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Fear – It’s got a hold on me!

by MAX JONES / Wednesday 13th July 2016

failure

Ah…here’s a question I assume nobody reading this wants to think about, let alone answer (& no, not how do you feel about Brexit!); who out there has ever FAILED? I mean failed, I mean you were a failure. You weren’t just mistaken, but you absolutely, positively, categorically failed. You were a loser. Have you ever had this experience?

See for me I’m quite lucky. I can count on my right hand how many times I’ve failed, although my right hand is slightly odd in the fact that I have 1,524 fingers on it, but that’s beside the point.

What about you? I’d like you to take a minute (or less if you’re one of those overly successful people) & think back to times in your life, both in a professional & personal environment, where you’ve failed. What do I mean by “failed”? Well I’m not talking about forgetting to pick up milk on your way home, although that is awfully frustrating isn’t it (!), I’m referring to major failures. For example you decided to move jobs, relocated your whole family & within 3 days you were “let go” & back to square one, living in a different postcode. Or you send TOBs over to a brand new client which, instead of saying a rebate period of “X”, gives the client 52 years at 100%. 

Can you think of one? Two? Three? My guess is that, if you’re really rational about it, most people have only ever really failed 2 or 3 times in their lives. But while I don’t intend this little blog to bring up horrible memories of failures from the past, I wanted to ask the question: why did you fail? I had the opportunity of asking this to some of my colleagues because I was really interested to see what rationalisations people gave when talking about times they’ve failed. The top three answers were:

  1. I didn’t have enough time to do it (whatever “it” was)
  2. I didn’t have the right resources
  3. I didn’t have enough money

Can you relate to any of these? Whatever “failure” you’ve experienced in life I would make the assumption you rationalised it with one of these three above.

You tried to lose 2 stone, but didn’t. Why didn’t you? Ah I didn’t have enough time to go for a run every day. You tried to become fluent in a second language, but you didn’t. Why didn’t you? Ah I didn’t have the right resources. You tried to start your own recruitment business, but didn’t. Why didn’t you? Ah I didn’t enough time, resources or money! Triple whammy!

Interestingly according to a study conducted by The Recruiter, 80% of recruitment start ups fail in the first 18 months. Now here at SSG that just doesn’t sit right with us, so I wanted to explore why this figure was so high. Is it the case that 8/10 recruiter don’t have enough time, the right resources or enough money to make their dream a success? If so, why the heck hasn’t any company done something about this.
I mean starting your own business is tough. & here’s why…

  1. You’d have to be CRAZY to want to run your own show, to actively want to escape the lunacy of the office environment, that commute, the endless meetings, the lousy basic salary, the hopeless “incentive” schemes and the inevitability that nothing is really ever going to change.
  2. No one actually WANTS to retain at least 70% of everything that they invoice, a recruiter can have too much after all…
  3. Owning 100% of my own recruitment business would be full of fixed costs, upfront fees, targets, geographical restrictions, KPI led reviews and so on.
  4. Who wants the freedom of working from home, the flexibility, the autonomy, the chance to create the proper work/life balance they want? Because it's different for everyone.
  5. I’m a Recruiter, I don’t know how to create a brand, build a website, create business cards, and create logos. Starting my own business would mean I’d have to become a master in areas that I'd focus far too much time on. Not allowing me to make a placement!
  6. I make placements, I don’t deal with the tax man (HMRC who?!), the VAT man, Credit control, finance, payroll, factoring, invoices, bad debts, insurance!!
  7. The agency I work for at the moment have the job board access I need, why would I leave the safety of job board access and start from scratch again (not to mention the premium price I’d pay for the same access I got working for someone else?!). And don’t even get my started on Recruitment Software.
  8. If I have technical issues, my computer breaks, my phone stops working, I can’t access my Jobs, what do I do? What about an accountant, a creative lead, a business mentor, a team that has been there done that and sold their very own Recruitment Businesses for millions at a time?

Daunting isn’t it. Blimey, no wonder people don’t do it.

I wanted to conclude this blog today by completely accepting why so many recruiters fail to start their own recruitment businesses. But I guess that’s where SSG hope they can come in. SSGs aim is to alleviate the fear associated with running your own recruitment business, the fear that is rooted in everyone’s desire to avoid failure.

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