Have you ever seen the movie Platoon with (cough, cough) Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Charlie Sheen from a million years ago? Sheen’s character in the movie moves quickly from one vignette to the next leaving watchers of this nail biter breathless for two straight hours. I remember way back then seeing an interview with a high-up military guy who said that it would be nearly impossible for a single soldier to have witnessed all the craziness, drama, horror, violence, and everything else Sheen’s character went through in a single tour of Vietnam.
But recruiters do deal with this level of chaos...just in a office kind of way. Scaling this way back and taking out the danger aspects of war, recruiting and headhunting sure offers it’s wide variety of drama and volatility.
If this is what you do, recruit, how can you not be fascinated by the activities of your peers? Though in recruiting, we have characters of all shapes and sizes who master their approach to recruiting as if they are the Lewis and Clark of this newfound discipline.
Of all the baloney we deal with like the Engineer who got an offer for $96K, wrote on her application she was wishing for $95K, and now is demanding $98K, headhunting is more and more like a modified version of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of surviving the late ‘70’s drawing maps of fantasy worlds that your buddy is describing to you behind a curtain of cardboard, D&D was a game of surprise and chance. The Dungeonmaster would roll dice and tell you the consequences of each move you decided to make and only with clever strategery (google it) you could escape death from a troll or hellhound.
We tell war stories to our recruiting peers to the fate of their heckling and harassment. We live by the decisions of the players in our world who make up our clients and candidates. Our control is minimal and no magic can predict the outcomes of our daily grind.
We think about the numbers which I’m always hesitant to say out loud because they can come and go so quickly. Personally, I admire the top recruiters who break away and set the tone and path for the rest. Also, I appreciate those that give this great profession a try and find the chaos unnerving move on.
I’ve noticed a couple things too. It’s very cool how helpful recruiters will be with each other. Though, many times, don’t blink. It reminds me of the comic books where the jerk is grabbing the little old lady’s purse and Batman shows up from nowhere and doinks him on the head and hand the purse back to the lady. The pooffffff. He’s gone. (And of course the police are there arresting the jerk.)
But isn’t it supposed to be like that. My point is that we deal with such a wacky variety of situations that we need the checks-and-balances of our peers to bounce thoughts off of. And often it’s a two minute conversation. Many of us have to handle bizarre situations quickly and on-the-fly. Tomorrow won’t be the same. Tomorrow will bring a whole new house of horrors of which we may just find part of it hysterical.
I’ve rubbed shoulders with the coolest cats of our industry. All of them have projected a professional grace of mastering their craft and all of them demonstrate restrained humility for their blessings. They are an approachable bunch but you’ll be timing the meeting with seconds. They also eagerly broadcast their best practices of their style and swagger and it’s tough to overlap two of them. These are the icons and saints of our industry and there are pockets of deep wisdom that can be missed in the noise.
And then there are the chumps of our industry who pacify their daily routine by considering every peer a personal challenge to their stature. They are easily recognized by the way that they have too much to say. “Mustard versus ketchup” is equivalent to the Battle of Gettysburg for these folks.
How do we do it? How do we filter the chaos and prevail. Laughter helps. Placements are even better.
Did you see that dude fall from 23 miles up in the sky? And live? What we do each day would be very much like that for the clock punching white-collar professional. Do you know how that guy was able to overcome his nerves and jump from that balloon? He just did it. “I’m here. GO!”
Folks, our business is the Fear Factor of professionalism: Controlled and uncontrolled chaos into the unknown. Yes. We have guideposts which are metrics that keep us headed the right way.
Do you wonder if it’s time to stop? Do something else? NO. If you have a knack at this, you need to get over those thoughts and press on. You know what to do. Do it your way. You’ll make placements. Attract yourself to the winners and laugh at the chumps. And first thing tomorrow morning when arriving at work, say to yourself…
“I’m here. GO!”