When I’m interviewing prospective new hires that are interested in The Hollister Group, I often get asked what the day-to-day looks like in staffing. One of the best things about our industry is every day is a little bit different, but there are definitely some things you should know if you want to join our world. My advice to talent is usually simple: if you do not want to be in a sales environment, then a position in staffing may not be for you.
The staffing industry is one of the most challenging, rewarding, fun, and potentially financially lucrative fields you can enter that does not require specific experience. In addition to staffing being in the sales category, there are a few additional things you should know before you take the leap.
- You are not selling a product. You are in the people business, and you can’t control people. This is one of the more difficult concepts for most folks to grasp. No one wants to be sold to when they are looking for a new job. They want someone who is knowledgeable, caring, patient, and honest. Hiring managers also don’t want to be oversold about how easily you will fill their job. They want to know if you have any advice about their process and they expect you to make it easier to fulfill their request.
- You will be responsible for hitting metrics, which include outbound calls, connections with candidates/clients, outbound messages (usually LinkedIn or email), and placements. Your manager or your team will set these goals for you and expect that, once you are trained, you are hitting these goals consistently. This will be your main responsibility. A lot of organizations have goals and metrics that people are expected to hit, but if this isn’t something you are comfortable with, then this industry may not be the right path for you. If you’re motivated to help people find work and to provide savvy, sage advice to companies looking to hire, hitting these numbers will help you achieve those goals while maximizing the number of people you are able to support.
- You will need to be an expert at managing expectations. Being candid and honest with candidates/clients about your ability to support them is a skill I personally have taught to dozens of new hires. One gripe that you’ll often hear from talent is that a recruiter was overenthusiastic with them and then they never heard from them again. Clients complain that they took 30 minutes or more to share the details of an open job, and then never received candidate profiles that were a match. Being upfront about concerns, and being honest about whether you can or cannot help someone, is a huge key to success in our industry.
- You will need to master communication and take the lead on follow-up and on establishing clear next steps. You don’t want to be that person who never returns messages. If you struggle with deadlines or have not yet developed great calendar management skills, then staffing may not be for you. It’s important to be able to set deadlines for your clients and to let your candidates know when you’ll follow up. You’ll need to be able to take accountability if you are unable to respond in a timely manner (usually 24-48 hours). Having strong follow-up in staffing can set you apart from your peers and lead to referrals, a good reputation, and successful relationship building.
- You will want to understand that staffing is not Human Resources. This is probably the most common misconception about our industry. Of course, there are many who have made the jump from staffing to HR, but if you’re expecting to have this be an entry-level HR role, you are probably setting yourself back in your career. It is true that recruiting is usually a function of HR, but most people who start in staffing and want to make a jump to a new path will go into corporate recruiting. Eventually some make it into Human Resources roles, but if your desire is an entry-level HR position, you should try targeting HR Assistant or HR Coordinator roles from the get-go. You’ll be exposed to HR responsibilities immediately and have a much clearer HR path than you would from staffing.
How can you learn more about if staffing is the right path for you? Reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn and ask for informational conversations. Look at Glassdoor or Comparably reviews, and attend webinars or information sessions. I am also always happy to be a resource for someone who might want to explore what it takes to enter our industry - connect with me via the below links!
- Michael Raimondi
Want to learn more about a career in Staffing?