Here we go again. Personnel consultant just died of old age. Headhunter sounded a bit too nasty and clandestine. After all how can you introduce someone as “This is our corporate headhunter”. Real headhunters kind of liked it but it didn’t play well in the board room. Recruiter wasn’t really classy enough for those who wanted to “differentiate” themselves so we moved up a notch to “Executive Recruiter”. (maybe that happened as we got older and started recruiting people who make over minimum wage.)

“Executive Search” has a snob appeal all it’s own but their folks had a problem calling themselves “Executive Searchers” ( how dumb does that sound?)
“ Talent Acquisition Specialist” was and is just goofy enough for everybody under 30.. Human Capital Manager was so damn pompous that most folks objected to being designated as human capital so that one evolved to VP of People, ain’t that earthy. (your loyal subjects salute you , you royal horses rear).

Manager of Talent Branding (oh just puke, that doesn’t even make any sense to anyone). Maybe those are all those kids in the HR department who tell us it’s not our candidate because they touched them first. In line with that maybe we should all “Brand” our candidates. Then I could ask the internal recruiter if the candidate had an M7 on their left hip. If they do then there is no question as to it being my referral. It’s wearin my brand ain’t it ?

In the past few months I have noticed that those who are always looking for some new word or phrase to describe what we do or have some sort of damage to the ego (if not the Id ) have started to say, are you ready for it,

“I am a recruitment specialist.” “I do recruitment” I am in the Recruitment Business”. “We are a recruitment firm”.

Here’s some little know facts about the word recruitment.

Recruitment in the scientific community means the development of a new generation of organisms. So watch your silly butt if you are recruiting in the scientific community and you are dense enough to tell some scientist that you are a recruitment specialist. They may just say, “oh sorry we don’t do that kind of research.”

Recruitment in the healthcare community refers to a hearing loss resulting in certain sound pitches being painful to a person. So if you are recruiting in the healthcare industry and tell someone that you are in the Recruitment Business or you do Recruitment. They might just tell you that they don’t need any hearing aid salesmen or ask you if there has been any new research to correct the problem of recruitment..

“Recruitment” may be an acceptable term for the Brits and the Aussies but folks, in the good ole US and of A. We are recruiters and we do recruiting. If you want to really think about how preposterous it sounds to say you do recruitment try this.

Suppose that Engineers didn’t do engineering, they did engineerment.

Suppose that Accountants didn’t do accounting, they did accountment.

Suppose that doctors weren’t involved with healing, they did healment.

Suppose that scientists didn’t do research they did researchment.


Suppose that consultants didn't do consulting they did consultment.

One could go on forever until it got to the point that kids didn’t get involved in Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts. They would get involved in scoutment.

The conversation might go something like this: “Hey this is John in Recruitment, I would like to speak with Larry in engineerment or Judy in accountment if neither of them are available please buzz Phil in researchment.” Oh and is Dr. Dooby doing healment today or is this the day he goes on the scoutment trip with his kids?" "If Dr. D is out i need to speak with that guy who is here doing consulment on the new building plans."  "Say .how do you like being in receptionment?"

All I can tell you for sure is that the next time somebody tells me that they work for a recruitment firm doing recruitment, I am going to start laughing and tell them they have the wrong number. I am a recruiter. I do recruiting. I do not sell hearing aids and I am not developing the next generation of any organism, albeit sometimes I think that might be the case.


What say you, are you a recruiter who does recruiting or are you into hard of hearing , next gen organisms?

 (thank god my spell check caught the misspell of that last word).

Views: 1189

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Twitter came along. 


Suddenly we had friends all over the world. 


Their buzzwords were readily adopted by those in the US who wanted (needed?) to sound a bit more global....a bit more cultural.......


Those people went on to stellar careers in Social (fill in the blank): Talent, Recruitment, Strategy, Coaching, Employment Brand Management, et al)


I'm still here.  Recruiting.


My title is Executive Talent Branding Recruitment Specialist (not really)  :)


I'm old school . . . Recruiter.

I am what I am

I call myself Recruiting Goddess, Staffing Empress, HR Babe  ;)


A rose by any other name...

*standing up in a roomful of strangers, holding a cup of coffee in my shaking hands*


Hi, my name is Tami, and I'm a Recruiter...


Great posting, Sandra. Love it!

What the hell is this article all about?  Is there any point to it?  It doesn't make any sense at all.
I am an Engineering Recruiter and proud of it!

Nice and entertaining piece, Sandra.

Recruiting is what I call engaging in hand to hand combat with passive/invisible prospects literally surprising them at their desks with a phone call persuading them to compare another opportunity to their present job.


Having no more than 10-15 seconds to spark interest with no time to pussy foot I figure I lose up to half of those seconds if I try explaining and have them acknowledge I'm in recruitment doing some form of recruiting.

I am a Technical Recruiter & Training Manager and proud of it!

Sounds like a lot of fun but seriously..How do I tell if you work for the HR dept or an Agency? "I'm a Recruiter and I do Recruiting" doesn't tell me. I thought the american term was Staffing Agent? In the UK It's Internal Recruiter (HR) or Recruitment Consultant (Agency).

BTW Dictionary definition: Recruitment is the act of Recruiting.

"Recruiting is what I call engaging in hand to hand combat with passive/invisible prospects..." WTF?  You lost me after this sentence, never mind 15 seconds.



You know what, I never thought about it that way. I'm a Brit (well, Anglo Irish, but we won't get into that!)... and have always said I'm in Recruitment, just because that's what we've always said over here. Looking at what you've just explained Sandra, I'm now going to state that I'm a Recruiter, we Recruit, and we're in the business of Recruiting!!!!


Great stuff!


PS. I'm new on here - well, I've been following you all for ages, but only recently created a profile for myself after finding a bit of extra time to do so. I'll update it all in more detail very soon - it's great to be part of this - love the site!

Reply to Discussion



All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2023   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service