Why did you ask?

My husband has a love / hate relationship with my career choice. Always has. I’ve been a recruiter longer than I’ve been Mrs. Ala, so this is not new to him. In fact, at one point early in our relationship I was THE go to recruiter in his field. People would slip him resumes on job sites and ask for my phone number after meetings. It’s not easy being married to me, and that was before all this social recruiting / LinkedIn / Facebook / blogging stardom. Poor Mr. Ala.

One would think that he would know by now not to ask my advice. So when work came up over dinner recently, I told him what I thought. I gave him some specific points to share with his fellow employees as well as his bosses. Naturally, he didn’t like it. He had an argument for everything I suggested. Reasons why this wouldn’t work, or that would be shot down. I finally just threw my hands up and asked him why he even bothered talking to me about it. See, Mr. Ala is in construction, and when I can get him to do a project at home I’m certainly not in the kitchen telling him what kind of thin set to use to set the tile.

This happens more often than you might expect. I get hit up all the time by friends, family, and acquaintances asking questions about the recruiting process. I’ve reviewed countless resumes, re-written cover letters, advised on a hundred different ways to approach recruiters or hiring managers. I’ve suggested follow up emails, thank you notes, and employing the good old Strike Sheet method of figuring out target companies to go after. If you talk to me about career / recruiting / HR related stuff, I’m going to tell you what I think. You’ll then ignore my advice, still do what you want, and be pissed off when it doesn’t work.

So what’s a recruiter to do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do – not get emotionally invested. That’s it. I know, easier said than done. We are, after all, in a people business. And people make logical (or illogical, I suppose) decisions based on emotions. All. The. Time. How do I feel about this? And… GO! How many of us have had our recruiting hearts broken by a candidate gone wild or a client gone silent? It stings. That feeling is only amplified when people you’re close to disregard your professional opinions.

I’m not talking about strangers and professional acquaintances. I’m used to those guys ignoring my advice. But my friends? My FAMILY? The very ones who have had a front row seat to my recruiting success? Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about as far as they’re concerned. So from now on, I’m going to have a little fun with my responses:

Q: I don’t like my boss. What should I do?

A: QUIT. But don’t just resign, quit in spectacular Jerry Maguire fashion. Steal something on your way out. Doesn't have to be a goldfish either.

Q: I’ve applied to 150 jobs this week but no one is calling me! What should I do?

A: Troll them on Twitter. See how many corporate handles you can get to block you.

Q: I’m hiring, and have interviewed a bunch of people. I don’t know who to hire. What should I do?

A: Cage fight – Mad Max style. Two candidates enter, one candidate leaves. There’s your new employee.


What epic advice do you have I can share?

Views: 1110

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 11, 2013 at 1:57pm


How about a little barter system? "You want some job search advice? Great... why don't you go change the oil in my car while I think on your issue...?"

Comment by Bill Schultz on November 11, 2013 at 4:51pm

Great blog, Amy and interesting topic.  I, too have been frustrated by people asking for advice and not really  heeding it or wanting it.  

Recently though, I had a nice experience.  One of my neighbors was a chef at a prestigious winery here in California.  He got laid off 6-12 months ago and has been having a tough time.  A month  or so ago he told me he was being considered  for a position at a high end independent living facility.  He said "I guess I juat wait till they make a choice"  I said "you need to do something to make yourself stand out.  Why don't you deliver lunch, made by you, to the office- along with recipes and a note to say thanks for considering me?"  His eyes lit up and he said he was going to do it.   

About 2 weeks later he knocked on my door with a nice bottle of wine and a card with a copy of the recipes.   He got the job.  

So keep at it, Amy.  For incidents like these.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 11, 2013 at 4:52pm

BRILLIANT! that is a great idea Bill and happy that it worked out. :) I've had some successes, just not with anyone related to me LOL

Comment by Amber on November 11, 2013 at 5:14pm

I have come to dread when any of my friends or family say: "Well, you're a recruiter...". Nothing good ever comes after that. They either want me to get them or someone else a job (regardless of their qualifications,etc.), have their resume written or rewritten, or complain about how horrible "we" all are. 

But, I still get pulled in...

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 11, 2013 at 5:16pm

Amber it's so true. We're right up there with lawyers. Nobody likes them until you REALLY need one :)

Comment by Bill Schultz on November 11, 2013 at 5:25pm

Yea but a lawyer would put his mother on the clock from word one.  

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 11, 2013 at 6:02pm

@ Bill. That was a good story.

Did you check how much the wine cost?

"...mother on the clock from word one." Really good!


Keith "Knows the Cost of Everything But the Value of Nothing" Halperin

Comment by Bill Schultz on November 11, 2013 at 6:49pm

Thanks, Keith.  I haven't yet but I know it's good wine (bc it tasted good)  

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 11, 2013 at 7:43pm

That's all that counts, Bill.



Keith "In VIno Veritas" Halperin

Comment by Rchilli Parser on November 12, 2013 at 12:29am

Pretty interesting post Amy! That's the misery of giving advice's to people who are likely not to follow but still we gave it because of the strong pull or urge we get on giving advice's.


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