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Independent Recruiter Business: FAQ


I don’t have any scientific data to back this up, but I believe that for every person who asks a question, 10 more people have the same question but didn’t bother to ask.

That’s why I’m posting these frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the business we promoted a couple of weeks ago—being an independent recruiter. Read that whole post, but here’s a brief summary of how it works: Help companies find employees to fill good jobs and those companies will pay you well for your trouble. You can buy Scott Ritter’s independent recruiter training material (and his personal assistance) to learn how to be a recruiter.

But before you do, we know you’ll have questions. So here are Scott’s answers to some very good ones.

My question is, out of all of your successful placements how many of them are with people you haven’t met face to face? I imagine you do most of them over the phone.

100%. In the whole time I have been doing this (and hundreds of placements), I have never actually met ANY of the candidates I have placed.

Came close once though. Since I do have one client here in Montana, I placed a Civil Engineer in Missoula two years ago. Gave him an invitation to come up for dinner (I live about 70 miles north) but he never did. Just got busy with his new job and all I guess…

I noticed you place exclusively engineers. What guided you in making that decision? Do you have any sort of engineering background or knowledge? or did you choose engineering because it yields higher pay? Am I correct to assume as a recruiter one searches for jobs that produce well.

On the engineering question, no, I did not (do not) have any engineering experience or background (majority of my ‘background’ would be food-service i.e. waiter, cook, etc. as I grew up in my grandpa’s bakery/restaurant)

When I was first trained in recruiting back in 2000, the guy who trained me was doing Industrial Automation, so, that’s what I started in. After that slowed down, I worked in Civil Engineering up until 2007 and have been in MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) since then.

Is it wise for a recruiter to stick to one field, maybe one with which the recruiter has prior knowledge or would it be more beneficial to contact multiple companies across the board, say for example: software companies to construction companies?

You can choose to work in any market you want to. That’s what is great about what I do. It’s all just based on Keywords in a resume. You don’t really have to have any knowledge of a particular industry to be able to find good resumes for it. As far as sticking to one market, I would say the better thing would be to stay in one market at a time (so you can pull a certain type of candidate and perhaps submit that candidate to more then one client…J). But, if things start to slow, you switch to another market…

Would it be too much to ask how your days are structured? I am excited about working at home and spending more time with my family and I was wondering what your routine looks like.

My schedule: I get up at 7:50am and take my grandkids to school. I get back around 8:05 or so and I put the coffee on. I do my bible study and sit down at the computer around 8:30 or so. I check emails (and reply as needed) and then spend the next 2 to 3 hours setting up interviews, re-emailing candidates & clients or other “old business” stuff (keep in mind, I am still in my PJ’s usually at this point). Around 11 or 11:30 I hop in the shower and get dressed for the day. I eat lunch and then do any grocery shopping or post office stuff, run errands with my wife, etc. Around 2:00 pm I spend the next 3 hours or so sending out candidate emails or new jobs emails, “new business” stuff etc. at 5:30pm, I pick up the grandkids from the after-school program and that’s it.

When getting started how often should I expect to place clients? Do you place one or two a month, or more, or less?

It really varies. I have made 4 placements in one month before and I have also had 2 & ½ months go by without anything. It’s a good idea to set some money aside for those times.

The real purpose of this quick e-mail is to ask you right up front…. is this “real?”… I have been down the road too many times to waste any more time or money!

I know what you mean there. In fact, that is how I found Joe & Steve… I received some “opportunity” through an email source I trust and Googled it. Turns out either Joe or Steve had “tried that” and it was apparently a Nutralife program in disguise…

When Joe says he checked me out, he really did. I supplied him with my income statements for the last three years and backed that up with my last bank deposit.

How much is allocated for ‘expenses’ each month, on average? What I am hearing /reading is that it pretty much involves computer & e-mails, phone work, and it looks like a monthly expense for your e-fax to exchange contracts, etc.?

AEC sets aside 20% of every placement for expenses. Most of that goes to pay for access to Monster & CareerBuilder, though, so you may not need to set aside as much to start with. Don’t forget you are going to be paying your own taxes, though!

