Chicken PluckerToday I present to you an expert Chicken Plucker. Said expert will tell you not only the best way to pluck a chicken, but also how to find the best chickens to pluck. In addition, our professional Chicken Plucker can speak at great lengths - anywhere you need them - on any level of chicken hunting, handling and even measuring the value of the activities in this specialized skill set.

They have, after all, been branded an expert - and because of this you should immediately trust them and everything they say to be nothing less than the gospel.

They've got credibility because they have a podium, website or blog. You may even find this expert Chicken Plucker booked to speak on a webinar or at a conference near you and if they speak with enough authority or show you enough fancy charts you might never ask them how many chickens they have themselves plucked. You might even fail to realize that this expert Chicken Plucker has not only spent their professional career simply watching and critiquing the works of others, but that they've neither plucked a chicken nor even seen a live one.

This is where we all should say, "What the cluck?!"

The eagerness to be branded by peers as an expert can be a bit of a dirty game for some. It becomes even worse when we find self-proclaimed gurus or experts hocking their wares, services, or doing simple reputation management from the shoulders of others. So, I present to you a new way to look at the people that "do" versus the people that "talk" about what is done.

So while I understand the value of knowing who is (and is not) an expert, I'd like to see us begin to focus more on who is an Enthusiast versus a Practitioner. I'd like to see more of us ask those that claim they can fix recruiting issues with Mobile Recruiting solutions, just how many mobile recruiting strategies they've implemented - and to talk specifics about their findings. I'd enjoy seeing people more comfortable in speaking candidly and directly with speakers and bloggers to gain clarity around theory versus practice - with speakers and bloggers becoming much more transparent around what their direct experience is versus statistics they've read or presentations they've 'adjusted.'

I challenge every employer or recruiter that attends a session or conference to ask for specifics and sources and time lines if the "expert guru" does not provide them. I challenge every blogger or presenter to be as transparent as possible when talking about their experience level and sources. I challenge all of us to honestly identify ourselves as Enthusiast or Practitioner - every single time.

I am an Enthusiast about nearly EVERYTHING in the Recruiting industry. I've worked very hard and made countless personal sacrifices to be fortunate enough to be a Practitioner of some of the items I'm most passionate about.

An example...
I had an amazing conversation at the last ERE conference around on-boarding practices - the HR Generalist and I spoke for over an hour on the topic. I find this phase of the employment process incredibly important and the discussions growing around its need to be very interesting. I'll tell you every single time that I think it's a vital piece of the puzzle related to employee retention issues - and just as quickly I'll tell you that I've no practical experience in rolling out anything related - on any level. Ever.

There is no shame in being excited about the changes in our industry. There is no shame in not having had the opportunity to actually create and implement a strategy around X or Y. There is no shame in trying to monetize what we've seen in regards to trends in our line of business. There is absolutely no shame in being an Enthusiast - it's sometimes the enthusiast that sees what the practitioner does not!

Know an expert? Attending the session of a self proclaimed Rockstar? Why not get some clarity around whether or not they've actually practiced what they're preaching so that you have all of the data you really need? Isn't that why you seek out industry experts - to help you make informed decisions that will ultimately increase your return on investment, better your brand or reduce your cycle and fill times?

Hey, what's the harm in asking a pointed and direct question? As a blogger and speaker myself, I appreciate the inquiries - they help validate the work and spark thought in participants.

Think about it...
And if you spot that Chicken Plucker of mine that's a bit less than honest about their working knowledge and experience, you can tell them that I said they could go pluck themselves.

Originally posted on

Views: 108

Comment by Bill Wasserman on April 14, 2010 at 11:53am
I enjoyed the analysis. There is an old saying those that can do do and those that can't do teach.

Thanks for sharing.
Comment by ryan morphett on April 14, 2010 at 7:36pm
isn't that the way it works. Any person who has a seminar telling people 'how to make millions' forgets to tell them the most important lesson on how to make millions. Being put together a seminar on how to make millions and take it on the road.
Comment by Slouch on April 14, 2010 at 9:17pm
Pluck you Chris
Comment by Gerry Crispin on April 14, 2010 at 10:06pm
Now you've got me thinking about all those poor plucked chickens.
Comment by David King on May 6, 2010 at 11:38am
Great post! @Bill...this reminds me of a Kenneth Tynan quote: “A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.”


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