Previously I wrote about why we as recruiters should be more proactive in looking for new opportunities.  I think now it’s important to flesh out the real reasons recruiters at least in Japan are for the most part ,too passive and conservative when it comes to changing jobs.

    There are numerous factors that contribute to our inability to even consider a new opportunity, let’s look at them now as it’s important that we as recruiters are aware of them so we don’t fall into their trap;

    Lazy and too comfortable 

    I think we can all if we are truly honest with ourselves agree with this point.  Sometimes it’s just too much hard work to look for a new job.  We have spent years building up a client and candidate base and to move means we must start again.  Will our customers continue to work with us at our new company?  We must interview, spend time, possibly get rejected and asked difficult questions….well I might as well just stay here.

    So, we end up staying, even though we know in our heart of hearts that our career is going nowhere, and our skills are not improving.  It’s understandable to think that way we are human after all, and it’s part of our DNA to look for comfort. But the reality is we need always to be pushing and driving to evolve and grow.  If we are comfortable then we are standing still and if we are standing still, we are actually drifting backwards without even noticing!

    The Loss of Forward Fees & Commissions

    How many times do we consider a move, then look at our pipeline and think well I cannot give up that for fee and then the next month the same thing and it goes on and on…..If we are skilled recruiters who execute well then, there is never really a good time to move from a commission fee perspective, but should that stop us growing?  I believe this is a short-term view of a long-term problem.  This is simply how poor recruitment companies manage to keep some very good people.  However, if you think about it, froward fees should never be a good enough reason to stay forever. Too many of us don’t objectively model the financial, career and up-skilling possibilities of a move.  We should be continuously looking forward into the distance at our destination and where we want to get to with sometimes a quick look down at our feet to see where we are now.  A lot of us though are only looking down at our feet and don’t have a vision of where we need to get too.


    The recruitment in Japan can be quite gossipy; clients take back door references after only seeing a profile, people see you attending the interview, everyone seems to find out what you’re doing, and the list goes on.  The risk we perceive is not worth it so again we stay in career paralysis.  Look I could say that there is no risk, but the reality is there is always risk and I have been a victim of it in the past.  However, the risk for the most part is exaggerated in the minds of most of us and we forget the risk is usually worth the reward if we manage to secure that position with a company that it perfect for us and which ignites our career.  Get used to the fact there are no guarantees in recruitment or life and that taking risks is inevitable and part of what we must do in our career if we want real success.

    Feeling Disloyal

    My managers great, he takes me for lunch and drinks and tell me how much he loves me and wants me to stay….  I have heard these things many times throughout my career, it’s almost a “Stockholm Syndrome” effect. Let’s not let ourselves become a hostage of emotion and some vague feelings of loyalty if our current employer is only offering us lip service.  A good, ambitious, structured recruitment employer will be always continuously investing in us and the company, actioning and putting their money where their mouth is, it will not just be talk and no action.  If it’s only talk and feelings and no real hard actions and investment, then we are at the wrong place.  The bottom line is loyalty should never stand in the way of the development of our skills, knowledge, experience, ambition and earning levels.

    Lack of Confidence

    We don’t believe we can replicate out current or historical success at a new company and so we stay again in career paralysis.  Look this is a reasonable concern; what will the culture be like, can I get the same customers, will they give me enough time to build my desk, the list of excuses is endless.  At some point in our career, we must stop, think and start to really ask ourselves questions and understand that a good recruiter should be successful anywhere they go.  I have always believed that a company contributes about 20-30% max to the success of a recruiter, the other 70-80% is down to the ability of the recruiter.   We must as recruiters believe that success is in our hands, we are steering our destiny and if that destiny lies in a different more ambitious and supportive company then we should be confident enough to follow our instinct and move.

    Look we all have fears, we all feel a little lazy and comfortable at times, that’s natural.  But we must not let them force us into paralysis, we need to evolve and grow into our true potential, we must remember that time waits for no-one.