Meet Scott Gordon, Vaco's Anti-Pimp, Struggling Vegan with Mantra Power

This profile is one in a series titled Monday Member Showcase. It was originally published on, a recruiting and HR community, where I am a featured contributor. To read the whole series please click here.

Scott Quotables: "Trying to develop my own Mantra which seems to change every hour of every day."

"Working as hard as I can for the shortest amount of time so I can enjoy my life with those I love. I heard a quote that said "Life isn't don't get another do what you want when you want before it's over".

• Scott Gordon, Partner at Vaco
• Location: Nashville, TN
RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Linkedin Profile: linkedin/in/scotthgordon
• Facebook Profile:
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RecruitingBlogs Article Contributions: "How to Tweet Yourself Out of a Job!", "Renegades are the people with their own Philosophies", "How many pound puppies have you hired?"

Q&A with Scott Gordon

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world, Scott.

Scott: I’ve been married to my soul mate for almost 10 years. We have a small family consisting of 2 dogs and 2 cats and probably several other creatures that I’m not aware off but I’m cool with them too.

I played college football for a small school in Arkansas (yes I had to wear shoes) and then played rugby for 7 years afterwards (yes, all of these teeth are my originals). Thanks to self induced brutality I can’t enjoy any sport where there’s not a risk of breaking a bone or getting a few stitches.

I was also a member of an opera for 2 major productions. I did it just to meet the girls, I won’t lie. And no, I won’t reveal the cities. You’ll never find a photo of me in any sort of make-up. I’m die hard metal. My iPod will melt your face.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?

Scott: 10 years or so. I lost count. Sometimes I think 13, other times I think it’s been about 7 weeks.

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Scott: I was hired by one of my clients from a previous job. I sold advertising junk (pens with your company name, etc.) and my last client at that job asked me if I knew of anyone that might be interested in being a recruiter. I said, “me”.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Scott: My first hire and my last hire. They both continue to motivate me to try harder.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Scott: No one in particular. I’ve been molded by each and every person I’ve ever worked with. The team that I’m on today is the best in the country – if not the world. I’m a fortunate mofo to be able to work with partners that are as passionate about this industry.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your role at Vaco

Scott: I’m a Partner in a national firm that started in 2003. We’ve been ranked in the Fortune 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America for 3 years in a row, respectively. Best places to work as well as Future 50 Companies for the last 5 years and recently named to the Hall of Fame (of the Future 50).

Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Scott: I’d of course say those like Google, Twitter, etc. The ones that I think I’d be most impressed with are those that are using the latest and greatest ways to recruit and retain top talent. There are so many new and emerging companies it can be hard to keep up with sometimes.

Six Degrees: (B) In what aspects are they superior?

Scott: It’s not about attracting but retaining that makes a company special. Anyone can bullshit someone into to being hired. The true art is getting them to stay when the “going gets rough”. Look at the companies that have come through the most recent recession and maintained the best employees…those are the ones that people should be asking the questions of. (I know…I ended with a preposition…get over it).

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Scott: Social Media is a driving force today. There are a few shining stars and a lot of big dull stones. Something is about to break to separate the true leaders from those that just regurgitate what everyone else has already said at least 10x.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:

Scott: I attend conferences where I feel there’s actual gain vs. for the sake of attending to just “get out of the office”. There are so many today that one could stay on the road and a professional conference attendee. Re: speaking – I do speak as often as I can. I believe in what I do and it takes a lot of work to fix what several jack asses have messed up by doing it poorly.

Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche?

Scott: The recession affected everyone. Back to what I said about retaining your best players, if everyone shares the same passion and understands that you have to move forward and don’t have any other options, then you’ll come out “ok”. Other firms made cuts and they were warranted. If you are top heavy, middle management do-nothings and have employees that “make you feel good”, they were cut and deservedly so. This is a job and it should be treated as such. Earn your keep or stay at home. Too many people threw their hands in the air and said “oh well…it’s a recession”…they are now at home watching Oprah and Dr. Hypocrisy…uh…I mean Dr. Phil.

Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities.

Scott: The more information I can provide to my colleagues, the better our organization becomes. I have a goal to share one new thing on a daily basis.

Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?

Scott: Don’t get lost in your own network. Just because people know you based on your tweets and blogs, don’t forget that you still have a job to do.

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Scott: I take each day one at a time. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel but I’m not sure what it leads to. That’s too tough for me at answer.

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Scot on The Recruiting Animal Show

I met him at Recruitfest. Typical pleasant giant. Took me on a tour of his iPhone.
Good sales pitch. I wd have bought one if I needed it.

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