“In recruiting, you talk about anything and everything a recruit wants to talk about that seems relevant.“
Dabo Swinney, Coach
Pros and Cons of Working as a Headhunter
You think about becoming a recruiter but are not entirely sure whether this is the right career path for you or not? Great!
This article is exactly for you since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a recruiter in the following chapters.
Recruiter Job Profile
|Job Description||Headhunters recruit people for many different companies and make sure that candidates fulfill the high expectations those companies have when it comes to employing potential employees.|
|Salary||$48,000 per year on average, most recruiters make between $35,000 and $75,000 per year.|
|Job Security||Rather poor since recruiters are replaceable.|
|Job Satisfaction||Good if you like to talk to many different people.|
|Work-Life Balance||Decent since you will have free weekends and holidays and also don’t work many extra hours as a recruiter.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be mentally demanding.|
|Future Outlook||Poor since many jobs will vanish in this industry pretty soon.|
|Requirements||While some companies require a degree, others will be fine with a high school diploma as long as you are good at dealing with people.|
Advantages of Working as a Recruiter
- Recruiters can make decent money
- You can work indoors
- Headhunters can work with many different people
- You can work for many different companies
- You can build a strong business network as a recruiter
- Headhunters learn a lot when it comes to judging people
- You can start your own recruiting business
- Recruiters don’t work many extra hours
- You have free weekends and holidays
- Headhunters have decent work-life balance
- You can avoid heavy physical work as a headhunter
- You can improve your people skills
- Teleworking is possible as a recruiter
- Working as a headhunter is not that stressful
- You don’t necessarily need to have a college degree
Recruiters can make decent money
One advantage of working as a recruiter is that you can make decent money.
Sure, most headhunters will not get rich. However, many of them will be able to make an above-average income and few will even be able to afford some luxury.
Especially if you work as a self-employed recruiter, you can make quite a lot of money if you are really good at what you are doing since you will be able to keep the full commission for yourself instead of having to give most of it away to the company you work for.
Consequently, if you are really good at dealing with people and are also willing to put in the work, you may be able to afford a nice lifestyle with many amenities as a recruiter.
You can work indoors
Recruiters also have the privilege to work indoors.
While many people will have to work outdoors during heavy rain, snow or extremely hot periods of the year, you will not have to worry about those outside conditions that much since you will rather be protected by your four walls or work from a cozy office where you can use air conditioning or heating and even enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee while working.
Those things will make your time at work much easier and much more convenient and many other people who have to work outdoors will often wish to change places with you in this regard.
Headhunters can work with many different people
Another benefit of being a headhunter is that you can also work with many different people.
In fact, your job will be to conduct many interviews a day to figure out the people who fit best to a specific position so that your clients will be happy.
This means that you will have to talk with many people to figure out the ones that are really promising.
While some people don’t like this kind of work, you may like it quite a lot if you are a rather extroverted person who loves to talk to others and share your ideas.
You may also be able to ask really exotic questions and see how candidates on the other end of the phone react to them.
Hence, working as a headhunter can be really interesting if you are the type of person who wants to talk a lot during his workday and who is also not afraid to get some cheeky answers.
You can work for many different companies
If you are really good at what you are doing and your clients are happy with your work, you will soon be able to increase the number of companies you search employees for to a significant number.
This also means that you can get in touch with many important companies and people who work in leading positions in those companies.
Not only will this be really exciting, but it can also greatly help you for your own career since you may have an easy time switching one of those companies in case you no longer want to work as a recruiter in the future.
You can build a strong business network as a recruiter
Since you will have to deal with so many different people and companies, you will also be able to build a really strong business network as a recruiter.
In fact, if you know what you are doing, you can get friends with many influential people and this can not only help you for your professional life, but it can also benefit you for your private life since you can get all sorts of important information before the general public even knows what happens out there.
Thus, make sure that you build those connections as a headhunter so that you don’t miss out on those important goodies you will be able to get in the long run.
Headhunters learn a lot when it comes to judging people
Since you will work with so many different people as a headhunter, you will also become really good at judging people.
You will soon know when a person lies or tells the truth based on how a candidate is formulating an answer and sometimes even only based on the candidate’s voice.
In turn, your job will become much easier since you will soon figure out if a candidate is really good or if the candidate is not telling the truth at all.
Consequently, you will also be able to use your time much more efficiently since you can end phone calls or skype meetings that don’t go anywhere pretty soon and can use this time for more promising candidates instead.
You can start your own recruiting business
While it is possible to work for a recruiting company, you could also just start your own headhunting business.
If you haven’t got any experience in the job market yet, you should probably just work for a headhunting company first and gather some experience in this field.
However, if you already have some work experience and also have a natural talent when it comes to dealing with people, you may start your talent scout business right away.
It also depends on the network you already have.
