And now for something completely different...

Sometimes the best move is the move where you don't know the rules, the processes, and the potential obstacles. In these situations, I've found that your physical energy, creativity, and excitement actually is higher than normal because you don't know how high you can really jump. Or better yet, soar...

What we have now is a global economy where Adam Smith has taken a royal beating, where Obama Hussein Obama is now our 44th President just short of 25 years from the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (imagine recruiting had it not been for Dr. King), and real global unemployment is at levels not seen in decades (I hope you’re reading the Financial Times every morning). Yet for me, this move makes sense.

It was time to upset my own Big Apple cart and do something completely different - I've joined a contingency search firm (first day was yesterday) to not only run my own desk but also to theoretically impart some of my recruiting knowledge, guile, and technical tricks to the team. This wasn't a willy-nilly decision on my part; they've been a client of mine for the past few months during which I've had the privilege of working with many of the recruiters on the strategy and tactics of their searches.

Even more, this move wasn’t planned – it really presented itself like an unexpected sunrise when the weather experts had predicted rain (which I still refer to as liquid sunshine but this is for another day). I came to The Tuttle Agency through a friend I had met on ERE some eight years ago (he and his wife are having their first child today so a big out to her). During this time we’ve been discussing the art and science of recruiting for seven or so years when he unexpectedly decided to tell the President of The Tuttle Agency about me and my philosophy of recruiting. Two meetings later I was visiting the firm, speaking with recruiters, and offering my assistance on everything from sourcing to business strategy.

Much in the way two people become one, it had become clear that the Ted Angelus, his recruiters and I could actually work together (there was one unfortunate hiccup for which I will always be dutifully embarrassed by; it proved a valuable lesson: No matter how comfortable you are in a room of your peers, there are always people who aren’t and it is your job to help them experience the same level of comfort).

Having been on many sides of this business for two decades and an online/offline participant in many recruiting communities, it is no stretch to say I've spoken with thousands of recruiters over the years. The recruiters at The Tuttle Agency have demonstrated that they are retained search consultants inside of contingency recruiters' clothes. The beauty of this approach is that the relationship takes precedence over the filling of the job order - certainly a concept that is anathema to many TPRs. Another reason why the personal nature of The Tuttle Agency resonates with me is that it is the kind of firm that companies would want to do business with during all business cycles: Ones who effectively and creatively balance the strategic and tactical elements of the recruiting services offered.

Consider any company who is hiring people and uses search firms to augment their staff's efforts: These companies are also posting their jobs everywhere and are receiving an avalanche of responses. On top of this, a tsunami of agencies are also responding - many with the perfect candidate. Ah, the Perfect Storm that causes corporate recruiters to scream at the huge wave that threatens to wipe them out. Who really wants this scenario?

Work the relationship, the positions will come. Field of Dreams...

With very few limitations, I’ve been given the freedom to offer all my expertise to the firm. I'm particularly excited about helping The Tuttle Agency better define its brand and create a unique synergy among all social media and brick and mortar outlets. This means more Twittering, blogging, videos, SMS, association meetings, sponsored events, ad infinitum. The beauty of this initiative is that folks here already know how important this is to The Tuttle Agency's long term growth strategy. My goal is for this brand initiative to be one that is unique in recruiting and one that others model their efforts after.

Even more, I hope to be involved more regularly in sectors that are outside my power alley as well as develop new sectors of expertise that are as fluid as the economy. I even hope to sleep a few hours at night...

If you've read this far, please comment below. Even better, call me at 212-497-9576 to talk recruiting. From now on, I will no longer be saying, "I can help you" but We can help you.

Views: 70

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 21, 2009 at 5:11pm
Congratulations Steve!
Comment by Dan Nuroo on January 21, 2009 at 5:45pm
That's great Steve. Well played, I hope it rocks for you.
Comment by Becky Metcalf on January 21, 2009 at 8:49pm
"We can help you", it has a nice ring doesn't it? Congrats and best of luck!
Comment by Rob Dromgoole on January 26, 2009 at 3:26pm
Best of luck, and I hope that lead I provided works out.

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