You've got the power

Why it’s time for a rethink - Tara LescottEvery day I talk to recruiters who have the feeling that perhaps they are worth more/are ready for more/could achieve more; but their uncertainty about how their skills and experience would be valued by another employer holds them back from realising their full potential.

If you’ve survived the rollercoaster that is the first year in recruitment, then you are likely to be more valuable than when you started out. So how do you know if you should be rewarded at a higher level or if you’re ready for more responsibility? How can you tell if you could achieve a far higher level of performance in a different environment?

Let’s look at those three key issues:

1. Are you worth more? Did you join your current firm as a trainee on a low basic salary, and despite having worked hard, built a successful desk and proven your skills as a recruiter, you are still paid a trainee’s salary? If so, know that at this point in your career you are 100% worth more to another employer than your current one. Knowledge is power. Challenge how you are rewarded and ask for more. In most cases, putting forward your case with confidence is enough to gain you a pay rise. If not, you will have many options available to you with a firm that will value you.

2. Are you ready for more?

How can you tell if you are ready for more? Take a look at how you operate today. Are you achieving the targets set for you unaided? Can you think of specific examples where you have gone beyond the remit of your role and added additional value to the team around you? Are other people coming to you for advice or help? If so then clearly you are ready for more of a challenge and other people are aware of it too. Believe me: many companies are looking for people with potential that can take this first step up into a management role. Sometimes you just outgrow what your company can offer.

3. Could you achieve more?

Some of the most exciting transformations we see are when recruiters go into a nurturing, supportive firm after having had a tough initial grounding in recruitment. Battle scars and all, those recruiters are tougher, more resilient, more disciplined and go into a better class of firm with a greater sense of excitement and gratitude. A massive leap in performance nearly always happens as a result. I’m talking £100k per year performers stepping up to £300k+. The impact of pride, opportunity and rewards is significant. Review how you achieve what you do: is it because of your brand name or despite it? Does your rewards scheme incentivise or demotivate you? Your answers will tell you whether you can achieve more elsewhere.

If you’re serious about a long-term career in recruitment, don’t waste your opportunities. The industry needs you. Many great agencies would welcome you with open arms, and while your current employer can be forgiven for seeing you as the trainee, it is up to you to stand up and change that perception. You have more options available to you than perhaps you realise.

You’ve got the power.

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