It's funny the way life works sometimes. For years I was a bartender at a very popular local bar, and I was damn good at it too! My customer base was very large, I was making a lot of money, and I loved my job! What more could I ask for?? Life was really good! It was during my tenth year at this particular bar that I heard the terrible news, the bar was just sold to an individual who had no intentions in keeping it open. My "perfect world" had just crumbled in a matter of seconds. I was faced with the need to find new work, and I had no clue what I wanted to do. A few weeks later I was introduced to a guy who owned a recruiting company that specialized in finding talent for the video game industry. After a few short conversations I had accepted a job at their firm as a recruiter. There was a slight hurdle to overcome though. I was not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination and I really had no clue what a recruiter was. This was definitely going to be interesting!

Stepping into the role of a recruiter was challenging for me. For starters, I had absolutely no experience recruiting, and since I was not a player of video games I didn't know what games were popular or even what it took to make a game. One might say that I had a crash course in gaming and recruiting all at once. After a week of training that included writing phone scripts and emails, studying the different jobs within gaming, and learning our database, I was thrown to the dogs and started to make cold calls. I quickly learned that the people I was calling did not want to be bothered at work without a good reason, so I had better have something good to speak to them about. It took me a good month to get comfortable making cold calls, and although I was pulling in some talent, it wasn't the type of talent I needed in order to be making money. The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was my fear of "not knowing what I was talking about". You see I had created this fear for myself, a "story" if you will. The "story" was that I had no idea what the heck I was doing and the person on the other end of the line was going to know that and think I was an idiot. Go ahead and laugh, but it was a real fear of mine! So what did I do? I pretended. Every time I made a call, whether it be to a programmer, designer, artist, executive, whomever, I would pretend to know what I was talking about and talk the way I thought they wanted me to talk. You know what I mean. I used the lingo and terminology that I thought would make me look intelligent. Well let me tell you how well that worked... It didn't work at all! Almost every person I spoke to quickly picked up on the fact that I was trying to fake it to make it. Any chance at building trust and confidence in that new candidate was lost by my decision to "fake it". My need to "look good" was quickly putting an end to my new career in recruiting. While the number of phone calls I was making daily was on the rise, my submissions weekly were declining. It was apparent that something needed to change and change quickly! That's when it dawned on me. I decided to just be myself. I gave up trying to "look good" and I gave up trying to "talk the talk" that I thought the candidate wanted to hear. The results were astounding!

I am not an expert in the art of recruitment, nor do I profess to have all the answers to sourcing new talent effectively, but what I do know is that people like honesty. When I decided to just be "myself" in all of my conversations with candidates, be they new or existing ones, the whole experience shifted. I was relaxed and confident, and the candidate picked up on that confidence and allowed more time to listen to what I had to say. When I was being "myself" on the phone and not trying to impress, the candidate was able to hear the honesty and confidence in my voice which set the tone for the entire conversation. Sure, in my mind I was also being vulnerable, but I assert that my vulnerability translated into honesty on the other end of the phone. My conversations went from "talking the talk" to "being myself" and speaking to the candidate as I would a long-time friend. I didn't change "me" because being "me" was something that had always worked in the past. The results were dramatic! My submissions nearly doubled, I started to get referrals, and I even made my first two placements! People are just people, and when we treat them with honesty and respect we will get the same in return. Going into a conversation with anybody and trying to force an outcome almost never works. When it does work it's usually followed up with negative fallout. Be yourself in all that you do and trust in "who" you are. If you can trust in who you are then everyone you speak to will too!
My career as a recruiter lasted longer than most would have guessed. The results I achieved when I shifted my way of being were miraculous. The year 2009 was my last year as a recruiter, and in that year I was the #1 earner for the company. I left recruiting to start RecruiterBuddy which is a software package designed for recruiters. Many people thought I was crazy given the state of the world's economy. I can't count how many times I heard "you are going to fail, this isn't the right time". RecruiterBuddy has been operating for more than three months now and we are growing at a very rapid pace! Why? I am true to myself, I listen, and I don't force an outcome. People respect that. Just be yourself and the results will amaze you!

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