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Master the Recruitment Basics to Bill $1 Million on Your Desk

by | Aug 11, 2021 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Once upon a time, I led a tele-seminar titled, “How to Produce Big Results in a 4 day Work week.” As part of the format, I conducted an interview with a friend of mine who had billed $1 million as a solo recruiter. During the session, he allowed me to grill him about specifics on how he used his time and controlled his focus in order to produce such big numbers.

Recruitment basics and steps for success

Incidentally, he billed this amount at a time when his average recruiter fee per placement was just $7,000. I’ve compiled some of the highlights from our dialogue. They are presented below as nine steps for billing $1 million as a recruiter:

#1—Why work in recruitment?

You must have a burning desire. If you want to be a big biller, you must have a burning desire to do what it takes to get there. If you’re lukewarm about your goals, you can forget hitting those big numbers. This level of success starts with a passion for what you’re doing.

#2—You need to be clear on the “why” or benefit of being a top recruiting biller.

If you become a big biller but lose your marriage and health in the proces,s then you’ve gained nothing but a shallow ego trip. Below some examples of a clear “why.” Let’s say you want to:

  • Pay off your house in the next 3 years so you can have more freedom.
  • Take four weeks a year to travel around the world.
  • Sponsor 20 hungry children per month.

#3—Envision your recruitment success.

My friend spent some time every day reviewing his goals – both personal and professional. Here’s a personal example of how to do this.

My wife and I set a goal to pay off our house by my 40th birthday, which at the time was four years away. In order to make it fun, I set up a specific reward which is that we’ll spend 2 weeks at the Blue Parrot Inn in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We would stay  in the penthouse suite with a rooftop balcony

I printed off a photo of this exact balcony from the Internet and put it in a gold frame in our bathroom. Every day that I saw that photo, I pictured myself sitting on the balcony with an expensive Maduro cigar in one hand and a dark beer in the other, feeling totally affluent and pleased that the house is now paid off. In my mind, I was already there, it was already happening.

#4—Don’t compromise on your ideal customer persona.

Be “ruthless” about who you will work with. Every big biller that I know has clear guidelines regarding who they will and will not work with. They are able to communicate this with both clients and candidates and are often very direct in regards to expectations and requirements. Bottom line: you must respect your time and only work with people who do the same in order to hit your recruiter goals.

#5—Work in blocks.

You’ve heard this before, I’m sure, but this is another common denominator in top producers. My friend said that he did not answer his phone – at all – during outgoing calling blocks. You must be able to separate execution from reacting if you want to excel.

#6—Plan meticulously.

Again, you’ve heard it before but it’s a must. My friend used legal pads, index cards and a simple ACT database, similar to Top Echelon’s recruiting CRM, the year he billed $1 million. However, he planned each and every call in advance.

#7—Track your numbers like a mathematician.

Boring? Maybe, but it’s another hallmark of high production. Enough said.

#8—Create systems for everything.

My rule is if you have to do something three or more times in a month, you should have it documented. Don’t repeat things from scratch that you could have systematized.

Looking for an easy way to do this? Top Echelon’s recruiting software is a great way to organize your clients and candidates, all in one place. As a bonus, it’s one of the most affordable options on the market, so you will be saving time AND money.

#9—Neglect the administrivia.

Learn to say “no.” Delegate and automate. From a certain point of view, there are really only two categories in your work. Those categories are revenue generating activities – and everything else. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. This rule states that 80% of a typical salesperson’s success comes from 20% of his or her activities. One of the characteristics of big billers is that they consistently focus on the 20% and virtually nothing else.

As recruiters, we’re always deciding what to focus on during the day. We’re actually choosing between a wide variety of tasks that could all be classified as “good.” Big billers have a finely tuned ability to gravitate toward the best activities. At the same time, they allow many good, but less important, activities go undone.

Master the recruitment basics to bill $1 million

Well, there you have it. I assume this is a lot of information that you’ve heard before. That’s the deceptive part. Because you’ve heard it before, it sounds trivial. We all want a new, shiny magic bullet. However, it’s the execution of these ideas that separates mediocre production from exceptional production.

Let’s say you’re fat and you ask my advice on how to lose weight. I would say, “Eat less and run for 30 minutes a day.” You may have heard it before, but if you really did it every day, you’d lose the weight. Same thing goes in terms of increasing your skill and production as a recruiter. It really is all about mastery of some basic things that you’re already doing.

If you want to bill $1 million in a calendar year, then the nine steps outlined above can help you to master those basic things. Because mastery, not simply knowledge, is the crucial ingredient.

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Gary Stauble, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time.  For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit or call 408.849.4756.

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