Ever go to a kid's birthday party that had a pinata? You know, you are blind-folded, spun around, handed a broomstick or baseball bat and told to "Swing!" I hated that game. Sure, some may find it fun to blindly swing a hard wooden object into the darkness and hope you hit something (or someone, if one of the kids at the party was one that shared their lunch with that boy you liked, maybe) and a bunch of candy pours out while everyone cheers for you. But, I really hated that game.
First of all, I didn't like being blindfolded and spun around. Not only did I feel like I was going to throw up, or fall down, or both - I don't like the dark. I don't like the feeling of not knowing where I am going or what is going on around me. Secondly, I didn't like having to swing at something that could be 2 inches away or 5 feet away, or behind me all together. How is that fun? Thirdly, I felt like an idiot swinging a bat while 30 other kids laughed and yelled "To the left! No, now to the right! No, now back up - swing higher - too high!" It made me want to rip the blindfold off and beat the living hell out of that poor orange, yellow and blue pony or donkey, or whatever the hell it was.
What does this have to do with recruiting? Well, I'll tell you. Wait for it...wait for it....
Recruiting without a iron clad job description is like being 10 years old again and at one of those damn pinata parties. First, you are going into the search blindly - if you only have a vague idea of what you are looking for, you may as well have a blindfold on. Secondly, you may be close to what you need, you may not be - how are you to know? If you don't know exactly what you are looking for, you can't know exactly where to find it. Thirdly, you feel like an idiot - talking to a candidate on what you "think" it is that you need, but it turns out that you are way off base so you are basically wasting their time and your own.
The best way to get to the candy is to slow down, take off the blindfold, wait for your equilibrium to resume, and then see what you need to do in front of you clearly, then - swing away!