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The 4 Central Principles of Goal Setting for Recruiters

by | Jul 5, 2021 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

The phone rang. I answered. A new client started to unburden himself. His name was Benjamin. He was concerned about his somewhat anemic production in this sluggish economy.

His was not an uncommon call these days. Many of my clients are looking back over their production and, if substandard, are begging for help. Ben was one of these.

He had heard me speak at a virtual summit, and since I was one of his favorites, was very excited about working with me. He had started his own firm eight years ago and had grown it at one point to 10 recruiters. Now he had seven. His personal production had been as high as $550,000, but was now down in the $300,000 range.

Technically, he knew how to do this business, but he had forgotten the “structure” part of the equation. And so, Ben and I began by building the right foundation. We began with goal setting.

When you contemplate any new venture, you want to make sure that you are NOT bringing any old baggage with you. You want to approach new goal setting with a blank slate—a tabula rasa.

Have you ever been in an upscale restaurant and the waiter brings you a sorbet between courses so that you can cleanse your palette of any previous taste before trying the next course? That’s the perspective we want to operate from as we set our new goals.

We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. We want to leave them in the past. How many times have we heard the famous quote that, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”?  Let’s NOT be insane as we plan for the future.

Sometimes during this cleansing phase, it’s beneficial to revisit some literature that has moved you in the past. I like to re-read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. In his little book, which is chock full of great advice, Don Miguel covers the four agreements we need to make with ourselves.

In abbreviated format, they are to speak with integrity, not to take anything personally, not to make assumptions, and to always do your best. I will let you discover the wisdom of this book yourself, but I believe that Don Miguel sets the stage so that we can be successful in any new endeavor.

With that in mind, below are the four central principles of goal setting for recruiters:

  1. The goal must be in writing. If it is not in writing it is a “wish,” not a goal.
  2. It must be vividly imagined. Pictures of your goals at your desk are good.
  3. It must be ardently desired. You must really, really want it.
  4. You must be committed to it.

If these four principles are in play, then the goal exists and you will have a good shot of attaining it. At the end of the day, goal setting can be fun!

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Bob Marshall of TBMG International, founder of The Marshall Plan, has an extensive background in the recruiting industry as a recruiter, manager, vice president, president, consultant, and trainer. In 2015, Marshall is celebrating his 35th year in the recruiting business. He can be reached at or at 770.898.5550. Marshall’s website is

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