Who’s going to pull the trigger first? You or your company?

If you’ve decided to move on from a role that didn’t make you happy, or worse, been asked to leave, you might be thinking: “Am I a failure?” or “Have I wasted time in the wrong career?”

Sure, that’s a possibility. But if you love being a recruitment consultant chances are this is the right path for you. You’ve just been working for the wrong business.

There are lots of reasons why the company wasn’t a good fit for you. The tricky part is pinpointing the cause of those frown lines on your own. Which is why we’re going to run through all the possibilities so you can work out why you and your ex-employer were never meant for each other. And ensure your next role is a perfect match.

A Lack of Learning and Development

Did you ever study a subject at school you loved but never did anything with? Because the way you were taught was too by-the-book, you were never encouraged to think bigger or lead the way.

Sometimes recruitment companies are guilty of doing this. They are densely results-focused and would rather you spend your time surpassing targets than developing your expertise.

But – unless you’re an expert recruiter – that’s nonsensical. Training in interviewing, sales techniques, market knowledge and employment law is how you’ll excel in your career.

If you were let go from a job that didn’t provide adequate training, the fact that you don’t work there anymore is probably a good thing. When you interview for your next role, make sure you ask about learning and development opportunities if that’s a dealbreaker for you (as it should be).

There Was a Glass Ceiling Preventing Progression

Not a conservatory, as Monster explains: “a glass ceiling is ‘an unofficial ‘barrier’ that prevents those in the workplace achieving promotion past middle management or from negotiating an improved income.”

Perhaps you are a consultant and want to become a recruitment manager, but in your last role, there was no room to grow. A bad relationship with your superiors could have been the cause. Or maybe the company didn’t need a new manager and a promotion was never going to be on the horizon.

Whatever the reason, the good news is that you’re no longer an employee there. You can now explore greater opportunities within a company that’ll support your journey up the ladder.

The Culture Was the Opposite of You

Did you wake up every working day with a scowl and a sigh? Sometimes we clash with company cultures and it can do a number on our happiness.

Recruitment is by default results-focused. This can make for some pretty harsh environments. A competitive or pressurised culture can prevent you from fitting in with the team. Only the elite survive, and that means you’re battling against highly confident and ambitious colleagues.

High expectations might just be fuel for your fire, however. But if the opposite is true and that made you unhappy in your last role, it’s worth thinking about other company cultures out there that’ll suit you better. Like team-first cultures which are easy to spot when you know what to look for:

  • Do employees socialise regularly outside of work?
  • Do they collaborate on work projects?
  • Is the commission structure a shared one?
  • Do they feel comfortable taking time off work?
  • Is feedback willingly invited?
  • Does the company organise frequent outings?

These signs point to a company that nurtures its employees and offers flexibility to accommodate personal lives. Gather intel during an interview for a new company to find out if it’s the right culture for you. Or gauge the company’s content on its careers page, like recruitment business Australasian that reassures: “It’s not about us. It’s about you.”

Let’s Not Forget Those Painfully Bad KPIs…

What’s ‘bad’ will definitely mean different things to different people. If you’re a bit of a traditionalist you’ll probably favour KPIs like:

  • Time to hire
  • Applicants per hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Source of hire

And that’s fine if meeting such targets is what you like to do and what you’re good at. On the other side of the coin, we have recruiters who lean towards KPIs aligned with digital transformation. They enjoy adopting new ways of thinking and like spending time building relationships with clients and candidates. Their KPIs look a bit like this:

  • LinkedIn connections
  • Candidate database growth
  • Twitter followers
  • Blog subscribers
  • Job-alert subscribers

Find out what these KPIs really mean for recruiters as we recently explored.

Perhaps you wear many hats and like a mix from both spectrums. The point is if your last company’s KPIs didn’t work for you and your goals, finding a position that includes targets you enjoy meeting could be a game-changing new leaf.

Billings in Shillings? 

Did your last company bill by fixed payments per placement? In that case, you were probably getting a rubbish deal for your hard work. Even if you did get a good deal, you could be earning more from commissions.

A lot of recruitment companies pay a percentage of what you earn on top of your basic salary e.g. you secure a placement for £20,000 and get a 10% commission (£2,000).

Surpass your targets and it can become a highly-lucrative job. Especially if you work for a recruiter like Lucy Walker Recruitment that offers an “uncapped commission scheme”.

Then again, some commissions are small potatoes. And if that lack of reward isn’t made up with bonuses (cash, shopping vouchers, holidays etc) getting the sack might have been a blessing in disguise.

The Day You Realise…

 … you were working for the wrong company is the day everything seems brighter. What was once a cloud over your head is now a rainbow brimming with gold. Go. Find a new company that fits who you are and what you stand for. You’ll never look back again.