There's a saying in PR that the choices of thousands will determine the decisions of millions. I am keeping that in mind as I look at the future of recruiting and my place in it in particular.

My introduction to recruiting came in 1992, during Desert Storm, when I was told I scored a 95 on my Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Countless calls poured in and being young and having the most romantic ideas of "espirit de corps" from the military movies I'd seen, I chose to listen. Each branch had their unique value propositions, but the Air Force recruiter exuded a calmer confidence. He transferred to me an idea of excitement, travel, and education. But more than that, the way he carried himself led me to believe that I would be better off from the experience he was offering. He did his job. Nevertheless, I was only 17 at the time and couldn't sign without parental consent.

Fast forward 3 years. I'm twenty, working 3 jobs and ready for a change. ASVAB take 2. This time the score is a 98. Calls from Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines ensue and a decision is made. Air Force wins again. Why? The recruiter. The reason was because I told him what I was looking for and he worked with me to create a solution. The other recruiters just worked to get me to sign. They were not listening.

Eight years later when I was getting out of the Air Force I encountered recruiters again. This time they were trying to recruit me to stay in Intelligence as a civilian. That wasn't really what I wanted to do. Yet, they persisted. They were not listening. I was looking for someone like my Air Force recruiter, but had no luck. It was then that I decided that I wanted to be that recruiter for someone else.

From what I've noticed about this community of 20,000, there are many others who have made a similar choice. They see being a recruiter as more than just a job. They see that they have an opportunity to be instrumental in the lives of others. They understand the nature of relationships. They know that being a recruiter is about seeing their customer's desired future and helping to facilitate its creation through nurturing mutually beneficial relationships between candidates and companies.

In my future in recruiting, I intend to continue to contribute to the community of service oriented recruiters who are listening to their clients and working with them to create solutions. Every decision I make and everything I give will go through the test of whether or not it is adding value to those who will be influenced by my presence. I will continue to listen to these people and push myself to see beyond the boundaries of "what has been" and look to what can be. I will see that all the emerging tools as relationship enhancers as opposed to relationship replacements.

As Recruiting Blogs celebrates hitting 20,000 members, I hope that we remain mindful of the PR saying I opened with--the choices of thousands will determine the decisions of millions. That is the power of influence. How many millions do you think will be influenced directly and indirectly by this community. Only the future can tell us. I look forward to seeing you there.

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