Stay Put or Move Roles? A Guide for Experienced Recruiters



If you’re finding yourself at a pivotal juncture in your recruitment career, where the allure of a new opportunity seems desirable, you might be asking yourself, "Has the time come for a change?"

The decision to move roles can be motivated by a number of factors and the thought of a change can be tempting but how can you be sure you’re making the right choice to move on?

Evaluating Your Next Steps

If you're an experienced recruiter, you've likely navigated the job market for others countless times. But what about when it's your turn to consider a move?

Before making any decisions, it's essential to take the time to evaluate what you want in your next role. Reflecting on the aspects that bring you the most fulfilment and satisfaction in your current role can help guide this process. What motivates you? What kind of work environment do you thrive in? Consider the factors that will contribute to your overall job satisfaction and happiness.

Career Growth 

Will another role offer opportunities for advancement and skill development? You should carefully analyse the organisational structure of the prospective company to determine if there are clear paths for progression. You should also consider the company's track record of promoting employees from within and investing in their professional development. If you're looking to move up the ladder, find out what kind of management training and mentorship programs the new company offers. Speak to current employees or scour LinkedIn profiles to gauge the company's attitude toward internal promotions.

Financial Implications

You should assess the salary and benefits package offered by the new employer. Compare it to your current compensation to determine if the move would result in a significant increase or decrease in income. It's also crucial to consider the cost of living if the role is in a new location, as this can greatly impact the overall financial situation.

Financial Health of the Company 

Look into the financial stability of the prospective company. Are they venture-backed or private equity backed? Do they have a long history of profitability? Recent investments or a strong balance sheet can be a sign of growth and opportunity, providing a safety net for your career.

Company Culture and Values 

Do you prefer a collaborative and team-oriented environment, or do you thrive in a more independent and autonomous setting? You need to assess whether the company's values, work environment, and company culture align with your own personal values and work style. This evaluation is important as it can greatly impact job satisfaction and overall happiness in the new role. Research the company's mission and vision, as well as its employee engagement initiatives, to gain insights into the organisational culture.

Technology Stack

Experienced recruiters know that the tools they use can make a significant difference in their efficiency and effectiveness. Consider what technology stack the new company uses and how it compares to what you're accustomed to.

Market Reputation

What is the company's reputation in the market? A company's brand can significantly impact your ability to win clients and attract top talent. It might be worth reaching out to existing employees, as platforms such as Glassdoor may predominantly feature biased reviews from individuals who've had negative experiences. Leverage your network and use LinkedIn to connect with current employees across various levels.

Work-Life Balance 

Consider how important it is for you to have flexibility in your work schedule, the amount of travel required, remote working options, and the overall workload. Evaluating these factors can help you determine if the role will provide the work-life balance you desire.

Billings and Market Shifts 

If your billings have been low, consider whether it's due to market shifts or internal factors. Be honest with yourself – evaluate why this was and whether there was anything you could have done to change this. Think about what would have helped you do better. Were there proactive measures you could have taken to influence a more favourable outcome? Consider what strategies or skills might have boosted your performance, paving the way for improvement in future situations.

Skill Diversification 

As a recruiter, you know the value of a diverse skill set. Does the new role offer you the chance to diversify your skills, perhaps by working on different types of roles or learning new technologies?

Commission Structure

Look beyond the base salary. How does the commission structure compare to your current role? Are there bonuses for hitting certain milestones or bringing in new clients?


What About Starting Your Own Business?

Entrepreneurship can also be an attractive option to experienced recruiters, but setting up your own business comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some key considerations for recruiters thinking about starting their own recruiting business.


As a recruiter branching out on your own, you won't have the immediate support of a team that you might be accustomed to in a corporate environment. You'll be responsible for all aspects of your business, including operations, sales, and finance. Consider whether this is something you have the capacity and willingness to handle independently, as well as the ability to adapt to the challenges of entrepreneurship. 

Professional Development

Without a corporate structure, you may not have access to the same professional development opportunities and resources. Evaluate your readiness for self-directed learning and skill development.

Timing and Financial Preparedness

Starting your own business requires a financial safety net. You should assess whether you have enough savings to cover personal and business expenses for at least the first year, as new businesses often take time to break even and turn a profit.

