A little over a year ago, I received an email from someone named the Recruiting Animal. He had reviewed my profile in RecruitingBlogs.com, as well as, on LinkedIn and was inquiring as to whether I was interested in being a guest on his show. I had listened once before and had thought he was a very witty and an incredibly angry man. He seemed to be the "Howard Stern" of the Recruit-o-sphere and I thought it just might be a little fun (I confess, a lot of fun) to venture onto The Recruiting Animal Show on BlogTalkRadio.
Unfortunately, due to a crazy situation, I failed to show up on the scheduled day that I was to be on the show. I was razzed, jeered at, belittled, and ridiculed. One would think I would have learned a powerful lesson, but I begged to be scheduled once more, in hopes of rectifying my egregious error. The Recruiting Animal let me back in his good graces and I was able to appear at a later time. What was I thinking? He is pompous, interruptive, fails to listen to the answers of the questions he asks, is pig-headed, and an all-around nice guy.
I had the opportunity to return the favor recently when he agreed to a brief interview. I thought his responses might be interesting fodder. Animal has been recruiting, surprisingly, for a very long time. He claims to like the job, with all that pent-up aggression, I find that hard to believe. I had to laugh when he stated, "I want to make money at it. Unfortunately, I am not making any headway." He goes on to, perhaps, cite reasons why, "Everyone who knows me, thinks I'm an idiot. Ask Anthony Meaney. We used to share a desk, and we would pass the phone back and forth between us. That was during another recession. That was a great recruiting experience."
Having a useless degree in English, he just went in and applied for a recruiting job, "What else am I going to do?" I tried to get some answers out of him about his name and profile photo, Paul Winchell's buddy, Knucklehead Smiff. The best I got was, "I read an article about creativity and I was going through some changes at work and thought that I needed a new name, I sat in this chair and just went through the alphabet." As far as the profile pic goes, he had just seen it somehow and thought it was funny. And soon after that The Recruiting Animal Show was born. That was over two years ago, in March of 2007. And an obnoxious radio personality was born.
I think I have an idea where some of his hostility came from. Several years ago, Animal had a potential client, a CEO of a storage company. Animal and his buddy were sent in to talk to a Vice President at the company. Throughout the conversation the VP just sat in his chair with his head down in his hands, rarely looking up. A girl with a coffee cart came by and he jumped up, said to keep talking and then walked out of his office to get a cup of joe. "After that, they went out of business, I eventually helped that CEO find another job." I guess even Animal ends up talking to clients with short attention spans. He shoots back, "Kids, get a practical education; don't get an arts degree."
You want to hear something really interesting? Recruiting Animal actually volunteers a significant amount of time as a doorman for the local geneology society. Back in 1997, he started researching his own family roots and through the years, has met a lot of very nice people. "My best friend there is Henry, he's eighty-five years old." Wait a minute..., Animal has friends? He even hangs out with a group of guys he's known since high school; they play a card game called clubbyish (?) - a sort of poker... I think they keep him around for laughs.
Believe me, I drug my feet the whole time as I considered speaking with the Recruiting Animal. He's a yeller; I am merely a loud talker. I was a little worried he still held a grudge from last year when I missed my appointed time. And he tends to pick on my friends on his show all the time... Yet through my trepidation, I faced my fears and was able to make it through a conversation without getting yelled at. If you are interested in controversy and digging in to a wide range of HR, Recruiting and Social Media topics, check out his show. Yes, he's angry. Yes, he's frustrated. But underneath it all, he is not a Knucklehead and he is no Howard Stern. Thank God for that.
Not so easy to see the "real" animal...