Sometimes I feel we should put things into perspective, take a step back, and take a lighter look at the battles we fight, the victories we savour, and the losses we endure when running a recruitment agency. So, let’s put the business books to one side, grab the remote, and look at my top 5 running a recruitment agency movies…
1. The Winning Formula at the Beginning… (The Social Network)
Right at the start of your agency’s journey, the excitement was palpable. Everything was ahead of you and every day you knew you were swimming into the unknown. Those really were the best days, full of potential, with lots of decisions to make. The moment where you struck the winning formula and the stars aligned. Your business name, your branding, and your logo came together and you were ready to face the world. You felt invincible!
2. You Battle Through the Triangle of Death Every Day! (War Dogs)
But then came the hard times. The startup adrenaline wore thin and suddenly you had to prove yourself ten times more than you used to, and not just to your clients. However, this was when you and your business partner (if you are lucky enough to have one) looked at one another and recommitted to driving through the Triangle of Death every time you needed to for the cause.
3. You Would Give Your Arm for a Placement (127 Hours)
Then, even after battling through the hard times, it just wasn't enough. There are points in your agency's adventure where you’re forced to do some reflecting and make some hard calls. Not to take anything away from Aron Ralston’s story in 127 Hours, but his strength and conviction to his decisions helped him to survive. If you've not experienced these bad days yet, unfortunately they will arrive, and although you’ll feel totally on your own, you must remember to put the business first and make the hard calls to get through them.
4. When Talking to a Volleyball is Easier Than Talking to Your Staff
Sometimes it’ll seem easier to talk to an inanimate object than your employees. Being an agency owner is hard, you’ll do whatever it takes to get through the tough times. And unlike our hero in Castaway, you'll dream of being marooned on a desert island far away from the headaches of running a business. The constant email notifications, the employees vying for attention – out there in the wilderness, they can’t reach you. And they probably won’t want to… you’re talking to a volleyball!
5. Then God Sends You an Angel (The Intern)
Then, out of nowhere, a miracle occurs. Just when you’re at the lowest point, overwhelmed by admin, an experienced Baby Boomer arrives at your door. The one who knows just what to do, the one who gets the struggle, and has the exact solution needed whenever a problem arises. Everyone needs a Baby Boomer that just hasn’t retired yet!
So, there you go, my top 5 films about running a recruitment agency. From talking to volleyballs, through Baby Boomer saviours, to picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and battling on, running a recruitment agency can be exciting, rewarding, but at the same time, hard going. It’s not for the faint hearted, but if it were easy then everyone would do it!
‘Stay hungry, stay foolish.’ Steve Jobs
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About the Author: Wendy McDougall is the CEO of Firefish Software. With just under 20 years experience in the recruitment industry, Wendy is on a mission to inspire the next generation of recruiters and help challenge the traditional recruitment agency model of doing things. In her spare time, you’ll find her enjoying some down time with the family, playing squash and feeding her inner geek with all the latest technology!