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).

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I have also noticed that the "ment" creep is beinging to slide over into marketing.  You peeps who are in Recruitment Marketing may have to change your title to Recruitment Marketment or forever be relagated to the ranks of the not so with it.  Too many "ments" , so little time.  How much more important sounding do we have to get to be recruiting and selling candidates.  Or should i say i do salesment?
@ Coyle, it's all about making fun of ourselves and our silly jargon.  Glad you got a kick out of it.  It's been my experience if we get over our cheap selves, get our egos in order, stop with the quest to sound so damned important and just do our jobs we not only get comments we make placements.  Isn't that what recruiting and being a recruiter is all about.  There is never anything wrong with a good laugh that makes us stay real.

@ Luke my major concern is not the IRS albeit we should all watch what we put in those little boxes.


My major concern here is call some attention to some of this silly stuff before we too digress off into the world of the absurd and start referring to the egg plant who ate Chicago as "The vegetable organism who was into urban encroachment".


At the end of the day does it make a difference?  Maybe not unless your clients or your candidates think you are a phony mother like someone must think about your example of "Imigination Officer".  Thanks for sharing that one, maybe we should try "Imagination Recruitment".  Or how about Chief Channeler of Persons Unknown.


Do you think it's ego that causes all these high blown titles or is it lack of same?  Of just a need to sound more important while we do the same thing?

I thought it was pretty clever myself.  :)  Conjurs up some visions of what the take would be on the other end doesn't it.


I struggle with normal myself but then my brain has always been a bit to the right of center.  Maybe since the industry has been in a squeeze for the past few years if we struggle with recruiting the thing to do is change the title and see if that puts more butts in chairs. 

 I toyed with the idea of calling myself a "body snatcher" at one point in time.  I sort of like introducing myself as "your local neighborhood headhunter".

Thanks for the welcome Sandra - I can see that you have a huge amount of knowledge and wisdom within our industry... I'm sure I'll learn a great deal from you.


I'm sort of in the middle when it comes to this technological revolution... I've been around long enough to know what it was like before twitter, facebook, mobile phones, email and the like... but I can also see and appreciate where a lot of the new folks are trying to take the recruitment industry. I'd like to see the best of both worlds, but that may never be possible. Either way - I won't be spouting off about things that I truly don't understand, and I certainly think very carefully before I ever start any discussions. Oh - and I definitely do not want to get on your bad side Sandra... I've seen what you can do! :-)


All the best, look forward to being part of more discussions in future....

Love this!  My title was "Recruiting Consultant" but I just had a title change.  It is now "Talent Acquisition Consultant".  I was just at a board meeting in Omaha and introduced myself with my new title, and then had to explain to the confused in attendance that I'm really just a recruiter.  Most people know what recruiter means and I have no shame in saying it. 


What about these for new titles:

  • Talent Acquirer
  • Talent Acquirement
  • Recruiting Consultment
  • Talentment Consultant


Just had a beer fridge delivered a few minutes ago.  The delivery guy looked around and said "Wow.  Nice place.  What do you do?"  I said as I usually do "As little as possible....."


I am and always have been a proponent of change and i hope that the young lions amongest us bring the industry to new heights that i never envisoned before God invented computers, or was that Al Gore.  Internet, computers, how close you gotta have it.


I just heard that somebody came up with the idea to combine you tube, twitter and face book.  It will be called "You Twitface".  It is being touted as the biggest  evolution in time wasting to land on the planet.


As to my bad side.  Don't worry about it, my great grand sons refer to me as the "dragon Lady", but they think it is really cool when i call some Sumbitch a sumbitch when we are driving then tell them they can't tell their mother that Mims said an ugly word.  Jump on out there, nobody is going to eat you all they can do is nibble around the edges a bit.


@Kerri.  That is fabulous.  What a wonderful example of titles that dont' mean much to the general public.  I love talent Acquirement.

i am proud to be a head hunter.....

Jerry that is hysterical.  Leave it to you to cut through the crap to what really matters.  "Keep your grubby little talent recruiment off my beer, bubba.


@Morgan as a lot of us get older we can't even remember where we put our car keys much less what we call ourselves.  If somebody signs the front of my check so i can sign the back they can call me anything they want to, just call me.

If yer' proud CB, i'm proud fer ya.

I once told a lady that I was a headhunter, when she asked me what I did for a living.


Her response, "ooh, isn't that dangerous???". I said headhunter, not bounty hunter. LOL


Now I just say management recruiter, even though I'm really a headhunter. :)


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