On Wednesday, March 21st I did it.  I went on The Recruiting Animal Show.  If you listened to it, then you know both Animal and I had some pretty rough reviews and our scores had us both failing. Let me say this, listening back to it, I thought it was better than the reviews.  But hey- it is what it is.  Right? I went way out of my comfort zone to do something I had never done before.  Animal just did his job.

One of the topics that was discussed was that anybody can recruit.  I made the comment that I could hire a monkey to recruit.  That is when the floodgates began to open.  "A monkey" said Animal?  Jerry Albright backed me up pretty good and said "A Sales Monkey".  Then the whole age thing came into play.  "A 50 year old lady" at Kroger could do this job?  "A College Graduate?" That is a bag of worms I didn't even care to get into, but Animal led us down that track.  Oh boy, then the twitter comments came flowing and the show and listeners had had it.  

First and foremost, age doesn't mean anything to me.  Anyone who is capable of doing a job should be hired regardless of age.  Secondly, here is the point I was trying to make. Recruiting is just not that hard.  I do believe most people could be trained to recruit.  

Yes, you have to have sales skills.  Yes, you have to be somewhat computer savvy.  Those were things we talked about on the show.  

For a discussion, I would like to re-open this can of worms.  What does it take to be a recruiter?  What skills do you have to have?  Could you teach an educated, sales savvy person with no experience to recruit and recruit well quickly. My vote is yes, but I want to hear from you.  

Let's get the comments going here.  I would love to see this be the top trending article for the month.  I know a lot of you are opinionated, so yes- even Tom Bolt, Animal, Maureen Sharib, Let's hear from you.  Tweet about it.  Share it. I'm looking for 24 pages here like the Sourcing is Dead topic.  

Thanks for having me Animal.  

If you enjoted this, please check out Bulls Eye Recruiting at www.wthomsonjr.com and subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

Views: 4383

Comment by Recruiting Animal on March 21, 2013 at 2:15pm

Come on, Willy. You should include a link to the show - Its on this site here

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on March 21, 2013 at 2:32pm

Nice work Will. I enjoyed your appearance even though Animal was fussier than usual. I think you can train on the mechanics of recruiting - how to use a computer, some basic scripts, key word matching... that said the soft skills must be there.

Salesmanship and a thick skin. I don't think those traits can be taught. You can develop the skills over time but the personality should already be there, if that makes sense. 2, maybe 3 of my kids could eventually be recruiters. One absolutely no way. My youngest daughter is way too nice.

Comment by Recruiting Animal on March 21, 2013 at 2:48pm

My friend owned a solo recruiting office. She hired her hairdresser to work for her as a recruiter. Then she hired a singing teacher. They made tons of money together.

The key was personality. These girls were not afraid to get on the phone and do whatever they had to do to get past gatekeepers. (This was B4 Linkedin).

Comment by Tom Bolt on March 21, 2013 at 2:52pm

I played the show for a 50-yr old monkey and this is what he had to say. "Oooo aaaah eeeek ooooh ahaha yiyiiyi." I'll get back to you after I run it through Google Translate.

Comment by Amber on March 21, 2013 at 3:05pm

I haven't had a chance to listen yet, but will comment on the show post when I do. I find it hard to believe your score was low, so Animal must have screwed it up. I did see some of the Twitter comments, which were quite amusing.

@Tom - lol!

Comment by Tom Bolt on March 21, 2013 at 3:12pm

Ok... from the monkey to English translator: Go to this series of articles on Recruiting Excellence to learn the difference between the basics and going the extra mile... from one monkey's point of view.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 21, 2013 at 4:19pm

I used to think the same thing Will.  Then i started hiring monkeys and trying to train them.  I found out that you can't train a monkey with a masters deg in social work.  She thought everybody was arrogant.  Probably because she was a fat , squatty little girl with the personality of a brick.

I found out that you can't train some old gal in her 50's who doesn't know squat about business and gets pissed everytime she feels dumb trying to talk to an employer or gets pissed and cries when somebody tells her that they wouldn't hire her candidate if he were the last person on the planet.

I found out you can't train a big 8 CPA to run an accounting desk because he thought anybody who didn't have Big 8 background was a loser and he didn't know a good bookkeeper from Adam's Off Ox.

I found out you can't train somebody who is lazy even if they have good BS.

I found out you can't train your best friend if she has her head buried in a Bride magazine and her ultimate goal is to marry Mr. Wonderful who wants her to go Europe this week and Mexico next week.

I found out you can't train most kids right out of school because they don't know what they don't know, want everything now, aren't tournament tough, get their feelers hurt and don't know how to fail and get their little butts back up and do it again.

I found out you can't train somebody who wants to be national in their first six months wants to try and work with every big company in the world, chase the big one for three months and fail instead of placing 15 little ones and making a lot of money.

I found out you can't train a crook who will do anything to make a buck, thinks sales is lying to make a sale, paying a kickback then thinks they are the big schiz while they are destroying your reputation.  That one lasted 60 days before i threatened to kill him or have him put in the slammer.

I found out you CAN train almost any sharp young lady who has been through a divorce is looking for a break, has some good sense, a couple of kids to support and wants her W-2 to be bigger than her ex-husband's W-2 at the end of the year.

Can you train a monkey to recruit?  Sure if your idea of recruiting is to post a job, read resumes and forward 5 or 6 to a client so the client can pick the one they want.  I call those "resume monkeys".  There are a whole lot of them in our industry both agency and corporate.  they do no harm, they smile a lot, they tweet, blog, facebook, everybody likes them and they move around a lot.  The only problem is they think they is one but everybody can use a few of them, it's better than reading all those resumes and sending notes back yourself.


Comment by Noel Cocca on March 21, 2013 at 4:51pm

My top three billing recruiters were:  social worker, waiter right out of school, and an MBA.  The leadership and also former top producers were car salesmen, restaurant manager, sales rep, factory worker, a guy from a top firm.  In the agency side we had to train and work with more than a few to get to the ones that had what it takes.  I could go on but like Sandra...went through a lot of bad ones also.  Just like any business.

Comment by Will Thomson on March 21, 2013 at 4:53pm

Sandra, where in the world do you come up with this stuff?  Holy cow.  You are one heck of a writer.  I love what you just said.  Animal- you have to get her on your show!

I love this "  I found out you can't train most kids right out of school because they don't know what they don't know, want everything now, aren't tournament tough, get their feelers hurt and don't know how to fail and get their little butts back up and do it again."

Your points are very valid.   Taking your excellent spot on response, here are my two cents.  To hire a recruiter they must have:

1) Positive Attitude

2) Strong Work Ethic & Morals

3) Desire & Ability to Learn

4) Ability to work under Pressure

5) Thick Skin ( you are right Amy)

6) Okay with working at Computer and doesn't mind the telephone. (Desk Job)

7) Likes Research

8) Ability to Juggle Many Things at Once

9) Genuinely Like People

Comment by Maureen Sharib on March 21, 2013 at 5:06pm

Sandra, tell that story you told a couple (few?) years back about when you started out as a recruiter. It was beautiful. 


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