“Does money make the world go round?”

I have this conversation ordinarily at least a dozen times a day as to what motivates recruiters generally. And my blog starts off with a quote shared by a fellow recruiter to my timeline on Facebook this week.

The billionaire’s view:

The quote I mention is by the rather wealthy and globally successful business man, Richard Branson:

“Money should never be a solitary driver in business. If you don’t care about your product, and its purpose, you will fall short of your expectations”

Yet in recruitment, we seem money obsessed.

Is this right? Should we be so focused on driving our businesses on money alone? Or are so many missing the point?

Why do you work in recruitment?

Money always seems to be the fundamental reason as to why people choose to go into recruitment, or state as their main driver in working in our sector. KPIs are usually centred around the end goal of revenue for a business – sales or GP – and commission structures are totally dependent upon the income you generate as a recruiter once you have (hopefully) covered your costs.

Show Me the Money:

Typically, when I meet hiring recruitment businesses, as their R2R, they will want to know about what people are billing – and that is the entire measure as to whether someone is of interest. (Of course, they want to know about them as a person, in order to establish culture fit! This is not a slant on my lovely client portfolio, far from it.) But as a sector, the majority seem to not be able to understand why a recruiter would be motivated by something other than money.

However, there are people in recruitment who are motivated by a whole lot more than money. In fact, the money is secondary. That includes me.

Now wait a minute.

I am not suggesting for 1 minute that I am not commercially minded. Far from it, in fact, I am regarded as a premium service, with parity on my fees and terms – I am sure most of my clients will say I am worth it as I go the extra, extra mile for it, however ultimately, like everyone, I have bills to pay.

But I am not motivated by the money.

I am motivated by getting the placement right. And therefore, because I have agreed fees which are always around a similar % rate (and always signed upfront), I know I will be financially rewarded anyway for getting it right.

I have always said, for example, that rebates are a moot point in my opinion, as I would be horrified if anyone left within their probationary period. However, I also say to all of my clients that if you are not certain about my candidate, then “please, don’t take a gamble”.  As clearly, it is not right for someone to be hired on a whim, as a risk. As this, by ergo, means they are not right for your business. And therefore, it is not right for them either.

Do you get it? Because my personal motivator is placing the best people into their best role. The emphasis is on getting it right, and I do mean this, if I place someone, I will earn money anyway.

Soundbites from those I know:

I asked some trusted recruitment friends of mine who also run boutique, niche market, recruitment businesses in the Northwest. I know they are driven by something other than money so I thought you would respect their personal views too:

Julie Edmondson, Owner of Perfect Fit People, Rochdale:

“What motivates me about recruitment is being able to change the perception that some people have of recruitment by being trusted with the career of a candidate or a critical role a client is looking to fill and that they also have confidence that they will get the service that they deserve. Also I feel rewarded making a difference, placing the perfect candidate into the perfect job – it really doesn’t get much better than that.”

Stacey O’Neill, Owner of MNM Associates, Didsbury:

“Recruitment should be, not just about the money, but building a magnificent reputation of trust and honesty.”

Employers beware, should recruitment employers therefore populate their offices with money motivated recruiters? Well, like anything in life, there should be a balance. However, my advice is to understand whether that motivation is success related, or a mercenary focus as if it is the former, then that is great for managing and coaching effectively. If it is the latter though, be warned, you will have a consultant who may try and force candidates to take jobs they don’t want; to cheat on start dates to ensure they hit their commission and I do hear stories of fake invoices.

All of this can be avoided if you hire people who are motivated by achieving quality goals rather than just money. Simple?

So honestly, what motivates you? Do you judge me now on my admission? And if you do, is it favourable or sympathy?

I genuinely want to know what motivates recruiters as I think if we all stop focusing on the money, the sector will become regarded as a truly partnership focused service and this will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your income as a consequence.

And one final thought, please remember, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

About Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.

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