me, and kept me on a high note until I ended my work day around 4-5. I always used 8-9am as organizational time, as well as th 4-5pm time frame, and that worked well for me too. So, whatever time frames work for you, is what you need to figure out. Obviously, it will need to fit in with the best times for your candidates and clients too, but there’s plenty of room in a work day and evening to carve out where you want to spend your time. A friend of mine, a bit opposite of me, loved to research and read thru resumes, so she would take a few hours in her favorite part of the day to go to a Starbucks with her coffee, and sit for 2-3 hours simply reviewing resumes and making notes of who she wanted to speak to later on.
Continue to think about the time that would work best for you, and then build your office day around that. Think of the ideal work day, plan it, and then live that plan. It sounds easy, but you’ll see how fast the world will want to take over your peaceful day. It takes a lot of discipline, courage, ability to say no, while also being flexible, and an overall ability to never lose the big picture, as you enter each new work day. Ideally, you want to be the one running your life, not your life running you. So start out with that end in mind, and go from there! Hopefully, this has given you some insight into becoming a headhunting housewife, and help you determine if it is a career that would work well for you!
Your Headhunting Housewife