Had a recent coffee with a mate and in turn we despaired, chuckled and grimaced when recalling recruiters we knew, worked with or had met over the years. So as a bit of a fun posting here's my guide to spotting if you're a Recruiment Bore.

You're a RB one if:

  1. You can't stop interviewing whoever you meet. Whether it's the taxi driver, the barber, someone at a party, another parent at parents' evening who find yourself judging if they're employable talent. I once knew a RB who I'm told even interviewed a lap dancer prior to his dance. Please please just refrain from asking at every opportunity for a short career snapshot and where your victim sees themselves in five years' time.
  2. All your friends are Recruiters. I'm all up for making friends through work but quite frankly most are work colleagues I get on with. Only some but not many are real friends. Real friends are people you hang-out with when not at work and only fleetingly ask how work's going as warm-up, small talk stuff whilst the wine is opened or BBQ lit. If you're discussing your placement pipeline whilst in the pub you need to get a wider social circle.
  3. You can't switch off. I have an Iphone and don't have a problem checking emails on holiday or dealing with urgent issues in the evening or at the weekend. It's kind of the world we live in now for many if not most professions. However, I do also own a much better interactive app called LIFE and whilst not at work I really like to live it as much as possible. If that sounds odd to you then you're a RB.
  4. You work a party or social event like it's a conference. You know sometimes it's OK not to greet everyone with a firm handshake and elevator pitch. You really don't have to leave them with a clear and positive impression of what you do, how you add value and where you can be contacted. Sometimes it's just much more fun spending a party getting drunk in the kitchen or being the first person on the dancefloor after the bride and groom.
  5. You read nothing but business books and in particular bad recruitment business books. Did ever any good come out of a business book? Really? Or do they just give you soundbites and maxims to inflict on others whilst reinforcing your own beliefs and life patterns? Try a novel. It might just make you a more interesting person.
  6. When asked the old chestnut "Who would be at your dream dinner party?" they're all multimillionaire business men or sporting heroes who know how to WIN and their formulas (in your opinion) are directly transferable to the recruitment industry. GO TEAM! Pass me electric meat carver please as I'm about to perform seppuku whilst Richard Branson, Arnold Palmer and Clive Woodward look on.
  7. Every tweet and status update on your social networks is a job posting. Yawn. Who cares? Not me. Guess what? Social media is social and not didactic.The clue's in the name. Yes it's a useful place to meet people, attract candidates and find clients but only by being a human and not a RB.

And here's the twist .... I know all about the above signs and symptoms as I'm a recovering Recruitment Bore who has displayed all the above at some time or another during my 14 year recruitment career. But as Ian Dury once said "I want to be straight" so I've managed to wean myself off thanks to the support network of wife, kids, family and mates who just don't take me (too) seriously - thank God. Thankfully I can now act supercilious and snigger into my coat sleeve when I meet tan-shoed, fudged-haired Mr Recruitment, or panel-dressed, killer-heeled Miss Recruiter and notice that they are a bore.

Views: 7345

Comment by Raman Ramamurthy on February 29, 2012 at 12:49pm

many recruiters want to be real rich or famous overnight; that compels them to be a RB. It is like being pushy! Good article/ eyeopener to many who need it.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 29, 2012 at 3:25pm

The first 4 terrified me but luckily I don't do 5, 6, or 7. Hilarious thanks for sharing!! :)

Comment by Darryl Dioso on March 1, 2012 at 11:22am

This post was awesome. Interviewing the "lap dancer" had me really laughing. 

Comment by Tim Spagnola on March 1, 2012 at 11:42am

made my day Robert - great stuff!

Comment by Chris Bailey on March 1, 2012 at 11:58am

great observation and oh dear my name is Chris Bailey and I'm an RB...... I think if you can tick 4 out of 7 then your an RB! right I am off to change my ways! Actually just re read it and I am safe to say its now 3 out of 7 but a definite borderline case..... hangs head in shame... :) 

Comment by Robert Wright on March 1, 2012 at 12:01pm

Thank you all for kind words and comment

Comment by Ryann Cheung on March 1, 2012 at 12:40pm

love it - ha!

I do tend towards #1, but am proud to say my dream dinner colleagues are just people who make me laugh - mostly Brits. 



(Ricky Gervais, anyone from Monty Python & Greg Proops, if ya really wanna know)

Comment by Raphael Fang on March 1, 2012 at 4:07pm

If you ask my wife about about our first date, she will tell you that it felt more like an interview than a date....

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 1, 2012 at 5:23pm

Let me tell you what the next phase of recovery looks like.


1.  You don't want to know what anybody does for a living.  You cringe if they start to talk about their job and above all if somebody asks you what you do, you are tempted to tell them you are financially independent but you mumble something about being a "consultant"  and ask the if they know where the bar is and could you get them something.


2. If somebody says, hey you are a fellow recruiter, your first impluse is to say, "Well sort of but not so much anymore.  You would rather take gas than go to any kind of conference, unconference or any other location where a bunch of recruiters hang out and lie to each other about how much money they make and bitch about HR.

3.  Your Droid or Iphone is left in the office or in the car.  You do not respond to a text from anybody.  You can think of 400 other things you have to do other than check email.  You have learned to say.  "Sorry, my internet was down last night, having a lot of problems with that thing lately".


4.  Any invitation to anything that sounds like a party or any gathering of more than three people who are still in the workforce has been lost in the mail or is returned with "moved no forwarding address" written on it.


5.  You gave all your business books to Friends of the Library.  You are sure all business blogs contain a virus, you click on no links to anything a recruiter is tweeting.  The twitter peeps you follow are comedians or something concerning cocker spaniels.  You watch a lot of CSI , criminal minds and law and order because you are sure you placed most of the perps in those shows and morbid curiosity makes you wonder what happened to them.

6.  A "Dream Dinner Party"  is ordering a pizza and sharing it with the dog.  If the bitch starts to talk, she's out.  Eat your pepperoni and be glad i didn't order green olive and artichoke.

7.  It takes three days to work up the guts to post a job opening because you know what's comin at you.  When you do post one, you have to fight to keep from leaving town for four days or developing a serious illness that keeps you from anserwing the phone or being able to type.

Above all you are recovered enough that you have started buying powerball tickets and thinking about 200 acres in the badlands of New Mexico  or an island off the wrong coast of some country nobody has ever heard of with a wall  topped with broken glass, a moat with a drawbridge and some deaf mute bodyguards.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on March 1, 2012 at 5:50pm

... and that is my 5,6,7!! :) I will still claim the original 1-4 (because I just can't turn it off) but Sandra nailed 5-7 for me. The idea of a dinner party is atrocious. Some nights I don't even talk to my own kids around the dinner table. We recently posted a receptionist position - within 48 hours we had over 100 applicants and I haven't answered my phone in three days. Haven't worked up the nerve yet.


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