Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Five Characteristics of Million Dollar Producers

5 Characteristics of Million Dollar Producers

by | Dec 8, 2014 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

In the world of executive recruiting, success is ours for the taking.  So why do some people achieve superstardom and others quit in frustration?  What does it really take to become a multi-million dollar biller?

Obviously, it’s not going to happen for everyone.  Only the top half of one percent of all recruiters bill over a million dollars a year.  Most people are unable or unwilling to climb to that level.  But with focus, passion, and drive, a very few will get there.

Four of the industry’s most respected producers spoke with me about their professional philosophies and strategies.  They are all at the top of their game: each consistently bills over $1 million a year, averaging $1.5 million in annual billings over the last seven years.  The secrets of this elite group read like a detailed job description—one that is powerful enough to change your life.

Below are five characteristics of million dollar producers:


Million dollar billers are fiercely competitive in ALL aspects of life.  They monitor their standings against other offices and recruiters.  Not only do they compete with one other, but they also constantly try to beat their own numbers, pushing themselves hard to be better at what they do.  They watch their metrics and are never content to let a bad month stay that way.  They aren’t just top performers in the workplace.  Paul Millard was a professional hockey player.  I train year round to maintain my national ranking in the pole vault.  Those who are drawn to the intense nature of top-level recruiting are born competitors who want to win at everything they do.

#2—High Activity Levels

Not to be cruel, but if your boss has to repeatedly remind you to get on the phones, you probably aren’t on your way to record-breaking recruiting success.  Milliondollar billers are passionate about this business.  They know that phone time is their chance to spin hay into gold, to make the contacts, and to build the relationships that ultimately drive their productivity.  They prioritize, filling their days with high-value activities.  They are in the office to produce.  They have the best phone times and the greatest number of send-outs, without even thinking about it.  They naturally generate high activity levels.


Million dollar billers have a HUGE appetite for success.  While an average producer may be content with $300,000 a year, a superstar would call that a good month or an average quarter.  They launched their careers determined to become the best at this business, learning all they could about recruiting and its leaders.  They’ve met, and often exceeded, their professional expectations.  They have raw ambition, and it drives them relentlessly.


Million dollar billers concentrate on what needs to be done to bring in revenue on a daily basis.  When they walk into the office, it is with laser-like focus.  They always concentrate on the deals that are closest to money.  They look closely at daily, weekly, and annual goals, and focus on the best ways to achieve them. They are masters of their tools (like recruiting software).  They constantly reassess and regroup based upon those evaluations.

#5—Willing to Sacrifice

High achievers are willing to do what it takes to succeed.  We’ve all employed moderately successful account executives with the potential to be superstars.  But they walked out the door every afternoon at 5 p.m., whether they had hit their numbers or not.  Leaders in this industry aren’t ruled by time zones and time clocks.  They are the first in the office and the last to leave.  They are only satisfied when the search assignment is filled.  The truth is for every choice you make in life, you also make a sacrifice.  I have a friend who invites me to play golf every Friday.  I’ve never taken him up on it.  I give up that opportunity because I need to be in the office making it happen.  Sure, I could leave anytime I want.  I own the place.  But high achievers don’t regret the choice to excel, whatever the cost in time and effort.

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Jon Bartos, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is a premier writer, speaker, and consultant on all aspects of personal performance, human capital, and the analytics behind them.  In December of 2012, Bartos joined trustaff Solutions as the president.  Founded in 2002, trustaff Solutions has been distinguished nationally five times by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing, privately-held companies in the country.  Click here to visit Bartos’s website.

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