A good recruiter must excel at one thing in order to be considered successful: SELECTION. I have fond memories of going out from the small port of Buras, Louisiana on a friend’s shrimp boat. It had large nets suspended by long poles on each side of the boat and when we entered good shrimping waters, he would lower the poles and troll the boat through the water. From time to time, we’d pull the net aboard and dump the contents on the deck. There were all kinds of small fish in all colors and varieties, lots and lots of crabs, and if we were in the right location, lots of shrimp. Then the sorting began. Everything that wasn’t a shrimp went back overboard. Why? Because we were concentrated on a specific target: shrimp. Shrimp were the only creatures we selected.
SELECTION will always be the future of recruiting. Dr. John Sullivan of The Recruiting Roundtable says, "Selection decisions are often about as accurate as a coin flip." eBullpen, LLC reports that 46% of new hires leave their jobs within the first year. And the question is, Who's responsible for the quality of hire? Lou Adler: "Maximizing quality of hire is the most important strategic role HR/recruiting can play."
My future in recruiting demands that I use the best sourcing available and sourcing is changing rapidly. Job boards, Twitter, LinkedIn, Referrals, Talent Hubs...candidates come from lots of places. But it still comes down to SELECTION.
I'll continue to be successful for many years to come if I personally take responsibility for my selection decisions. And I will continue to emphasize character in the process.
Will I select top performers? Yes. Will I look at experience and background and references? Yes. Will I seek those with certain skills? Of course. But as a hiring manager, I will ultimately base my decisions on character traits:
personal discipline, gratitude, commitment, responsiblity, coachability, perseverance, trustworthiness, integrity, independence.
Our future in recruiting is bright. Good people will always need good jobs and it's my job to match them. My philosophy, borrowed from author Michael Josephson, will be "since it’s easier to train a person of good character to do a job well than to develop character in a skilled but unprincipled employee...if you have to choose, hire for character and train for skills."
--Mark McDowell, National Recruiting Manager, National Write Your Congressman, Inc.