Chat with us, powered by LiveChat How Search Consultants Can Avoid Recruiting Slumps This Year

How Search Consultants Can Eliminate Recruiting Slumps in 2021

by | Mar 15, 2021 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Last year was quite the year, both for the employment marketplace overall and for those working in the recruiting and staffing industry.

Well, we’re more than two months into a new year, and while a recovery seems to be underway, things are still a bit uncertain. Depending upon the industry and niche in which you operate as a professional recruiter or executive search consultant, you may still be reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other words, since you endured a recruiting slump in 2020, you might be afraid that you’ll ensure another slump this year. After all, nothing is for certain in the recruiting profession . . . and that was true before the pandemic even started.

But that’s why we’re here, with help from industry trainer Barb Bruno of Good as Gold Training and Development, to explain how search consultants can eliminate recruiting slumps in 2021!

Recruitment slumps in the Year of COVID

According to Bruno, eliminating recruiting slumps comes down to numbers and accountability. You have to know your numbers, specifically which numbers you should hit on a daily basis, and you have to hold yourself accountable for hitting those numbers. (Or you could enlist the help of a colleague or co-worker to hold you accountable.)

“Recruiting is a sales profession and sales is a numbers game,” said Bruno. “Once you know your individual numbers and ratios, you know exactly what results you need each day to consistently achieve or surpass goals.”

Of course, it’s not exactly being a contingency recruiter. If it was easy, then everybody would be doing it, and clearly not everybody is doing it. Even those who start in the profession, usually when the market is red-hot, drop out. Being a recruiter is difficult. There is rejection. And then there’s more rejection. And just when you think you can’t take any more rejection, then there’s more rejection. You can see the pattern here.

However, according to Bruno, you can take the guesswork out of being a contingency recruiter in regards to how much you’re going to bill each month. That way, you can operate with less stress, have more relaxed conversations and interactions, and just maybe make more placements.

“Most recruiters, especially contingency direct recruiters, feel each month is pretty much a ‘roll of the dice’ as far as what they are going to produce or earn,” said Bruno. “That is simply not true. Once you know the results you need, you can and will predict and achieve your 2021 income goals.”

Now there are some professional recruiters and search consultants who do track the number of phone calls that they make on a daily basis, especially the number of “cold calls” they make to prospects, both companies and candidates. According to Bruno, though, you should focus more on numbers that correlate directly with tangible results and not just “track numbers for tracking numbers sake.”

“It is important to note that I’m not saying you must achieve a certain number of calls every day,” said Bruno. “Granted, if you do not make calls, you will not succeed. However, it is more important to focus on minimum daily result standards vs. number of calls. If you are not producing daily results, role play your presentations to your manager so you can make small adjustments that will improve your results.”

What causes recruiting slumps?

According to Bruno, slumps often follow great months. The reason that is the case is because the activities that you’re engaged with the most when you’re closing deals and making placements are not necessarily the same activities that keep your pipeline full, thus helping to prevent a slump from happening in the first place.

“The only way to eliminate slumps is to commit to minimum daily results,” said Bruno. “Often, slumps follow great months. During a great month, the focus is placed on prepping, debriefing, and closing, all of which results in recruiting and marketing presentations not being completed.”

Another reason for a recruiting slump could be that the person simply doesn’t have the energy or the drive to succeed in the profession that they had previously. This is commonplace in the staffing and recruiting industry. As we mentioned earlier, the recruiting profession is not an easy one, and sometimes even the most grizzled veteran can get burnt out or simply worn out by the day-to-day grind.

The presence of the coronavirus and the corresponding pandemic certainly do not make matters better in this area. However, according to Bruno, professional recruiters and search consultants should take a tremendous amount of pride in what they do for the employment marketplace and the larger economy.

“Our career is challenging, and it takes a great deal of focus to succeed,” she said. “There are times when you need to reignite your passion for changing people’s lives. If you have learned anything this year, it’s that you are an essential employee. Without talent, companies would close.”

If you’re a professional recruiter or search consultant and you don’t know your important numbers or results-driven statistics, she recommends setting up a meeting with your manager or owner before the end of the week.

“Knowing your individual numbers and ratios is empowering and will eliminate slumps forever!” she said.

(If you’re an owner and not sure what key performance indicators to set or have questions about other owner issues, Barb Bruno does offer executive coaching for entrepreneurs. For more information about this coaching, contact Jodi Svetich at

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