Do We Really Want to Hire “Rock Stars”??

One of the interesting things I have taken special interest in recently is the usage, or often time’s mis-usage, of words in work place.  Have you ever googled the words talent and acquisition separately and then put the two definitions together?


“The act of acquiring or gaining possession of a persons special natural ability or aptitude.”  Kind of weird, right?  Doesn’t sound like a noble occupation, sounds like slavery.


I have being seeing the term “Rock Star” everywhere.  And I have to admit; I bought into it at first.  Go look at my LinkedIn profile; I think I may still be recruiting for Rock Stars.  But, with my new found obsession for words, their meanings, and the images and emotions they represent, I started to think about what a Rock Star really is.  Here are a couple definitions/images that I found with a quick trip to google:

1.      Someone who is in a popular rock band. Some of these guys live the craziest life that exists.  They tour around the world to play their music while getting worshipped by their fans. After the concert they f#$% a bunch of groupies and leave for the next gig while taking some drugs.

2.     Someone who doesn't follow rules, they make their own. The go out of their way to be extraordinary,  different from everyone else.

3.      Keith Richards. 


No offense to Keith Richards; but this is not a list of characteristics and traits I think I want to be recruiting for.  Can you imagine building a job description with this in mind?  I’ll give it a crack on a few requirements that might need to be included in hiring rock stars, regardless if it a rock star recruiter, developer, or whatever.



  1. 3-5 years living the craziest life that exists, please submit pics, stories, and eye witness accounts to substantiate all claims
  2. Abilty to repeatedly fail a drug test
  3. Specific experience defying authority, refusing to follow the rules, and insubordination.  References required for proof.
  4. Inability to work within the defined cultural norms of the company
  5. Criminal record, nice to have (only misdemeanors’, drug/alcohol related charges, or missed child support payments will earn extra credit)


I get there are two sides to the definition and the image.  Do you want to risk confusing the two?  I think I am going to be editing some job descriptions, and my LinkedIn page ASAP.

Views: 351

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 29, 2012 at 7:25pm

Ninja is another over/mis-used word in recruiting. Definition? Mercenary operative hired to carry out covert missions such as assassinations. Um... perhaps in "talent acquisition" we prefer the internet slang definition -

 No Income, No Job, no Assets.


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