Andreas Vetr

Dare to be Different: Your Path as a Successful Recruiter

How to Become a Recruiter: Embracing the Unconventional Path

People of all professions and levels are often approached by recruiters and executive search consultants throughout their business lives, whether they apply for a job or are approached by a consultant themselves. That’s mostly the way how we come first time in touch with them.

They seem very professional, and their Job seems appealing to many HR professionals and high-ranking managers or leaders in their later career. So, every now and then, I have an interview with an executive from a specific sector talking about how one becomes an executive search consultant or recruiter in their field of work.

My own journey into the world of executive search is a testament to the atypical ways people find themselves in this business.

A Natural Talent for Building Teams:

From a young age, I discovered my interest in assembling, nurturing and growing teams.

Starting at 18, I focused on growing initial teams and then cultivating managers to manage teams to leading leaders to grow large teams of multiple levels and generations. This constant search for talented individuals, managers and leaders led me to realize that many supervisors, business owners, and managers faced the same challenge:

        “finding, attracting, onboarding and attaining                                                                                                      the right people at the right time”.

Timing, after all, is crucial, as the right person at the wrong time can lead to disaster. The closest around a leader may be the dividing difference between success or failure and the closest to a leader may make them or break them.

Transitioning into Executive Search:

In 2010, as I neared the end of a consultancy project where I once again dealt with people and performance, I asked myself a question:

           “If everyone occasionally struggles with finding the right people,                                                                    why not turn this into a business venture itself?”

I have dealt with many different teams of different cultures and levels. So why not directly focusing and helping other leaders to find their right team. That’s when I decided to start on my journey as an executive search consultant. As I am a man of action, I partnered with a professional company and started my journey.

Soon, I realized that the key to success in executive search was not only having specific sector knowledge and understanding sector trends, also knowing the right people and understanding the positions that were being sought after, but I discovered that I was mostly in the business of sales and business development.

It was not just about selling the executive search services, but also showcasing and proving the expertise of either myself or our executive search process and consultants.
I needed to

  • sell the service to the company,
  • the company to the candidates,
  • then the candidates back to the company.

It became apparent to me that sales played a significant role in this highly professional service industry of executive search and recruitment services. After conducting a thorough evaluation of people, culture, and job requirements it is actually a sales and networking business.

Diverse Backgrounds in the Field:

Many individuals enter the executive search arena after gaining experience in their respective sectors and establishing extensive networks. They leverage their knowledge of the industry, its trends and their contacts to become executive search consultants or recruiters within their areas of expertise. In some cases, even in-house HR professionals venture into the field to test their skills as recruiters and executive search consultants.

However, it’s important to note that this line of work isn’t suitable for everyone.

The Challenges and Keys to Success:

Why does not everyone prosper in this profession?

Former managers often struggle to sell services, and the same goes for HR professionals. While many express interest and attempt to transition into the role, only a few succeed.

So, who are the ones that make it?

Those who excel in networking and selling services.

While most HR professionals and former managers are exceptional when it comes to the executive search process itself, I recommend that they consider partnering with a salesperson who can effectively promote their sector knowledge and expertise.

For natural networkers, teaming up with researchers, recruiters, and executive search consultants who possess a passion for the process but lack networking and sales skills can be a winning formula.

And being open to change in this fast-changing recruitment business is crucial. Linkedin and other modern applications changed the whole game 14 years ago, and now it is AI which gives the whole business the need to be tech savvy and open to continues learning and adopting to keep the finger on the pulse of time.

Embracing Your Strengths and Partnering for Success:

The key to success, as I’ve discovered over the past 15 years, lies in recognizing your strengths and finding others to complement your weaknesses. It’s hard to try to excel at everything or force yourself to learn skills that don’t come naturally to you.

This phenomenon is not unique to the Turkish or Austrian market; I’ve built teams in Austria, Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, and other continents, and the pattern remains the same.


Becoming a recruiter or executive search consultant may not follow a traditional path, but that’s precisely what makes it intriguing.

Companies like to deal with executive search consultants who come from their industry and know people and their problems and opportunities.

By embracing your unique strengths and finding the right partnerships to supplement your weaknesses, you can thrive in this ever-evolving field.

Whether you’re drawn to the financial prospects, the opportunity to work with leaders, or the thrill of finding the perfect match between a candidate and a company, the world of recruiting is waiting to be explored by the right people again and again, with new AI supported tools in an ever-changing environment.

written by Andreas Vetr 


For more information about Andreas or ISG, visit our websites:,, and

ISG Personalmanagement GmbH, Universitätsring 14, 1010 Wien.

ISG IK Dan. Ltd. Maslak, Beybigiz Plaza, Floor 15 Address: Beybi Giz Plaza Kat 15 Maslak/Istanbul Email: Phone: +90 212 970 20 66