Are you a Farm Animal or are you Wildlife?

Anyone that has worked with me for a period of time knows that the Farm Animal vs Wildlife analogy is one of my favorites. I typically classify Recruiters and Business Development professionals in one of the two categories. My categorization is based upon the simple premise that there are some people that hunt for their food (you can use money if you prefer) and some that wait for the food to be delivered.

Instead of a long diatribe about what constitutes a Farm Animal and/or Wildlife, I will provide a short synopsis of examples on how each category handles particular situations:

Sales Calls

Your typical Farm Animal will call a prospective client or candidate and “wait” for a return call. Now, I understand that you don’t want to make a prospective customer/candidate angry, but a person that fits into the Wildlife category understands that prospective clients and candidates are busy and they do not have the time to call back. “Wildlife Professionals” may leave 1 message but they will call throughout the day in order to reach the prospect and they will be ready with their intro and services. I have been known to call a candidate 10 times in 20 minutes (I would advise a funny quip regarding a restraining order once they answer).

Follow Up

Once again, Wildlife Professionals will make it their duty to follow up with a prospect on a regular basis. For example, you reach a prospect and are told “We aren’t hiring right now, call back next quarter”. Now, your typical Farm Animal will actually wait until next quarter. A Wildlife Professional will call back in a month or less. I know some of you don’t agree with that philosophy and I can only say MOOOOO…MOOOOOO.


This one is tricky. Most managers that I deal with prefer email and I agree that it is one of the best ways to reach a manager (Text being the other) but you have to follow up with all forms of communication. A Farm Animal will send an email and wait for a Manager or Candidate to respond. If you are Wildlife, you don’t have the time or patience to let someone control your destiny and you are continually following up with calls, more emails or text.


Think of meetings like a lioness getting low to the ground and stalking prey. It is a required skill for the hunt. If you have a sales person not meeting with a client or recruiters not scheduling meetings with candidates, you have a Farm Animal eating at the trough. Meetings build relationships and lead to deals.

Bottom line, Wildlife drives the process and Farm Animals wait for things to happen. I don’t know about you but, when I wake up in the morning, I ROAR!!!

Views: 114

Comment by ryan morphett on May 26, 2010 at 9:06pm
This is an interesting post. Whilst I agree with most of it, you have to put common sense in there somewhere. 10 calls in 20 minutes!! the candidates going to be annoyed if the phone is buzzing that many times in his or hers pocket whilst they are driving, having a conversation or in a meeting. So when you finally get through do not expect a polite answer.

But build the relationships with people, prove your capabilities and you will get a call back every time.
I am all about pro-active actions, but just not to your detriment
Comment by Rick on May 27, 2010 at 10:47am
Amen to Ryan’s comments. In my humble opinion you need to be both. To make a stand and say that you are going to be one or the other will hurt you cause in the long run. Some clients prefer the farm animal route and others require the wildlife path and need more follow-up and appreciate it. I have personally picked up clients from competitors by taking a low key approach, they have made the comments that they are sick and tired of recruiters calling them pestering them, not following the agreed upon follow-up date.
The bottom line is just like Ryan wrote build the relationship, work hard and deliver and you will get called back.
Comment by Lesley Hardy on June 3, 2010 at 3:15pm
You know the old saying, you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em? Yes you need to be a hunter, even in an internal role sometimes. But if you cant read the body language and you are not engaging in the spirit of partnership (sometimes requiring farming behavour), then you risk the tag of used car salesman.

Farming is not laziness, its appropriate engagement. It should be done with hunting, not instead in my humble opinion.


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