Compliance and Legal Aspects

Starting a business entails dealing with legal and compliance matters, such as business registration, taxes, contracts, and intellectual property. Ensure you have a basic understanding of these requirements or consult legal and financial professionals to guide you through the process.


Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as a recruiter and business owner. Identify your unique selling points and areas where you might need to improve. Understanding your skills and limitations is crucial for success.

Motivation and Celebrating Success

Consider your personal and professional motivations. Are you an extrovert or introvert? Why do you want to start your own business, and what drives you? Also, establish a system for celebrating successes. Entrepreneurship can be challenging, so if you are set on starting up your own business, having a way to acknowledge your own achievements is essential for maintaining motivation.

Starting your own recruiting business can be a rewarding venture, but it's essential to be well-prepared and aware of the challenges involved.


Staying Put

You might feel that staying in your current role may have its own set of advantages. It’s worth considering these before you make any decisions…

Familiarity with the organisation and industry can provide stability and a sense of security. Recruiters who have been with their current company for a long time may have established strong relationships with colleagues and clients, which can be a valuable asset in your day-to-day work. These relationships can provide a support system and a network of resources that may not be easily replicated in a new job.

Choosing to stay in your current role can also allow you to build on your existing knowledge and expertise. You can deepen your understanding of the industry and become subject matter experts in their field. This can lead to increased credibility and recognition within your organisation and industry.

It's crucial to consider whether these benefits outweigh the potential opportunities a move or starting your own business may bring. While staying in a familiar role may provide stability, it may also limit career growth and development. You should carefully weigh the pros and cons of moving and make a decision that aligns with your long-term career goals and personal aspirations.


Is There Ever a 'Good Time' to Start Exploring?

While the to this answer to this question may vary depending on individual circumstances, it's essential to be open to the possibility of change. Waiting for the perfect moment may result in missed opportunities.

When considering whether it's the right time to start exploring new career options, it's worth delving into your current role and evaluating its alignment with your long-term career goals. Are there opportunities for growth and development, or does it seem that progress may be limited? Reflecting on these questions can provide valuable insights into whether it's time to embark on a new professional journey.

However, it's crucial to approach the job search strategically and ensure that the timing aligns with your personal circumstances. Factors such as financial stability, family commitments, and personal goals should be considered. It's important to strike a balance between seizing opportunities and maintaining stability in other areas of life.

Exploring new career options can be an exciting and transformative experience. It opens doors to new possibilities, challenges, and personal growth. It can allow you to expand your skill sets, broaden your professional networks, and discover new passions.

Moreover, starting the exploration process early can provide a competitive advantage. By staying informed about industry trends, networking with professionals in desired fields, and continuously updating skills, you can position yourself as attractive candidate when the right opportunity arises.

It's also worth noting that the concept of a "good time" to start exploring can be subjective. What may be the right time for one person may not be the same for another. Each individual's circumstances, aspirations, and risk tolerance play a significant role in determining the ideal timing.

Remember to check your current contract for any clauses that may restrict your move, such as non-compete or non-solicitation agreements. The timing could impact your ability to hit the ground running in a new role.


Are You Committed to an Interview Process?

You're a pro at conducting interviews but being on the other side of the table is a different experience. Use your insider knowledge to prepare. For instance, if you know the company uses a particular assessment tool, brush up on it. Also, remember that your negotiation skills are being evaluated at every stage, so act accordingly.

Do you have the time to commit to making a success? It's important to assess your current schedule and commitments to ensure you can allocate the necessary time and energy to each stage of the process.

While it's exciting to explore new opportunities, it's important to consider the potential impact on your current role. If the interview process will interfere significantly with your responsibilities, it may be worth waiting for a more suitable time.


Final Thoughts

Navigating your career move as an experienced recruiter requires a different set of considerations than what you're used to advising candidates on. By taking a recruiter's approach to your own career, you can make a move that aligns with both your professional and personal goals. Remember, change can bring new opportunities and growth, but it's crucial to navigate the journey with clarity and confidence.

Ready to elevate your recruitment journey and explore new opportunities? Get your recruiter hat on for yourself! Connect on LinkedIn with talent acquisition professionals or the managing directors of businesses that pique your interest. Take charge by setting up job alerts tailored to your criteria, ensuring you never miss out on exciting new opportunities that align with your passion and expertise.