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: 1694

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 15, 2014 at 7:57pm

@ Derdriver. Thank you very much.                                                                                                                              Hey Matt: See here- we've got another"sucker," I mean "volunteer". Tell our British friend...

@ Mitch- more follow up. ""Munchausen by proxy"- considering the general anatomical area of the pain these folks cause, it might be more accurately described as "Munchausen by prostate".

@ Will: Thanks- you can talk at the con, too. (All kidding aside- I'd really like to hear you speak, if that's ever a possibility.)


Comment by Glenn Gutmacher on May 15, 2014 at 10:37pm

Keith continues to push the envelope in a healthy way with his provocative opinions, which have been most welcome over the years.  While I have long been a sourcer and sourcing trainer (and now lead a corporate team in that arena), I have never claimed to be a thought leader, though I'd like to think of myself as a subject matter expert.  Nor have I ever claimed (or tried) to be a recruiting trainer, as I have not done full cycle recruiting.  I agree in the wisdom of peers, and have learned far more from discussions on portals like this, SourceCon and some other virtual groups on LinkedIn, etc. (as well as physical interactions 1-to-1, at conferences, etc.) than from the thought leader posts.

Comment by Matt Charney on May 15, 2014 at 10:48pm

@Glenn: From one of the actual thought leaders, I think that's some pretty high praise.  I agree, Keith.  Keep writing ;) And also, please get on Twitter. Give me 20 minutes to talk you through it and if you still hate it, then at least I can say I tried to help chip the echo chamber.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 16, 2014 at 12:01pm

LOVE THIS. Real thought leaders don't have to call themselves one.

Comment by Paul DeBettignies on May 16, 2014 at 12:28pm

(standing and applauding)

Comment by Recruiting Animal on May 16, 2014 at 12:30pm

I'm one of the Top 40 Thought Leaders in the United States

Comment by Recruiting Animal on May 16, 2014 at 12:38pm

Amy Ala is the most cocksure recruiter on the internet. Jerry is the greatest social media critic in recruiting.

Comment by Maureen Sharib on May 16, 2014 at 1:13pm

Hey, Did Todd turn this down?

I love this; I know I fall into the category but I'm trying hard to climb out of it and work everyday at penance.

Comment by Will Thomson on May 16, 2014 at 1:34pm

Hey Keith- just a question, why don't you write more?  See what you started?  Also- Doesn't RBC deserve a mug shot of you?

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 16, 2014 at 2:09pm

@ Glenn: Sir, I do protest! My opinions have been called many things, but never before have they been portrayed as "healthy”. BTW- you're a REAL RTL, not a self-proclaimed one.

@ Matt: Thank you for your comments, and for your kind offer- I'll take you up on that. I don't HATE Twiiter- I just don't use it often. (I do have an account, and for some reason a few followers, though I don't tweet.) I'm wordy (hard to get things in 140 characters), don't think I have all that much to say that other people need/want to *hear, and I guess mainly: I DON'T KNOW HOW I CAN GET MONEY/WORK BY GETTING KNOWN THERE. Let's see how we can address those....

@ Amy: Bravo. You said in 9 words what i took several hundred to say. You're a REAL RTL, too.

@ Paul: thank you, too, unless it was for Amy...

@ Recruiting Animal: Thought you were Canadian...

@ Mighty Mo: "Hey, Did Todd turn this down?"  I may be crazy, but I'm not STUPID/SUICIDAL, so I didn't present it. I already have been told to watch my"'Ps and Qs"

The very fact that you think you MIGHT fall into the category shows that you AREN'T IN IT. The true Self- proclaimed RTLs are too arrogant to admit to the possibility of their own personal imperfection or inadequacies,
which like the naked emperor in the story, are plain for all who are willing to see them.


Later, 'Cruitaz!



*I do it here and elsewhere more as a form of self-expression and an emotional release from the frustrations of the job.


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