March 8, 2023

Recruiting is on the path to gig work.


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Tying yourself to a single company’s hiring is insane.

Once upon a time, I did tech sales. I was young and not terribly good at it. Sales didn’t come naturally for me. But that’s not the worst part.

When I did have a little success, the product didn’t always work. There’s no worse feeling than actually doing your job, only to find out you put the client you were supposed to be helping in a bad spot.

(Side note: I still maintain that that #1 success factor in tech sales is a product that isn’t garbage.)

So I got into recruiting. (Back up plan, like every recruiter.)

What I immediately liked better: it was still sales, but you had to do your own fulfillment. The candidates are the “product.” (Sorry, sounds terrible when you say it that way, but it’s true.) And if your delivery sucks, that’s on you and you alone. (Yes, I realize “the product” can change its mind. But still…that’s kind of on you, too. The better you are, the less it happens.)

But that’s not what I *loved* about it. One day I realized: I have the ultimate career security. Once you know how to do full desk recruiting – sales, account management, and recruiting – you don’t need anyone else to make a living. 

Solo recruiting isn’t for everyone. It’s not glamorous. There’s a ton of reasons to work internally at a company or with others at an external firm, but it’s a path that will *always* be available to you.

In fact, Hirewell got started with Matt Massucci’s old firm when out of business in the dotcom crash. Then we saw the financial crisis. Then Covid.

But 2022-2023 hits different. 

Recruiting, for internal recruiters, is not like other skill sets. Job security for any skill set is based on profitability.

But recruiting is unique. It’s based on *growth*. Just doing well as an org isn’t enough to have a full time recruiter on staff. (It could also be based on high turnover but who the F wants to work at those places.)

While right now a lot of skill sets are getting laid off, it’s the recruiters who are having the hardest time getting back to work. By a mile.

When it’s 10 years between meltdowns, it’s easy to accept that “these things just happen.”

But when it’s 2 years apart? And you were let go twice and stayed unemployed for a significant amount of time?

That’s when you say F this. Going internal is the *least* stable place to be.

I’ve said plenty of times that companies should outsource more and more of their recruiting. But I realize being the CRO of an agency, that sounds very self-serving.

But now it’s not me saying it. Every day we’re talking to more and more jaded recruiters – upset and frustrated – who are either bailing on the industry or deciding to do it on their own. They’re slowly coming to the same realization that I did years ago: recruiting has career stability but NOT job stability.

👉To be clear: I’m not saying that recruiting will be a gig job like Uber or Doordash. 

I’m saying that no matter what the model is – internal, contract, indy, agency:

👉Tying yourself to a single company’s hiring is insane. And every recruiter knows it now.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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