Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No
If you’ve got sales and people skills in big supply, then this could bethe business for you. As an executive recruiter, you’ll match jobcandidates with potential corporate employers. Sometimes you’ll startwith an executive looking for a new position; on other occasions acompany with a slot to fill will initiate the search.
While anemployment agency generally works with lower-echelon prospects,executive recruiters–as the name implies–concentrate their efforts onhigher-level posts, filling management, and professional and technicalspots. You can specialize in a particular industry or you can be ageneralist.
And there’s plenty of work–according to the U.S. Bureau ofLabor Statistics, nearly 2 million executive, administrative,managerial, professional specialty and technical support employeesactively sought new jobs in one recent year. And in executive search,these people are just the tip of the iceberg–most of your successescome from recruiting those already happily employed.
The advantages tothis business are that you can work at home or anyplace else where youcan access the telephone, your startup costs are low, and you get thesatisfaction, when everything goes right, of delivering matches made incorporate heaven.
You’ll need A+ people skills, coupled with thebusiness acumen to assess a candidate’s skills and level of experienceagainst the requirements of the position. You have to be a stellarsalesperson because you are, after all, selling–candidates tocompanies and vice versa. If you specialize in a particular industry,you’ll also need up-to-the-nanosecond knowledge of its trends andtechnology.
And last but definitely not least, you’ll need thesalesperson’s thick skin–you’ll have to do a lot of trolling forclients, and you’ll net a lot of ‘no thanks’ along the way.
Depending on whether you specialize and in what industry, your clientscan be anything from a five-star hotel desiring an executive chef to anoil company looking for a petroleum geologist to a software companydesperately seeking a CEO. Look through trade and business publicationsfor companies advertising for, then call to offer your services.
Direct-mail brochures to clients in your specialty, then follow up withphone calls. Network at trade shows and professional organizations andwith present and former colleagues. Establish relationships with otherexecutive recruiters–often they’ll have a client for whom you have theideal candidate, or vice versa, and you can share the placement fee.
You don’t need special licenses or permits to be an executiverecruiter, but an employment agency does, so take care that you don’tmislabel yourself. Some states prohibit meeting candidates or clientcompanies in a home setting, so check into this before you launch yourhome office. (You’ll conduct the vast majority of your business byphone anyway.)
You’ll need the basic office setup–a computer, a laserprinter, a fax machine and the usual office software–plus a databaseprogram for tracking clients and candidates and plenty of filing spacefor the hundreds of resumes you’ll have on tap. And you’ll want one ofthose nifty telemarketer’s headsets so your ear doesn’t go numb fromhours spent jammed against the earpiece.