Here I am in sweltering Phoenix, AZ, waiting impatiently for a certain new arrival to make an entrance. I am the designated Birth Coach for my sister who is having her second child, and this little boy (Joel) is taking his sweet time in exiting the womb! My view of this process from the Birth Coach side has really changed the way I have traditionally understood this role.

When you have your own kids, and you're the female, you just expect the father to Man Up - be there for you, protect you when you are vulnerable, and defend your desires and wishes when you may not be able to articulate these for yourself. Very little attention is paid to the Birth Coach, and yet this person's role is VITAL to a confident delivery. Things may go askew during the delivery - but if you have confidence in your partner, you can rest assured that you and your baby will be well taken care of.

Since arriving here two days ago, it's dawned on me that this role is really very similar to our role as recruiters. There are obvious differences, but our main job is to identify strengths and weaknesses, align candidates and clients with people who have similar outlooks, safeguard everyone's information and privacy, champion their desires and value, and usher the process along until there is a successful delivery of a job offer and an excellent addition to our client company.

Unexpected bumps in the road? Uh yes, these things happen. But a recruiter's value is in their ability to work with/through these bumps in the road, keep the process going and ultimately have a successful ending.

Another role of a recruiter? To be flexible, have patience, comfort, explain, and occasionally give a gentle shove in the right direction.

And based on my experience here, another role is to entertain. For candidates, it is to continually review their information, check in with them every few days to assure them that the process is moving along albeit slowly, the same way that my role as a Birth Coach is also to take my antsy and slightly jealous 5 year old nephew for a swim in the pool, switching up roles so that I am the crocodile and he is the hungry hippopotamus who traps me and eats off my arms and legs.

Come on Baby! This waiting is killing me!

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