After working in recruitment for almost a decade now; people have always asked what my secret to success is. (I have been fortunate to have achieved great things during my career and I know that other Recruiters look to me for assistance because of this.) To be honest, I don’t have all the answers but one thing that I can say is that I really have a passion for what I do. And perhaps a bit of luck…..

After my first week in recruitment, a telephone book was put on my desk, next to my phone, and I had to start building a client base. Cold calling scared the hell out of me! I picked up the phone with a shaky hand and most definitely a shaky voice and I made my first call. What a terrible experience! After a while I gave it my all and guess what? After countless hours of spent on the phone, re-writing my scripts and numerous rejections, I got my first order!

My first placement was a mother of two who was unemployed. When I gave her the good news she cried and made me cry as well. That feeling of changing somebody’s life has been my driving factor ever since that first placement. I made my target in my first month and for the years to follow, I’ve never missed my numbers. Some of my team members felt that I was “lucky” and things was just handed to me on a “golden platter”. But the truth is – I worked hard! Endless nights of putting in extra hours is what it took! Whoever said that recruitment was a 08h00 – 17h00 job was most definitely not in the game of making money while changing lives.

Over time and with experience, I have learnt to work smarter and more strategically. When most of my coworker’s were doing never ending cold calling, I did my research in the evening to ensure a better hit ratio the following day. I am by far not the best consultant out there and I don’t know everything but every day I am still learning.

All I can do is to share a few tips that helped me over the years. I am sure that it will not only apply to the recruitment industry but to anybody who is passionate about what they do:

  • Learn from your mistakes – failing is only one step closer to success
  • Don’t take rejection personally
  • Communication, communication and communication
  • Be ready to be challenged
  • Be accountable
  • Celebrate the little wins
  • Stand up for what you believe in
  • You are never too old to learn
  • Be honest with both client and candidates
  • Tolerate people that think they know better than you, even if you have the experience to prove them wrong. They will learn from their own mistakes.
  • Think out of the box
  • Share your knowledge
  • Dream it
  • Believe in yourself

There is so much more on this topic that the above list can go on and on. But to sum it all up, give it your all. When I played in a provincial sports team at the age of 12, my team captain gave me a little card. This little card has inspired me over the past 20 years:

“GO ALL OUT, OR DON’T GO OUT AT ALL!”

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