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.

by rayannethorn

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I'm going to dig up some of my favorite Recruiting Animal moments and put the links here. Rayanne, it's amazing that you did not miss one day in 100. It's really hard to do and most people don't ever even come close. It's really something amazing.
Great interview Rayanne! Thanks for "taking one for the team" and putting yourself out there to get it. It's always good to know a little bit more about Recruiting Animal - Man of Mystery. Makes for good ammunition in the future if ever under attack... :)
This is one of my favorites. He goes a little crazy

This one is good - It's about seeing dead people

This one is about hairy candidates

The puppet who can never win

I'll find some more. There are so many
This is called the contract

I remember making this phone call to the Animal and then he wrote about it.
Rayanne's Revenge

Let me say right off the bat that there is a conspiracy in the recruitosphere. In fact, there's not just one conspiracy, there's a ton of them. Certain individuals have networks of people gathered around them and they act in concert to promote their own agenda, sometimes against innocent others.

Now, I won't say that Recruitingblogs is the Jonestown of the recruiting world but I will say that Rayanne Thorn is part of its inner circle.

And I won't say that Rayanne did a hatchet job on me but this interview did make me think of the Documentary Hypothesis. Are you familiar with that? Most scholars believe that the bible was written by cutting up a bunch of books and sticking them together in a way that doesn't always make sense but stimulates the imagination.

Perhaps, then, if Rayanne thought that I was worthy of the biblical treatment I should be flattered.

But I don't know if this was so much the biblical version of the Recruiting Animal as the psychedelic version. We did talk but somehow everything is different. I kind of feel like I've been to the fun house and stared too long at the hall of mirrors.

"Everyone who knows me, thinks I'm an idiot. Ask Anthony Meaney." Did I say that?

And yes I cut people off when they're trying to answer a question - but, isn't it obvious that I'm doing to save these guys from themselves. And what about my audience? What about my audience! Doesn't that mean anything?

Here's what I think happened. I called Rayanne a hillbilly and the Hatfields couldn't resist socking it to the McCoys. That's it. I invited Rayanne to be a guest on my show. She stood me up, I called her a name and now she's had her shot. Fine. Great. Enjoy it, dear - until the next tit for tat.
Rayanne, congratulations on your centennial! I can barely keep up with one post a week, and here you've made it to 100 consecutive days of posting...makes me tired just thinking about it! Seriously, I learn so much from the transparency of your writing, and I look forward to reading (and re-reading) your brilliance for a long time to come.

Big hugs, girlfriend!
I believe he is oft' misunderstood just as you hear TMZ report so many entertainers are. I think he just has a vocal cord condition and needs to drink tea with honey and lemon 1/2 hour before he gets on the air.
I loved your article, Rayanne! I am fairly new to the "@Animal" kingdom. However brusque Animal comes across, I believe that, underneath all of the sarcasm, negativity, and the uncontrollable urge he has to interrupt his guests, lies a man who has a kind heart and sincerely cares about people. I believe @Animal would detest one thinking that he is a nice guy, who happens to sweat too much while sitting in his chair, but I have found him to be just that - a nice man who loves to challenge others and make one think. I, personally, admire this radio personality character. He has a lot to offer to the world of recruiting - however brash his style may be. His BTR show is my favorite and I try not to miss any of them. Good job, Rayanne - I think you captured what everyone was wondering about - who is @Animal?
No, but who knew he could smile?

Rayanne said:

Not so easy to see the "real" animal...

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