Tonight it the all-star break in baseball here in the US.  There is a baseball statistic; batting a thousand means perfection.  No one has ever in the history of the game gone a season batting a thousand, at not least one that did not go up to the plate more than once.  .300 is actually the real number a hitter wants to stay above for the season.  Not many do.  That is why the get to play in the all-star game.  I never did think that batting .300 that magic number in baseball for a player to stay above is actually losing seven out of ten times?  That is seven strikes outs for every 3 hits.  That’s amazing to me.  The consistent hitters may fail but they are always at or around .300 every year.  This makes them an all-star.

You see it is the same thing in recruiting.  You can bat over .500 in one month and then only bat less than .150 the next.  Why?  They figure you out; the pitcher that is.  That candidate you are trying to get to talk to you.  You only have one swing.  Then pitcher has lots of different pitches.  There is a curve, a fast ball, a slider, heck maybe even an off pitch.  Eventually the pitchers, and other pitchers, are going to figure you out.  That’s what you are doing wrong, swinging the same way at every pitch. The mass spamming emails.  The scripted phone calls.  No knowledge of what you are selling. Building that database you won’t go back to and look at in six months.  Thinking that the next web tools like twitter, LI, FB is going to give you the home run every time.  Maybe so, however, I could give you a thousand leads and I wonder if you could come close to .300.  I would say for most of the newer recruiters probably not. You have a hole in your swing and it is called knowledge.

So here is a batting lesson for you.  Do your homework on what you recruit for. YOUR niche and be good at it.  Learn what it takes to be the best in that industry.  Read online articles, whitepapers, and blogs.  Talk to the folks already doing the work in your office or on your contracts.   Don’t just ask them for referrals.  Find out why they are referring them.  When you talk to candidates listen to what they have to say.  LISTEN to what they do and the skills they possess and where they are headed in their career.  What they do may not fit what you need that time but now you know the pitch and can hit it out the next time.  Pretty soon you will be hitting consistently!

Some will say to me how can you promote failure as a success?  You have to step up to the plate and swing.  You have to get a hit in order to get a run.  And you have to score runs to win the game.  This comes with practice and learning the right swing for the right pitch on a consistent basis. This is how you become an all-star.

So for some of the junior recruiters or some of us stuck in a rut maybe it is time to work on your swing just a little, what do you think? 

Views: 714

Comment by Will Thomson on July 16, 2013 at 2:06pm

Derek, I love this post.  Especially being a baseball fan!

Comment by Derdiver on July 16, 2013 at 2:08pm

I know I sent a version of this to you and Amy but I did not like it. So I worked on this watching the #HRDerby last night. Thank you for the thoughts!

Comment by Chadd Balbi on July 16, 2013 at 2:16pm

Great article! I have this exact conversation all the time with my fellow recruiting partners. In recruiting we "strike out"  more than we succeed. But the success is worth so much more than the failing.

Comment by Derdiver on July 16, 2013 at 2:18pm

That's just it Chadd, you are not going to hit the ball every time but when you do it makes it that much more sweet!!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on July 16, 2013 at 2:18pm

I think this is why so many recruiters (at least our little group) love baseball so much. :) I what other sport can you fail so much and still be successful? LOL like recruiting....

Great post D! I missed the derby last night but sounds like Will won anyway. Definitely trying to catch the game tonight - my beloved M's have made baseball hard to watch this year but I will try!

Comment by Amber on July 16, 2013 at 3:22pm

Good post, Derek. Even for a not-huge-sports fan person like me! Although I don't recruit in just one "niche", I agree with your points. Even if you recruit in different spaces, you have to: learn, listen, teach, listen, listen.

Comment by Derdiver on July 16, 2013 at 5:50pm

Yep Amber that is the truth. I think we like to talk to much and listen to little. We will never learn any other way.

Comment by Rebecca B. Sargeant on July 16, 2013 at 10:03pm

Great article! I remember reading somewhere, the only difference between a player playing in the minors or major leagues was a fraction of a percentage.  The difference between a minor and a major recruiter is how many client interviews you get.  I agree with you, when you say, "swing just a little." I might just add swing just a little "MORE."

Comment by Derdiver on July 16, 2013 at 10:08pm

Rebecca, amazing and true.  I struggled with this post as it is close to my heart.  What an amazing perspective. thank you!  You are on a list of people I hope to meet soon!

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on July 17, 2013 at 1:44am

Love the focus on listening, observing and continuous learning. Nice going, D! 


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