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The 3 Split Personalities of Every Recruiting Agency Owner and How to Stop Them From Ruining Your Business

The 3 Split Personalities of Every Recruiting Agency Owner and How to Stop Them From Ruining Your Business

Blog Posts
Will McGhee
3 min

Recently, I read a book called "E-Myth Revisited" by Michael E. Gerber. It was eye opening and I truly recommend every independent recruiter read it. One of the key takeaways from the book is that all business owners have 3 personalities living inside of them and balancing these 3 is the key to success.

Today, I am going to go over how that all correlates to recruiting and what you can do to set yourself up for success.

The Independent Recruiter's Split Personalities

According to Gerber, every business owner has 3 personalities battling for control, The Manager, The Technician and the Entrepreneur. The Manager is pragmatic and craves order. The Technician is the doer and can be seen as the expert in craft. While the Entrepreneur is the visionary and innovator. Each one of them are essential to a thriving business owner, but the reason why most small & independent businesses fail is because one of these personality traits are overpowering and there is no balance/harmony between the three.

The Manager

The Manager-heavy recruiter is probably the least of the 3 you will find in the independent recruiter setting. This recruiter is extremely metrics driven to a fault and is an extreme micromanager. They will have found success in understanding their numbers and will simply look to replicate that across the organization. Often the Manager will have a strict system in place and a rigid bar where there isn't any room for innovation. If the people that work with or for the Manager type do it any other way, it's automatically wrong. Morale under the Manager type is low, churn is high and everyone is miserable.

The Technician

The vast majority of us go into business for ourselves because we are heavy leaning on The Technician side of the spectrum. We are doers, top producers and big billers who have decided that we no longer wish to build someone else's business. We do most of the work already and giving away our profits no longer make sense. Many independents may have managed a few folks in the past, but we never learned what it means to run a business. So we may hire a few people, strain to train them, and ultimately come to the conclusion that it would just be better and faster if we did it ourselves. This is the beginning of the end for those of us who fall into The Technician trap. This mindset, if given too much power, will ultimately lead to burnout.

The Entrepreneur

On the other end of the spectrum, those of us that are heavy leaning Entrepreneurs often come up with great ideas, but struggle to implement it in a practical way. These types inspire everyone around them and can be infectious with their vision. They also tend to have little patience and grow extremely fast. Before you know it, they have 30 recruiters working for them with no direction, no mission, and no examples of what is expected of them. The recruiters under the Entrepreneur wonder aimlessly with no territories or rules and soon morale begins to drop due to infighting, bad recruiting practices, and an inconsistent candidate/client experience. The Entrepreneur burns bright and falls hard.

Finding Balance

The key to success as an independent recruiter is to have a balance of all three personalities. If you can find a way to keep The Manager, The Technician and The Entrepreneur in harmony with each other, you will create a well-oiled machine that will be unstoppable.

If you are currently starting out or running your own independent recruiting firm, ask yourself which of these three personality types you gravitate towards. If you find that you are too heavily leaning on one side or the other, make a conscious effort to bring balance into your business by working on the other two aspects.

For example, if you are an Entrepreneur type, start thinking about ways to systematize your business so it can run without you. If you are a Technician type, work on thinking about the bigger picture and what direction you want your business to go in. And if you are a Manager type, try to be more open to new ideas and ways of doing things.

By finding balance between these three personality types, you will create a business that is not only successful, but also one that you can enjoy running.

Will McGhee

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