I pushed through the swinging saloon doors and was encompassed by the raucous sounds of laughter and a honky-tonk piano, but my attention never swayed. I knew he was here and I wouldn't alter my course until I met him face-to-face, eye-to-eye. I drummed my fingers over my revolver as I surveyed the dark and smoky room. Then I saw him. He was hunched over the playing table, clutching cards and staring down the other players. Smoke slowly curled from his lips, as he exhaled dispassionately. He glanced my way, noticed where my fingers rested and ever-so slightly shifted his weight. Tipping his chin down, he pushed his hat back with one finger and signaled the dealer for one card. A wicked grin twisted up the corners of his mouth as he laid down the winning hand. Taking his winnings, he left the table with confidence and strolled right past me, pausing only a second to say, "There is no way I can know my client's culture." I let him pass because for some odd reason I believe him.
This is what it is like to meet and/or speak with Jerry Albright. His down-to-earth, Old West way of cutting straight to the heart of any conversation is not only endearing but also very refreshing. His seat on the couch next to Recruiting Animal
is rarely cold and he is an innovator extraordinaire. Jerry founded Verbal Summary
as a result of several conversations, with himself, that centered around thoughts like, "Why should they hire me? I don't do anything new. Why should they give me a shot? You know, I don't
really offer anything different. I am an excellent recruiter but a company I have never worked with doesn't know that." Jerry knew he had to think of something different..., and Voilá, a new idea was born.
In Jerry's Wild West days of recruiting, there was not a résumé in front of him, only a "data sheet" - a full candidate profile
that was filled in during the course of an in-depth conversation. And interviews were usually conducted at night. "We would never dream of interviewing someone during the day, during business hours." Pitting what the customer needs against what the candidate had done or Building the Match
, findings were shared with the client, helping the client to form an opinion of the candidate. Jerry knew he possessed a special gift: his uncanny ability to really understand each candidate. But with the onslaught of the internet and email, a considerable amount of that talent was shoved under the mouse pad. "I was left hitting the send button; just vanilla words on a computer screen
. And that's the last progression our profession has seen."
Jerry wanted to do business but what could he do that was different than email? After countless phone interviews and the resultant game of interview scheduling, he brewed on the idea of eliminating a step in the process. If he recorded his phone interview, tailoring questions that the client would specifically ask, perhaps the Hiring Manager would go straight to a face-to-face interview... Ta-Dah! A new recruiting tool was born to a very proud parent. "This isn't a tool I have developed to trick my clients into hiring the wrong people. It simply gives me the opportunity to make more plays."
If you know Jerry at all, you immediately recognize the Old West attitude and deep and gravel-y vocal stylings. They are hard to miss but underneath it all, his wisdom comes shining through. While he readily admits, and with all sincerity, that his favorite part about recruiting is sending an invoice
, he also confesses that "fall offs" are his least favorite aspect of the job. Most social media is using the very latest technologies. These are all well and good. But are all those you seek using those latest technologies? Here, this is Jerry's way of explaining: "Hey! I'm the first recruiter on the moon! Oh, but my clients aren't on the moon and well, neither are candidates." Focus and relevance. It's all part of being the best shot in the west.