Emerson's Self Reliance - What we can All Learn.

Daniel Chester French's sculpture of Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was a few years ago when I first read Emerson's Self Reliance.  It was recently I re-read it. It is a brilliant master-piece of writing that has given me hope and focus when I need that extra push and motivation to create vast recruiting outcomes of amazing fit.  This quote in particular stands out to me:

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I read that and think - whom ultimately is responsible for my success?  Who can drive recruiting outcomes best?  Who is the one whom can follow-up and add value in searches and other important focus points? It is I - am I part of a team, yes.  Am I going to need to work with others to get to fill the jobs on my desk?  Yes. Will I be able to finalize said offers alone?  No.

So why would I write that about "my success".  It is really an inner focus on your commitments, character, and mostly up to you to maintain a positive mind-set, keep onward, and hone the fit your client groups are seeking.  I suppose it is this simple - start with yourself first, and focus on your own improvements, striving equally to help others go forward.  Will you make mistakes in staffing?  YES. Will you not always be the popular one in the process?  No.  I suppose it is having that inward fire ignited and keeping your eye to the goal.  It is focusing on where you can make the experience of others that much better, it is having that human focus to your recruiting toolbelt where miracles in staffing occur.  So this is what I mean of "Self Reliance".  This is where the rubber meets the road.  You are ultimately responsible for your own outcomes, so in staffing you might have to keep the driving force forward, when all around you have given up.  Sometimes, it may mean holding firm and strong to your most dedicated principles when others test your mettle.  That may mean being firm about why a candidate is a good fit, why the process needs disruption with a new approach sometimes, and where the status quo might need to be reviewed, renewed and cascaded with a new set of ideas.

Take this other quote from Emerson's self reliance:

"I read the other day some verses written by an eminent painter which were
original and not conventional. The soul always hears an admonition in such
lines, let the subject be what it may. The sentiment they instil is of more
value than any thought they may contain. To believe your own thought, to believe
that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is
genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for
the inmost in due time becomes the outmost." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

In holding to your staffing convictions, be that opening doors for others, pulling down obstacles along your way to a fill, to believe and have conviction that you can make the most difficult hire come to pass - is genius.  I don't know how to say it but inward fire fueled with a sense of complete passion, a belief within yourself that no fill is unattainable, that no hiring manager or HR partner can be brought to be happy no matter what.  It is to believe in oneself that the miracles of the hiring match, fill and placement are envisoned in one's mind.  A vision so pure that you know EXACTLY what candidate will make the outcomes come to pass.  Is it not true that 1 fill, one placement can change the entire course of the trajectory.  Individuals may have their opinions of you, and what you bring to the table but when you give them the best hiring outcome and you bring to pass a fill so vital it changes the entire scope of the opinions surrounding the value add you bring.  That is genius, that is staffing mettle proven, that is a placement that opens doors for others.

Now how about this quote:

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that
envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for
better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of
good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed
on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in
him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor
does he know until he has tried." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

You must try and push forward on your "plot of ground".  You must toil in your desk for the outcomes that make your clients, your partners, your candidates fulfilled. This is true recruiting at it's finest hour.  When all the struggles, interview reschedules, the negotiations, and the fire within to make perfect matches is realized.  Take for example how people in the spur of the moment, the piling up of work with a position unfilled, and the training, focus and effort to get a new hire up and running.  We must as recruiters see these natural consequences of struggle when we go to fill a position, and be sensitive and open minded to help others find their happiness in these moments of stress when you are trying to patiently screen, evaluate, and more importantly guage the recruiting landscape and environment.  There will be those whom will say recruiters are obsolete, that one day technology will replace us, or automate our tasks of evaluation, focus and drive.  I say to those people - Hah, you are not seeing the world as it is.  Technology, Drive, Passion, and Placements, - can a machine work with a human to make a job offer?  Can a machine evaluate soft skills?  Can a robot bring humans to a comfort level of the right "match" for them?  The answer is a resounding no.  Anyone who reads this take notice - Human Capital is well perhaps the most ironic term of them all.  Sure they are a resource charging ahead and making productive outcomes.  But let's revisit the word human for one moment.  Can we say sincerely that a human being will ever truly be replaced entirely by a machine?  No.  So you better get used to the Human in the Human resource.  Because that is here to stay.  And recruiters will have jobs, because I dare you to find the heart, compassion, and focus in a machine or robot to do our work.  I dare you to find a hiring manager whom would like to do all the hiring themselves.  Because of this and a shortage of qualified workers when holes are left by the retiring baby boomers, I dare you to see how our inward fire of recruiting focus is truly relevent and always WILL BE relevent.

Take this next quote from Emerson:

"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the
divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the
connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves
childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the
absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands,
predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the
highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a
protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides,
redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos
and the Dark." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trusting yourself.  Have you thought of how vital that is?  If you do not trust inwardly the capabilities of yourself - can you ever persuade other's to take the job you represent?  Can you have power in the negotiations, when you speak proudly of the company that you represent?  Will you have the humanity to lift others up when they don't get your job, but yet later give them new hope that they can be reconsidered?  Will they if you trust yourself trust you?  Yes.  You must trust your capability to help others in the job market, you must trust yourself to deliver strong talent, and stand firm in your perception that this is a "good" candidate.  You must recommend, inspire, negotiate, captivate and move the mountains of the fill to a closure.  This is brilliance.  This is power indeed defined in the staffing realm.  Positive focus and positive hope are key elements to staffing success.  Is it not amazing how many get lost in seeing the true humanity, the true changes, that match of career driving influence?  Wise is the recruiter whom realizes just how much impact they have, and they can have a good outcome or a bad outcome, leaving a bitter or sweet taste in the mouths of those they are working with.

One More from Emerson:

"The magnetism which all original action exerts is explained when we inquire the
reason of self-trust. Who is the Trustee? What is the aboriginal Self, on which
a universal reliance may be grounded? What is the nature and power of that
science-baffling star, without parallax, without calculable elements, which
shoots a ray of beauty even into trivial and impure actions, if the least mark
of independence appear? The inquiry leads us to that source, at once the essence
of genius, of virtue, and of life, which we call Spontaneity or Instinct." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self trust is connected in every way to intuition, to instinct, and to your impressions.  Trust them, they are deeply connected to that moment when you are evaluating that candidate for fit.  It rarely leads you astray when you trust your deepest instincts and allow yourself to be given that moment of inspiration.

So here is another thought - Self Trust leads to outcomes of confidence, this in turn leads you to recommend candidates that are a fit, then you must prove your point to the hiring authority and show how the candidate fits the criteria.  This human decision is at the heart of everything we do in staffing.  I suppose a few little points of wisdom found by Emerson's brilliance inspired me once again today.  Holding onto what you know, and being able to build trust with others by trusting yourself, is a powerful recruiting skill.  Once you trust yourself if someone doubts you you can show forth the reasons for your intuition.  You can show an educated and logical defense of your candidate, and build firm trust of your business partners.  It is a powerful thing that has lead time and time again to success in recruiting.  I suppose Emerson was right when he said "Self Trust is the Essence of Heroism."  It is a start.  And to each job seeker - trusting yourself allows your core message in interviews to even go the distance. It is also where great matches are brought to pass in staffing.  Fit - something that I indeed love and shall always cherish.

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