If you have strong contacts with some firms yet, it may be pretty easy for you to build your own recruiting business.
If you don’t, it may take a lot longer to become successful in this field.
Hence, whether you will become successful with your own recruiting business depends on many different factors.
Yet, if you are willing to work hard for it, chances are that you will get to this point sooner or later and that you will no longer have to work for someone else.
Recruiters don’t work many extra hours
Another upside to working in the recruiting business is that you will also not have to work many extra hours.
Especially if you work as an employed headhunter, you will often only work 40 hours per week and sometimes even less.
You will also not have to work in the evening or at nighttime and this gives you the opportunity to meet up with your favorite people at work while many other people will have to work during those unpleasant hours.
You have free weekends and holidays
Not only will you have a rather short workweek as a recruiter, but you will also be able to enjoy free weekends and holidays.
While other people like train drivers have to work during those hours, you will have the luxury to spend some quality time with your family. You can also make nice weekend trips and short vacations.
Headhunters have decent work-life balance
In general, headhunters also benefit from a pretty good work-life balance.
Since you will not have to work many extra hours, not have to work at nighttime and also have free weekends and holidays, you will have lots of leisure to spend on the things you like even more than work.
This may include spending time on your hobbies but also meeting up with your favorite people or making nice city trips.
Opportunities are almost endless in this regard and I am sure you will have many nice things to do with your leisure 😉.
You can avoid heavy physical work as a headhunter
Another advantage of being a headhunter is that you can also avoid heavy physical work.
While working as a recruiter can be mentally demanding, you will not have to stress your body that much.
For instance, while construction workers and people who work in logistics often have to lift heavy stuff on a regular basis, you will be able to enjoy a rather relaxed workday in this regard since the heaviest thing you will have to lift will be your headphones or your computer 😉.
You can also avoid adverse physical health issues that may come along in the future for people who have to carry out this physically demanding work.
You can improve your people skills
As a recruiter, you will talk to many different people a day.
This will not only give you the opportunity to learn about people in general, but it will also give you the opportunity to really learn about how the human mind and soul actually work.
In fact, humans are like machines when it comes to many things. We all have our daily routines and are programmed a certain way.
Hence, if you can crack the code that is underlying human behavior, you will have a powerful tool at hand that can help you in various parts of life since you will be able to get people to do what you want them to do.
Teleworking is possible as a recruiter
As a headhunter, you will also be able to work from home quite often.
You will not necessarily have to be present at your workplace in person but it will often be enough to have a stable internet connection at home so that you can do your computer work and also make calls whenever you need to.
This gives you more flexibility when it comes to organizing your private and professional life and you can also use downtime at work to do your laundry and other things.
In turn, chances are that you will have more leisure since you can use your time more efficiently in general.
Working as a headhunter is not that stressful
Becoming a recruiter can also make sense if you don’t like stress at all and rather want to have a relaxed workday.
Sure, some clients and candidates can be difficult.
Yet, you will soon learn how to handle those situations in a proper manner and this will give you the opportunity to avoid stressful situations for most of your workday.
You will also be able to talk a lot during work and this also gives you the opportunity to release some pressure.
You don’t necessarily need to have a college degree
While some companies require a college degree if you want to work for them as a recruiter, others are perfectly fine if you are good at dealing with people and don’t require a degree at all.
Especially if you want to start out as a self-employed recruiter, there will often be no formal requirements at all.
Hence, becoming a recruiter may also make sense for you in case you don’t want to get any fancy education but rather want to start making money as soon as possible.
As you can see, a career as a recruiter can have many advantages.
Yet, it is just not all upside and we should also talk about all the negative things that come along with it so that you get a more comprehensive picture of what your life as a headhunter will really look like.
Disadvantages of Being a Headhunter
- Your salary will often depend on the number of people you recruit
- Companies can be demanding regarding whom they accept
- Candidates can be difficult
- Your income will greatly vary over time
- Bad headhunters will get into financial trouble soon
- It is not easy to build a successful recruiting business
- Not a good job if you are an introvert
- Recruiters have almost no job security
- Many recruiters will no longer be needed in the future
- You have to make many cold approaches
- You don’t learn many hard skills as a headhunter
- Most of your time will be wasted
- You may get bored with recruiting in the long run
Your salary will often depend on the number of people you recruit
One problem with being a recruiter is that your salary will often depend on the number and the career level of the people you recruit for a client.
This means that you will make really good money if you are really good at what you are doing but that you also make poor money in times where you don’t recruit enough talents for a company.
Hence, not all recruiters are able to make a decent living and you should keep in mind that you might be at the lower end and may even struggle to pay your bills from your job.
Companies can be demanding regarding whom they accept
You should also not believe that companies will accept every candidate you are presenting to them.
