How do you know if you're being held back?

30 November 2019
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How do you know if you're being held back?



Let’s go with a building analogy. Think of your recruitment career as a plot of land on which you build a house. The cost of the land and materials is easy to define. Harder to identify is the price you would put on the blood and sweat and tears that went into building your house or what the end value of your new house once it’s built. The price to the next buyer who doesn’t have to put in the blood sweat and tears to create this home is far greater than your initial investment. So what is your worth now? How do you know you are achieving all that you should? And I’m not just talking about money….I’m talking about the absolute best experience for you, progression, training, team, prospects…everything.

Here is your 8 point checklist that should offer you some insight:  

Do you know your promotion criteria?

I mean, do you really know your promotion criteria? Are you confident that, if you hit exactly this target, you know that when you sit down with your boss you’ll be given the good news? Yes or No?

If it’s not abundantly clear what you need to do to get promoted, or if there are any vague, subjective and un-quantifiable clauses, you need to ask yourself why that might be. Firms that are dedicated to your progress will have no problem being transparent on this.  

Are the goalposts clear and unchanging?

Following on from before, do the goalposts ever move at your company? Does your target change, or do others target change? Yes or No?

Why do you think this might be?

It’s impossible to achieve your ultimate performance and get those promotions if the goalposts keep moving. There are many reasons for this problem, whatever the reason it leads to an unstable foundation on which to build trust with your employer and it’s impossible to be in control of your progress.

Do you have access to useful training and coaching?

First things first, there’s a big difference between training and coaching.

Training is typically more classroom based, formal learning for your career. Recruitment skills… you know the process of what you do – you definitely need this but coaching is where it’s at. Do you have great formal or informal coaching to complement your skills training? Yes or No?

Can you see evidence of growth – both for the company and individuals?

In your time with the company, have you seen promotions, headcount increase? Do you know which areas of the business the management is focusing on? Do you understand the forward plan for the team / division / company?

Yes or No? And if no why is that?

Do you have a mentor figure?

Do you have someone that you can turn to with any business/recruitment related question? Somebody that champions your progression, constantly offers advice, guides you through difficult situations, and greatly contributes to your growth?

Yes or No?

If not, then you’re being held back. Everybody in recruitment should have somebody to be their mentor. Someone they trust to always offer good advice and that is championing their career and progress. Who is that for you?

On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you by your boss, team, and environment?

Are you excited about your work? Do you love the daily process of uncovering new roles and candidates? Do you love setting your plan for the day and setting yourself targets? Do you love the competition with your team? Do you have fun while you work? Are you excited about your future?

Yes or No? If you’re not excited about what you do and you’re living for the weekend something has to change.

Is your desk capable of delivering big fees?

To avoid confusion: specializing your desk is absolutely the right way to go, this will never be in doubt, but some companies take this too far and end up restricting their consultants with desks that are focused on too narrow a niche or too small a geographical remit.

Not sure if your desk is restricted? Ask yourself this: If you met with an exceptional candidate today, would you have 20 hot high quality clients, with whom you have a good relationship, which you can talk to straight away? And if you met a new, exciting client, do you have a large candidate pool that you can approach?

Do you believe your desk is capable of producing $300K + ?

Yes or No?

Are you earning what you should?

Conclusion So, how do your yes’s and no’s look?

High fives to all the Recruiters with mainly Yes answers – you are doing great and you are clearly working for a great firm that is genuinely invested in your long term success - you have nothing really to worry about.

But if you came out with 3 or more no’s, chances are that your career is being noticeably hindered by your current company. It’s time to start asking yourself some serious questions about what you need to do to progress your career at the level you deserve.

Don’t let somebody else dictate your success.