Why recruiters stay when they hate it

By GSR2R Admin | 24th November 2020

Has January got you thinking ‘why did I choose to work in recruitment again?

You’re not alone. At desks across the UK, at any given time, there are hundreds, if not thousands of recruiters just like you who have forgotten what it feels like to have an awesome day at work. 

From my years of working with recruiters to find them positions that they actually like, what strikes me is the very different levels of job dissatisfaction that consultants are prepared to put up with before they decide to do something about it. 

It can take a massive leap of faith for consultants to leave companies, even ones they hate. And this trend isn’t just specific to recruitment, across the globe there are many, many people doing jobs where they feel uninspired, bored, and undervalued. 


Why do recruiters stay at desks, working for managers, saying ‘good morning’ to teams that they actively dislike? That is making them miserable? That is harming their career (and earning) potential? Let me explain. 

1. They’re Chasing the High 

It might have taken you three weeks to secure your first placement, or it might have been a few months. But all consultants remember that sweet feeling of placing their first candidate (and the commission and celebratory champagne that came with it…). The early days of your recruiting career are where most of the stomach butterfly-inducing moments happen, and chasing this feeling can become an obsession.  

Recruiting is addictive, and many consultants stay with companies long after they should have moved on because they feel as though they need to prove something to their manager and their team – to get back to the ‘glory days’ which have slipped from their grasp.   

While it’s true that recruiting has its wild ups and downs, if you’ve been consistently underperforming, this is probably a sign that you’ve outgrown your current role; not that you should keep battling on.  

2. They Hate Losing 

Recruiters hate losing.  

And when you know you’re good at your job, it can seem like an impossible task to admit that your current agency isn’t working out for you. 

I’ve seen recruiters stay in roles to see through placements that they feel they deserve (even though the commission isn’t actually worth it), to prove their worth, and because they think that changing companies will be admitting a defeat of some sort.  

3. They Get On With Their Coworkers 

Actually getting on with your coworkers is so rare these days it can make recruiters chose a life of ‘comfortable misery’.  

You might feel duty-bound to the social constraints of your current team, or genuinely love spending time with them and would feel worse for it if you chose to leave. Shockingly, this happens to recruiters even when their job is far from fulfilling, leading to them missing out on so many other opportunities. 

4. They Aren’t Aware of Their Worth 

This is particularly rife in younger recruiters, those who have only been in the game for around two years or less.  

It can take time to cut your teeth in recruitment, but those with the right skills and hunger are usually outperforming their KPIs within the first six months to a year. 

When this has been your first and only role in your recruitment career, how can you tell that you are undervalued? You can’t.  

Don’t let unethical managers or practices lead you to believe that because you’re still relatively new, you aren’t deserving of a pay rise, a bonus, more responsibility or higher value clients and roles to work with.  

5. They Don’t Realise How Good It CAN Be 

You enjoy recruiting, and you’re good at it  – great.  

You have learned to ignore all of the things that you wish you could change about your job. The snarky colleagues, your bad-tempered manager, the fact that this sector isn’t exactly what you’re interested in, but that’s fine. 

You might have aspirations of one day moving to a sector that you have a passion for, working with a team that you genuinely get on with, having a manager who actively develops you… 

Why wait? 

That agency is out there; you just aren’t aware of it yet. 

Think about it like this  – you wouldn’t advise your candidates to stay in a job they dislike so much, so why put up with this yourself? 


It’s easy to be accepting of the current situation and feel powerless to change it. And it’s incredibly liberating when you finally find the right desk to work in the right company, with good people. 

Don’t stay in a role, in a company you intensely dislike; move to feel valued, inspired and justly rewarded for your work.  

If you want out and would like to know what options are available to you, get in touch with our team today.  



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  • Recruitment jobs in London

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