Is there any way to expedite the process—particularly at inception? We are all impatient, I realize, but I honestly could use a cash infusion really quick!!

I’m not going to lie to you, this takes time. If there was a quicker way to do it, I would be doing it. Now, you can always partner up with another agency and work on a split but in the end, I have never made many placements that way. My suggestion would be to partner this program with something else like that Niche Blitzkrieg program Joe and Steve are trying out so you can see some quicker income and then use the BIG checks from recruiting to just pay stuff off.
[Note by Joe: If Scott was just interested in making a sale, he would have said to this guy, “YES! You can make money fast if you buy my book and do exactly what it tells you!” He wants to sell his product, of course, but he’s not going to lie to you to do it. That should tell you a lot.]

What does this economy do to your business?? LOTS of applicants and FEW opportunities. Is the competition steep?

Nope. It’s all about what market you are working in. I actually made more money in ’08 then I did in ’07. Just need to be flexible on what you are working on.

Is it pretty much a straight forward (hopefully proven?) recipe?

Yup. Step-by-step, no guesswork involved. The “recipe” as you call it, is exactly what I do myself.

Will you create your own competition by providing your info as a work at home opportunity?

That is actually a very good question but the answer is no. Even if you decided to work in exactly the same market as me and we both ended up working with the same client, the chances of us bumping heads would be very slim. The reason I know this is I have a buddy (I call him my mentor since he has been doing this longer then I have) who is also an “ethical” Independent Recruiter over in Seattle and after talking, we have realized that we have actually worked for several of the same clients and didn’t even realize it.

What questions should I be asking that I am leaving out? (HaHa)

Honestly, there are several things but I normally don’t remember them until someone new gets started and then asks me this or that (at which point I go, “oh yeah, …”) but, none of them are very important, just little tweaks as you move forward and encounter different situations (which is what I’m here for)

I see your focus is specific to engineering placements. What if I had exceptional expertise in a different industry. Could this be massaged into utilizing that expertise?

That would be awesome. First thing you would want to do is see if the industry you have in mind is using recruiters, and if so, if the market is doing well…

The reason I work in Engineering is because it requires specialized training or education (not me, the candidates) and employers are willing to pay a fee for those types of candidates.

However, having a food-service background, I’ve always been intrigued with that industry and I know there are recruiters who hire Chefs, Restaurant Managers and Hotel Managers for big $$ (and which don’t necessarily have to have any schooling, just experience). So, just depends on what it is I guess.

That’s it for now, folks. You can find more questions and answers in the original post about independent recruiting.

We’re not talking about part-time freelancing jobs here, and Scott isn’t selling you some bogus pie-in-the-sky membership. He’s selling the very techniques he uses, step by step, to earn six figures a year. No, it’s not easy. But it’s reliable, ethical, rewarding income. Getting paid to help people find great jobs. That’s a wonderful thing. Click here to head on over to Scott’s place and check it out.

There's only ONE program I really recommend. It helped me turn my 'hobby' into a $10,000+ per month money making machine. Click here for the exact formula I followed.


  1. I am looking into this business very seriously. I have read many blogs and websites about “how easy this can be to be successful”. There is no “free lunch” hard word is what it takes to be successful in business.

    I have met with two agencies to start recruiting for them and learn the industry. What is a realistic income working for one of these firms? I see that executive recruiting is lucrative, what type of split could I expect? I would produce revencue for them to start. I have been in outside sales for nearly 20 years and very successful, just laid off.

  2. Mike Land,

    Thanks for responding. I’ve heard anywhere from 25-30% but the numbers keeps changing. Yes, after working for a recruiting company several years ago, I did learn that focusing on one area is best, at least initially. It gives you a chance to become somewhat fluent in the language and buzz words in that industry. I hope to get up and running in the very near future. I wish you great success.

    Mike Long

  3. Average industry standard for recruiting is anywhere from 20% to 25% and at times, 30%. Sometimes I’ve seen it at 18%. There are also flat fees to consider, depending on the industry. An example if this is for physician recruiting. Typically, it is a flat 20K to 25K fee.

