Getting in the Door: How I got my first Recruiting Job in Boston

The year 2005 must have been a slow one for recruiting agencies; at least it felt that way as I stumbled from interview to interview never quite landing the job. I don’t know why I suddenly decided to quit my sales job and become a recruiter, its just like a childhood dream that you never quite knew about that suddenly awakes and throws you into something interesting.

My first encounter with a staffing agency had been in 2004, specifically with Creative Financial Staffing in Boston. A buddy of mine facilitated the hire that ended 3 week later with a pleasant “they will not be requiring your services” phone call from the recruiter. Apparently, I had dug up some really nasty collections issue that the supervisor did not want revealed (true story confirmed by insider).

So fast forward to 2005…

The summer was hot, maybe because I was running around in a nice suite from agency to agency trying to build a case why a young hard working graduate from Brandeis is a good bet. Yet I kept falling on my face. My Dad had bought me a really nice suit to help me out, but it just wasn’t doing it for me.

I interviewed with Robert Half, where the manager was the biggest ass you will ever meet, his name was Luke and he later became the division head of that great company. He told me I was a job hopper and that if I could hold on somewhere for more then a year to call him back. I actually did. This was just out of curiosity, by that time I had 35 people billing for me and had absolutely no desire to ever join Robert Half. But I digress…

I interviewed at Winter& Wyman in Waltham(later they tried to directly recruit me) then I went across the street to Sullivan & Cogliano. Undeterred, I interviewed at KNF&T in Boston, what amazed me about that company was the utter lack of men… anywhere. I managed to sneak into Sapphire for an unrelated job and tried to sell myself to the technical recruiter there by telling her that what I really wanted was “ to do what you do”. That must have freaked her out, recruiting being the competitive kill or be killed that it is J.

Then there was Maxim Staffing, they had a hole in the wall office, then to Apex Systems, better office still no offer. There was Ascent Consulting and lunch with my Dad who works in the same office park…. Then Resource Options in Needham, the way they described who they placed really turned me off.

I even interviewed at Time Warner for a collections job! Now I hate collections and anything to do with accounting and cubicle desk jobs, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures! I went to, a reputable startup thinking they might take me for a sales guy, but alas, I didn’t come across as one.

And finally, when I despaired, and decided that maybe the world of recruiting had turned really was not for me, I interviewed at Total Technical Services in Waltham. I thought the interview went well, but just in case, I got myself a server job at the local Ground Round. This was something I wanted to do anyhow, just to level with everyone else who had done it. It seemed like such an All American thing to do. Kinda like joining the Army 5 years before!!

So I trained for 5 shifts and on the 6th shift they told me “sorry buddy, you’re not picking this up fast enough, we’re gonna have to let you go.” Holy crap! I just graduated from one of the best schools in the US and I wasn’t picking it up fast enough? That warm fuzzy feeling from before about the Ground dissipated rather quickly…

So here I was, 24 years old, no money, no job, and my Dad was wondering why he just paid an extortionist amount of money to Brandeis! Seems funny now… wasn’t funny then. I had been job searching for 2 months with nothing to shop but a pink slip from the Ground Round of all places!

To the rescue came a phone call from Total Technical saying that they wanted to bring me onboard! To say that I was pleased would be one hell of an understatement. Even the fact that they were offering $9.33/h with a 10k draw didn’t dampen my enthusiasm… I got in the door!!