By Dan Ridge, Contributing Consultant, Q4B


Whether you are a diehard football fan, a casual observer or someone who still thinks that what we call soccer in the USA is the most popular sport in the world you are certainly aware of the turmoil that is being created in the NFL with the lockout of the professional referees and the use or misuse of what are called replacement refs. Games have been decided by missed calls, bad calls and no calls. The integrity of the game is at stake and players, coaches, general managers and fans have had enough. Even the Good Guys in Vegas are not too happy with the current state of affairs.

There is a sense that with all of the controversy surrounding the debacle that was witnessed on MNF (unless you are a Seahawks fan) the lockout will end with each side giving and getting some of what each was bargaining for. But what a cost! Not so much in overall dollars but in fan perception, appreciation and support to say the least.

While I was watching ESPN, ESPN2 the other night I started thinking about this lockout, how important it is to have true professionals in every position in order for an organization to be successful, to provide value and service to their customers and to insure that the product or service delivered is the best that it can be. If one part of an organization is performing at a lower level than the rest of the organization the whole organization suffers.

Isn’t this true in recruiting? If not then it should be. Think about the many times you have seen companies that are struggling with their quarterly profitability, their stock prices are less than the street expected, their forecasts are off and projections for next quarter are dismal decide to cut their internal recruiting department down to almost nothing.

How many times have you seen those same companies run job ads that suck (JATS) looking for replacement recruiters with I to 2 years of experience when their company’s fortunes begin to turn around? Do you think that there will be some bad calls, missed calls and no calls when it comes to sourcing, screening and hiring the best fit candidates for their open positions? Could there ever be a situation where hiring managers and candidates raise enough of a ruckus that company management agrees to hire or rehire only seasoned experienced professional recruiters?

Probably not. Unfortunately, unlike the NFL referee situation, company management rarely sees the difference between seasoned experienced professional recruiters and their 1 to 2 year replacements. They don’t immediately see the impact if any of a bad call, missed call or no call by a replacement recruiter. And they certainly don’t understand how impactful a great hire is to their overall success.

And that is the fault of the seasoned experienced professional recruiter. Most recruiters vary rarely demonstrate their value to their company’s success. Do recruiters track the impact on the company that their hires have made? Can recruiters point to specific instances where one of their hires saved, made money for the company; exceeded expectations sooner than expected; was promoted or had a significant impact on the bottom line, the stock price or other company successes?

It is not about quality of hire, time to fill or cost per hire metrics that seemingly all recruiters are so caught up with. The people running a company are more concerned and more interested in making money, showing a profit, increasing revenue.

Did your hire help with any of those things? If not where is your value?

There may never come a time in your company where there will occur a tipping point event like the MNF spectacle that will show case the difference between seasoned experienced professionals and rookie replacements.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be able to demonstrate that difference yourself. Otherwise your company will always be looking for a replacement recruiter.

One last thought. I think that it would help if companies hired a senior recruiter to review every controversial hire and insist on using instant replay when the offer is extended and accepted.      

Now, I will wait for a call from the league office. I know that they can use my input in settling this matter.

“Please hold for Mr. Goodell.”


Views: 715

Comment by Ken Forrester on September 27, 2012 at 10:59am

Thanks for writing the post, I was thinking about the same subject and you couldn’t have presented it more succinctly.

I would like to add one more thing:  what if you didn’t know that the Refs were replacements-would you blame one specific Referee or all Referees? 

You have to admit that the replacement Refs looked like big league Refs and their performances certainly met expectations prior to that one call! 

But I can see why replacements were used-they cost way less than the big league Refs.  And any Ref can perform on the big NFL stage because they are all football Referees.  Just like recruiting-all recruiters are the same since we are all recruiters.  At least, that is what we are led to believe.

Comment by Ryan Leary on September 27, 2012 at 11:11am

Ken good point there: what if you didn’t know that the Refs were replacements-would you blame one specific Referee or all Referees? 

Comment by Daniel F Ridge on September 28, 2012 at 9:03am

Thanks for the comments. I think that since all refs, replacement or not, wear the same uniform and if you did not know they were replacements it would be difficult to tell the difference until a number of missed calls, bad calls or no calls were made. And even though all recruiters don't have a uniform, most companies and hiring managers can't tell the replacements from the rest  it is left to the experienced recruiters to demonstarte their true value each and every day. A big issue but certainly an important one.


Comment by Will Thomson on September 28, 2012 at 10:59am

I enjoyed this blog.  Thanks!

Comment by Steve N Odell on October 4, 2012 at 11:17am

Well done. Many companies want to put us in all in the same category. We aren't selling copy machines. Every candidate is different and will impact the organization differently. I know they are hiring people. The big question is who are they hiring? The best recruiters find the best people.

Comment by Daniel F Ridge on October 4, 2012 at 11:41am

Steve, I couldn't agree more. But recruiters in general and even great recruiters do not do enough follow up after a placement is made (agency recruiters) or a hire is made (inhouse recruiters) in order to track the value of that placement or hire to the client or company. And it's not as though the information were hard to get. We as a profession need to be more self promoting and have enough interest in what we do in order to demonstrate our value. If we don't do it, nobody will!


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