Why Self-Proclaimed "Recruiting Thought Leaders" are Full of ****


There are a number of recruiters and former recruiters out there who can properly be called "Recruiting Subject Matter Experts". However, when someone calls her/himself a "Recruiting Thought Leader" (DEFINITION: “Someone who neither recruits, thinks, nor leads”) and

1) Isn't a recruiter/hasn't been one for a very long time, if ever.

2) Doesn't routinely talk/interact with ordinary, day-to-day recruiters who know far more about how to improve their own jobs than s/he EVER will, and in fact DISCOUNTS and disparages ordinary recruiters, preferring the company and opinions of those high-level staffing heads s/he panders to, creating and overseeing the problems WE have to deal with.

3) Often cites her/his opinions as facts, very rarely cites sources for facts, doesn't respond to questions, and usually has extremely unrealistic and impractical proposals that the vast majority of companies couldn't and shouldn't do.

4) Has been frequently very wrong (praising obviously dysfunctional hiring procedures), and hasn't admitted her/his fallibility, so

ISTM that we should probably discount the great majority of what s/he has to say, and feel very sorry for the pathetic"suckers" who actually pay this person for her/his advice, consultation, etc. and those other misguided folks who cite her/his as a reliable source of valuable recruiting knowledge. (It's good we don't have people remotely like this on RBC or other recruiting forums, just within the foul abysses of the Deep Internet, or so I'm told....)


I think that instead of seeking out and listening to the arrogant and ignorant, WE SHOULD RELY MORE ON EACH OTHER/THE WISDOM OF CROWDS, like you, and you, and well: maybe not YOU. As mentioned: we know a lot more how to solve our own problems than these high-level pontificaters ever will.


Keith "Low-Level Pontificater" Halperin

Views: 1700

Comment by Ryan Leary on May 13, 2014 at 8:36pm

#1 Isn't a recruiter/hasn't been one for a very long time, if ever. <- There are way too many in this stage. Mostly those that have never recruited before providing consulting and training in the industry... 

Comment by Ross Clennett on May 13, 2014 at 10:32pm

Has another one of the famous Dr's articles pushed you over the edge, Keith?

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 14, 2014 at 11:16am

@ Ryan: Thanks.

@ Ross: Which Dr., or should I ask "witch doctor"? Do any of the people in this category have advanced degrees? I knew they had BS to spare. Interesting...I'll have to check that out. I've ALWAYS been over the edge, Ross.



Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on May 14, 2014 at 9:23pm

Right you are, sir! I'm really big on "credibility" being earned.

The world is full of people that are simply full of themselves, full of it AND full of ****

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it gets a bit scary when so many are eager to follow an "unqualified" person's guidance when it is not founded in fact, reality or anything except being an "expert." 

Thanks for keeping it real, Keith! 

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on May 15, 2014 at 12:50am

Well, I have to agree that "Question authority" should be the motto of the recruiter, in general.  I'd like to be considered a 'thought leader', but I mostly keep my thoughts to myself, unless they just leak out...  I once placed a Quantum Physicist who wrote his PhD on the problem of "the particle in the box", which is a classical problem of Quantum Mechanics, and also the title of a very interesting book by Linus Pauling.  My candidate came up with the radical hypothesis, and proved it mathematically, that the particle (for instance an electron) already always was outside the box, anyway... so that's why the particle in the box is outside the box.  Like a thought leader's thoughts should be outside of his/her head, already/always.  lol  

Comment by Derdiver on May 15, 2014 at 9:48am

KEITH!!! Awesome sauce my man!! Loved this!! 

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on May 15, 2014 at 10:26am

I posted on the damage recruitment trainers are doing to the recruitment industry on here a while ago.

I think I described the relationship between the trainer and their audience as "munchausen by proxy".


Comment by Keith Halperin on May 15, 2014 at 3:52pm

@ Kelly: Thank you.  When the head "lemmings" start heading over the cliff of listening/believing the words of articulate and polished shills, sycophants, and suck-ups (instead of their own people or their own eyes), their subordinates tend to do likewise.


@ Nicholas: Thanks, too. Whoa! You deal with a high-class type of candidate. While we're talking quantum physics, I remember there's a concept in physics called "though experiment" like the cat in the box, or the near-light speed-traveling twin. The Germans came up with the concept of "thought experiment” which they call Gedankenexperiment, with Gedanken" meaning "thought". It then occurred me that a "Recruiting Thought Leader' could be called a "Recruiting Gedankenkfuhrer" or "Rekrutierung Gedankfenuhrer" in complete German. Next time you hear someone call themselves a "Thought Leader" think: "Gedankenfuhrer"and smile.


@ Derdriver: Thanks again.


@ Mitch: Thank you, too. "Munchausen by proxy"- we DEFINITELY need more from you, Mitch.


@ Everybody: Laying my cards on the table, I'm clearly an embittered man, jealous of these people's success. I think: "Why do these "intestinal parasites of recruiting” get so much money, while causing so much harm to real recruiters and wasting so much time?” ALMOST EVERY COMMENTER AND AUTHOR HERE has much more of value and worth in their information than the type of people I've mentioned-                                         

“They who sit with gangrene heart and rotting brain: foaming, fuming, sputtering and gibbering, endowed by their Maker with dim wits impermeable to reason with; cold pallid slime in their veins instead of hot red blood! They are more reptile than human, so low and flat that the foot of man is incapable of crushing them!"


@ Matt: why don’t we put on some affordable regional UnConferences around the country where we can hear smart and articulate people like, Ryan, Ross, Kelly, Nicholas, Derek, Mitch and so many others of us share REAL recruiting wisdom and knowledge? I bet there are A LOT of us out here who'd go to something like that, and I'd enjoy working to help set them up.


Comment by Derdiver on May 15, 2014 at 4:20pm
@all on this thread. COUNT ME IN!!!
Comment by Will Thomson on May 15, 2014 at 6:00pm

Keith.. What do I say???..  I just love it.  Keep writing!  


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