While some clients will trust your expertise, others will be quite critical and will not believe your judgement at all.
In such a case, it can be really annoying to convince your clients that a certain candidate has all the skills the company is looking for.
In the long run, this can also become really frustrating and may also hurt your ego since it seems that companies even don’t think that you are the right person for this job.
Candidates can be difficult
Not only companies for whom you search talents can be demanding, but also candidates can be pretty difficult and demanding.
Quite often, those candidates ask for exorbitant salaries that the companies you search employees for will never be able and willing to pay.
In turn, you will often have to explain to candidates that they just demand way too much and some of those people will also just not believe you and think that you just want to lower their market value.
Some of them will even insult you and try to bring you down.
Consequently, before becoming a recruiter, make sure that you have the kind of stable mindset that is needed to work in this field in the long run.
Otherwise, you will just not get happy with working in this field.
Your income will greatly vary over time
Since your salary as a headhunter will depend on the number of people you successfully recruit for companies, your income will also greatly vary over time.
You may have months where you make really good money while you will have other months where you barely make any money at all.
Hence, make sure that you save money in good times to use it for times where you don’t make enough money to make a living from what you are doing.
Bad headhunters will get into financial trouble soon
Headhunting is one of those industries where your income really depends on your own skills.
If you are good at what you are doing, you can make really good money.
However, if you are not good at all, you will often not even be able to pay your bills and you may even have to work a second job to make a living.
Thus, make sure that you have the people skills that are necessary to succeed in this field before you decide for a career in headhunting to avoid financial trouble later in your life.
It is not easy to build a successful recruiting business
While there are no huge upfront costs of starting a recruiting business, it will still take a long time until you have built your reputation in this market and this means that you will barely make any money for many months or even years.
Since you will have to live from something, you will often have to go into debt or use up your savings.
Moreover, the recruiting industry is pretty fierce and you should know that there is a lot of competition between headhunting companies.
This doesn’t mean that it is impossible to build your own business in this field.
It just means it will no be easy and you will have to work really hard to see success.
Not a good job if you are an introvert
Whether working as a recruiter is the right way to go for you also greatly depends on your individual character profile.
If you are an extrovert who loves to talk to people, you will often be perfectly fine with working in this field.
However, if you are an introvert, you will often have trouble convincing people and this can become a serious issue since you will have a harder time succeeding as a headhunter.
Recruiters have almost no job security
Many recruiters work self-employed and therefore have no job security at all.
Even if you work for a recruitment company, you will still not have high job security since you will be replaceable rather easily and you may just get fired from one day to the other if someone who is better and cheaper than you comes along.
Many recruiters will no longer be needed in the future
Another downside to a recruiting career is that many recruiters will lose their jobs in the near future.
Due to machine learning and artificial intelligence, companies are pretty good at sorting good from bad candidates even now and will become much better in the future with it.
In turn, you will often no longer be needed as a headhunter and this means that you might get into serious trouble later in your life since you may suffer from long-term unemployment.
You have to make many cold approaches
You will also have to cold-approach many people on the phone or via email as a recruiter.
This also means that many people will be annoyed by what you are doing and some of them will have not patience with you whatsoever.
You don’t learn many hard skills as a headhunter
Another disadvantage of working as a recruiter is that you will also not learn many hard skills during your career.
While you will learn many soft skills and learn how to deal with people, you will still lack important skills that are needed in the job market right now.
In turn, you may have a difficult time switching fields in case you may not want to work as a recruiter anymore in the future.
Most of your time will be wasted
In general, most of your workday will be a waste of time since most calls will not yield the desired results.
Only a small percentage of calls will be successful and dealing with all the adversity can become really frustrating in the long run.
You may get bored with recruiting in the long run
While some people really love working in this field, others just get tired of it pretty soon and secretly wish to work in different jobs.
Yet, it will be pretty hard to switch fields since they often don’t have the necessary qualifications.
Hence, before you decide for a career in recruiting, make sure that this is really what you want to do for a long time.
Top 10 Being a Recruiter Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Recruiter Pros||Being a Recruiter Cons|
|Headhunters can make decent money||Your salary will depend on your skills|
|Recruiters don’t work many extra hours||Bad recruiters often need a second job|
|Free weekends and holidays are common||Clients can be difficult|
|Good work-life balance for recruiters||Companies can be demanding|
|You can talk to many different people||Your income will vary over time|
|Recruiters can build a strong network||Almost no job security at all|
|You can avoid physical work||Recruiters are easily replaceable|
|You can work indoors as a headhunter||Not a good career for introverts|
|Recruiters can improve people skills||You will have to annoy many people|
|You can start a recruiting business||Most of your time will be wasted|
Should You Become A Recruiter?
Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of working as a recruiter, it is on you to decide whether you still want to work in this field or if you rather want to go for different job options instead.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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