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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@Rayanne - Marketers are free to put beer in the fridge so something is in there when a recruiter is looking to celebrate his/her success.


Hunting the elusive corporate head is the title of a book i read early in my recruiting career.  Can't tell you how many silly looking plastic heads people have sent me over the years.  My company name is Professional Search, i get calls all the time from folks who want me to find their ex-husband or their missing kid.  When i explain that we don't do that kind of search they ask me what i do.  When i tell them we find people for companies i had one say, "Well i didn't know that companies used private detectives to find people."  I told her we were not private detectives we were recruiters.  She sez, "oh so you work for the military finding people who have gone AWOL.


I looked real quick and gave her the number for a P. I.  it was obvious we were not on the same page and were not going to get there any time soon.


P. S. The site is doing some crazy stuff.  I am getting emails for multiple comments from people that are not showing up on the site then they do but the emails are duplicating.  Jason is aware that something is jumping around so keep the faith.

You made me giggle.  I accepted the role of "Statewide Recruitment Manager" a few years ago and love it.  On FB, I say I am a recruiter.  I don't care what we call it, it's a fun biz to be in and I wouldn't be anywhere else :)


Don't you hate it when they change the title after you leave and guilt by association slimes under the door.  My goal in life may be to rid the world of "talent acquisition".  I have one client who told her boss she was not comfortable with changing the recruiters titles to talent acquisition specialists because A.  They were not specialized in talent and B. She wanted them to do recruiting instead of thinking they were acquiring and or owning people. 

Talent Acquisition Specialists ...rise up , revolt demand to be called something that doesn't make you sound like a flaming phony.


@ Paul got the email of your post but it disappeared. 

Sandra I loved your Blog so much I had to check to see what my title was again .... I checked the my recommendations they still call me a Recruiter ...  I guess there will be a beer in the Jerry's fridge for me too :) 


Titles are a funny thing ....  If you are a great marketer this is what is possible for a Recruiter looking for a Job in Recruitment:


Sr Recruiter $70k

Talent Manager $80k

Talent Acquisition Manager $90

Director of Talent Management $100k 

Vp of People ( Now that's a title) $150k up 




Oh my God Gertrude, Statewide Recruitment Manager.  That made me giggle too.  I had a vision of you getting a resume from someone who was across the state line and having to say.  Opps, sorry i only do statewide recruitment.  You will need to apply with the Nationwide Recruitment Manager.


It is a fun business if we can keep ourselves from getting all bunched up about our titles.  Of course you would use "recruiter" on facebook so people will know what you do.  Isn't that what it's all about.  Thanks for sharing that one.


But just wait until i get to tell somebody that i know THE STATEWIDE RECRUITMENT MANAGER.  :)

George Bernard Shaw (or maybe Oscar Wilde) once said "America and England are two nations divided by a common language"


I'll be prepared to accept your American logic when Americans start to spell correctly  :-)


Oh my god yes, i need to look at my business card to see what it is i think i am.  Isn't if hilarious to see where one can go if only one moves up the food chain.  Ah yes i love that VP of People one.


In the immortal words of the V. P. of People, "Off with their heads".  "Send me more talent you acquirers, the Queen tires of trying to make productive employees out of all these knaves you purport to present as talent.


I know we could change it from Talent Acquisition Specialist to "Talent Monkeys"  Grind my little Monkeys, more talent for the grist mill.

Thanks Sandra...


That's a good stance to take in life. And I certainly agree that Social Media can be VERY dangerous if you use it in the wrong way - with time wasting being a big issue. Trying to keep on top of it all is really draining if you ask me...


Sorry, didn't mean to go off topic there - I'll start a new discussion about an interesting point of view on social media. Not sure if any of you will have covered it already, but I've got to start somewhere! :-)


Are you kidding me, if we could spell we would have been elevated to Recruitment -Talent Acquisition Specialists a long time ago.  :)  Besides, recruiter takes up so much less room in an email.  We don't have all those hyphenated last names either unless we have been divorced three or four times.  Ellen Tellington - Jones -Smythe has a certain ring to it.

But at least we know how to say aluminum without it sounding like a medical condition.  :)

Go for it Sean.  the thing about recruiters and recruiting, we have been talking about the same things since we crawled out of the ooze of employment agencies and nobody seems to mind and there is always somebody new who hasn't heard it yet.


Not sure about dangerous unless you are picking up strange women on twitter that you meet in person but i have sure seen people make some suicidal mistakes with tweets like the guy who tweeted the other night that his interview had been cancelled probably because the guy he was to speak with was probably hung over after too much March Madness.  Death by Tweet is a new form of self destruction.


Right on! As usual you outdid yourself again! It seems like all these title nuances started ten or twelve years ago; and frankly I always thought it was caused by the H/R people looking for a more important definition of who they are and job they held. Unfortunately for them, headhunters and recruiters paid less attention, and kept on plowing ahead! It's really another case of the silliness taking place in this country, right up there with talent branding and political correctness. Probably like many I have no idea where the impotance of this is in relation to bringing a client qualified people, don't care and won't work at it! !

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