I’m going to RecruitFest in September and like I always do, I began researching ways to make it cheaper, faster etc. While I was calling people I had never met and cashing in miles, a friend asked me, “Why are you doing all that? You can afford this.”
Bam. I was taken aback. She was right. I could. I can. So, what’s with all the string pulling? The miserlypenny pinching?
HERE’S WHAT. I work doggone hard for the money I make. For every big money hire I get, there’s a tiny voice in my head that remembers the late nights, the long searches, the endless networking (in heels). So, when you do the math, it works out to a completely fair living.
Second, I was 20 when Jeremy and I got married. We were poor, I mean dirt poor, paying off college loans for two, plus two babies in as many years. Poor. You get it. But I wanted a beautiful home. So, I painted and upholstered and ripped up carpet and bought stuff at thrift stores. . . Until someone came into my home where not a single stick of brand new furniture existed and offered me a job at an interior design firm.
That’s when it clicked. If you can’t do it with rudimentary tools, you can’t do it at all. I have very little respect for people who HAVE to have this ATS or that Widget or this Search Software to make their jobs easier. I’m all about free, which is a great quality for a search firm. It exposes me to great tools like this job portal and this tracking software and great, FREE networking events like BarCamps and TweetUps and PR tools like HARO and this.
So, I harumphed at my friend and went back to looking for someone to room with and checking on the very lowest prices, because it’s about being the best, doing the very most with the very least. It’s about showing up when no one thought you could. And I think, the second I lose that edge and start to posture like I deserve those big fat fees? Clients will see straight through me. They won’t see a fantastic recruiter with a natural gift for search. They’ll see a bloated machine propped up by expensive systems and fancy tools.
If you can be a great recruiter with a phone and a smile, do it. Because all the rest of the “stuff” will just make you even better.
(Special dedication to all the cranky pants who were fussing because their gmail was down. Pick up the phone! Do your job!)
Maren Hogan is a millennial living the dream in Omaha, Nebraska. When she’s not plotting the downfall of Gen Xer’s like me, she’s doing marketing and development for an IT recruiting and outsourcing firm called HCI. When she’s not at HCI, she’s blogging at Big O Recruiting and becoming addicted to Twitter…