    I started in recruiting back in Oct. ’06 with no prior experience whatsoever. I questioned other recruiters how many industries I should work in. They said, “you’re gonna want to keep it simple”. Did I listen? No, school of hard knocks has taught me that one (independent agency – one man show), cannot even remotely come close to accomplishing the grandious ideas of success by tapping into multiple areas. I’m still in the process of re-defining areas I should be working in. Some learn their lesson the hard way. Hope this gives some insight.

    Mike Land

  4. Joe,

    I am in the process of starting a contigency recruiting business, but would like to know what is the industry standard for fees? Is it 25% or somewhere in between 25% and 30%? I am focusing on upper management positions-Vice presidents, Associate Vice presidents, directors, etc.

    Excellent article by the way.

    1. I think it’s 20%, but I am no expert.

  5. My work as a consultant consists of sitting down with Management or the owner of businesses and reviewing and streamlining their work processes to increase revenue (a little harder than what it sounds like:)
    It’s very challenging in the sense that I work with every type of business.
    The downside is that every worker always thinks that I’m in the business to cut jobs when in reality, I’m there to put the business in a higher gear.
    I’ve had to be careful in regards to marketing though; all my customers have a non-disclosure clause in the contract they sign with me – they don’t want the fact that they have gone through a reorganization be known by customers and clients. That makes it hard because I can’t name the businesses I worked with; the upside after my first year was that word of mouth got going & I haven’t needed to do any marketing to get new contracts.
    Continue the great work!

  6. All good points, Mark. No doubt Scott’s system takes a lot of consistent effort. What is a business reorganization consultant?

  7. I don’t want to be the buster of bubbles but one thing that I hope is discussed in this program is how to contact & discuss the services you will be providing to potential clients.

    I’m a business reorganization consultant and I can tell you that when I started off, it wasn’t “rosy” and I couldn’t work at it “part-time” to make a “full-time” salary… Clients wanted to know why they should hire me? What background did I have that provided confidence to them that I would get the job done?

    Working from home is great, I wouldn’t trade it for anything but it takes discipline. You need to establish ground rules to be succesful. One of which being able to focus and give yourself the time to succeed (which I believe is talked about).

    My schedule starts at 07h00am, after taking my shower, I get dressed (tie & all) and then make my phone calls; I’m from the old school & I believe that you project how you are (PJ’s are great but NOT professional)… When I read how his schedule is set-up, the picture I get is of him being somewhat aloof; people need to understand that not everyone can & will be successful at this, working in your PJ’s may sound great but…

    Joe, your reviews are great & I enjoy reading all of them and I’m sure this program works, just that it isn’t a walk in the park and from what I’ve read so far, it seems that Scott projects that…

    P.S. I’ve been a consultant for over 5 years now & yes, with time it gets easier; I now don’t have to “shop” for clients, I’m getting so many referrals that I’ve joined up with 3 other consultants offering the same type of work I do; this way, it compensates when work isn’t there.

  8. Just ran across it yesterday and haven’t had much time to consider it. I’ve browsed through job listings for some of the corporate recruiters but would much rather do it on my own than work for one of them. Has anyone else out there tried Scott’s system and what have your results been?

  9. I am still considering it, but I am leaning more towards purchasing it. I work full-time and attend night classes three times a week for the degree I am working for. I am waiting for this semester to finish, so I will have about two or three weeks to dedicate myself to this before the next semester begins. How about you?

  10. Thanks, Bill. Have you purchased Scott’s program or are you still considering it?


  11. Jared, I emailed Scott and asked him the same question you have and I also asked him if he just sent eamils to the companies. Here is his reply, “A couple of hours a day would probably be enough to get the ball rolling (and keep it going) but it is really based on volume (as far as sending out the initial jobs email).

    I strictly use email and fax for the Jobs Email. Only time I mail my clients is Christmas.” I hope this helps you out and anyone else.


  12. Joe,

    Thanks for the follow up article. I do have one additional question regarding working this part-time to start. I’m just curious how much time you would have to devote to this initially on a part-time basis to build up to where you could leave corporate life to work independently. I don’t have a lot of time but would love to get involved with this assuming I have enough time to make it work.

    1. I’m not doing it, Jared, so I don’t know. You should ask Scott directly and then post his reply here.

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