The 48 Laws of Power - and how to use them in recruiting...Law 1 - Never Outshine the Master

In addition to the imminent resurrection of Desperate Sourcers, the juicy, smarmy, biting, and brutally dishonest soap blog-pra written by Maureen Sharib and yours truly, I'm starting a new blog series based upon Robert Greene's national bestseller, The 48 Laws of Power. It will delve into ways to use power to become a more effective recruiter.

Naturally, some of this will be serious - but not all of it.

As far as Desperate Sourcers, it will be no-holds-barred, in-the-octagon, put-the-children-to-bed-first. If you'd like to be a character in this soap blog-pra, contact Maureen or me privately. Heh-heh.

Onto power and recruiting...I'll be writing about how to use these laws - one law each day for 48 consecutive business days - to handle your client, your boss, and your candidates.

Law 1 - Never Outshine the Master

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

Recruiting Leaders: Recruiting leadership can be tenuous: You know you have a colorful bullseye on your back and any good relationship with your customers is only as strong as your current success. Any hiring manager worth their DNA will sell your soul in a New York minute if it means saving their neck.

Recruiters: It's a jungle out there and your boss is being bombarded with "Well, it's been 2 hours already; how come Levy hasn't produced any candidates yet???" Lacking inner strength, your boss will throw you to the wolves faster than you can say 'John Sumser'; so will your client.

So how do you use the First Law to your advantage?

Suck up.

You heard me - suck up to your clients; if possible, suck up to people at least one level above your boss. To your clients: "I just can't complete this search without your expertise. Would you mind if we sit down and review a few months of journals for insight into [your function]?" Get them into a mindset where they're the ones doing some of your name gen and you're the one making the sale. In reality, sucking up requires that you also have one toe in the CRM pool - you're tracking all their behaviors, habits, pet sayings and parroting them back when needed.

As a recruiting leader one of the best ways to employ the First Law is to have a meeting with your CFO to talk about metrics - not your metrics but their metrics; ask them what metrics they use to measure and track the health and well-being of the company/business unit. Then - and here's the kicker - ask them to help you recruiterize their pet metrics. Don't snicker - it's a win-win from any angle.

And as a recruiter, don't go and take your Job Machine cheatsheet and wave it in your boss' face. While you may know the specific keywords that will generate the needed links, ask them - as well as your client - to offer keywords that they believe will produce hits. Same thing with telephone sourcing - why not have your boss or client listen in on a call or two and offer suggestions on how to improve the results?

The Master will always be your ally if you make them shine...

Tomorrow: Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies

Views: 121

Comment by Maureen Sharib on September 9, 2008 at 8:29am
This is fabulous Steve! (Am I making you shine enough?)

Your Desperately Enthusiastic Fan Club Leader,
Comment by Steve Levy on September 9, 2008 at 8:43am
Just so the naysayers. thread killers, and those generally viewed as downers don't have seizures upon reading this post, none of what I'll be writing about has anything to do with being dishonest - using power effectively is all about managing relationships. If a client or candidate has a weakness, you have two choices - take advantage of it or help them shore it up. I tend to take the tack of making this person feel powerful with the belief that their intelligence and awareness will eventually supplant this weakness with something more powerful - and then they'll recognize that I was one of the catalysts for their change.

As a side note, this sure does sound a bit like "The Art of War", eh? No wonder Queen Shariba likes this so much - Lao Tzu is her idol...
Comment by Barbara Ling on September 16, 2008 at 10:32am
Love this part:

"Get them into a mindset where they're the ones doing some of your name gen and you're the one making the sale. "

So very very very true (in real life as well as corporate land).

Another fan,

Comment by Steve Levy on September 16, 2008 at 10:39am
There are times that the last thing I want is for managers to think they're superstars at sales! Thanks B-Ling!


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