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Lots of advice out there on how to find a job and tons of info about how to deal with recruiters. Having worked with head hunters more than I’d like to admit, here are my suggestions on what it would take for someone to make a living in recruiting:

  1. Have a short memory. When you are sourcing for this week’s position you’ll need to forget about all the people you talked to last week who weren’t quite right for that one but who would be great for this latest job. Make it look like you’re just working like crazy by generating new resumes and interviewing new people all the time.
  2. Look good. Pretty much every recruiter I’ve run into is young and good looking. Their offices are really nice. That must be important.
  3. Have lots of connections on LinkedIn, but don’t use any of them. This relates to point 1. You’ll have lots of potential candidates at your disposal but you’ll never actually contact any of them.
  4. Over promise and under deliver. Make sure you let all your prospective candidates know that YOUR placement firm is the premier, number one, most respected outfit in the world. That doesn’t mean you’ll actually get any of them jobs, but they’ll feel better (for a little while) when they walk out of your office, after that interview that let’s you prove you’re busy and pretty much just wastes their time.
  5. Build your database by asking everyone who contacts you to submit their profile on your web site. Then, never ever look at any of them. This requirement goes along with interviewing a lot of people.
  6. Let everyone know you’re an expert in how to find a job. Rehash all the tired old information about networking, having multiple copies of your resume, and practice interviewing. It’s the same advice they can get everywhere but, hey, maybe they haven’t heard it before and they’ll be able to find a job on their own!
  7. Don’t ever call anyone back. You’re much too important (and busy with all the networking and interviewing) for that. Only talk to people you’re bringing in to the office. Once you’ve interviewed them you have no further need of their services.
  8. Finally, and most important, start throwing warm bodies at your client! The faster you can get YOUR people in there the faster the job will be filled and you’ll get  your commission. When that next requirement comes along you’ll have a pipeline full of people you can use to throw against the wall to see who sticks.

The odds are that you and I will never meet again. If I’m looking for work some time down the line you’ll have also moved on to a job. Maybe, though, you’ll actually need my services. Or, just maybe, I’ll be in a position to use a company like yours. I’ll remember you on that day.