I am a real person; I have something to say, and I dislike being told I can't say it for money.

I got this in my email:

Tell Us What's On Your Mind. Win $500.


Hi Martin H.Snyder  


RecruitingBlogs.com is giving away $500 in cold, hard cash to the author of this month's top performing post.  No April fooling around. 

Here's how it works:


every post submitted by a real person (not a vendor), RecruitingBlogs employee or company account to RecruitingBlogs will be automatically entered to win. 

 We want to know what's on your mind.  Here's your chance to let us know - and we'll make it worth your while.  It just might be the easiest money you'll ever make in recruiting and hiring.

I do have something to say; in fact I have too much to say.  I say things on Facebook.  I say things on ERE.  I say things here, from time to time.   I say too many things to my lovely wife and delightful children.  I talk too much to my partners, on sales calls, at Boy Scout meetings, in temple, and on the boat.   

But I am a vendor (of PCRecruiter) so I guess I'm ineligible.

I don't like mindless discrimination. 


What's wrong with vendor opinion?  Some of us have demonstrated self-control for years to contribute without explicitly promoting our products and services.   I don't care if you use PCRecruiter or not.  If you do, good for you; you like to save money and be treated decently.   If you don't, there are other choices out there.   We will find our customers one way or another- I don't need to pimp contributions to social media to make it happen.  

I understand vendors being ineligible for sweepstakes.  This is a different matter.   My chances of winning the five hundred would be tiny anyway;  I bore myself, let alone an audience such as this.   

So I'll just go ahead and say a few random things that I think are true about recruiting anyway. 

First, "Applicant Tracking Systems" is a useless phrase for way too many people.  Applicants are what you get when you are done recruiting.  Half the time people need Recruiting Software and select Applicant Tracking Software, and then slag  vendors when the solution does not do what they need  it to do.   Or vice versa.   Some solutions are competent at both, but they are few in number and still generally oriented toward one side or the other.   You can track applicants with some recruiting software apps, but good luck recruiting with applicant tracking software. 

What is a "recruiter" anyway?   Any functionary in a hiring chain ?   Pretty much, if you look at LinkedIn.   Maybe we need to talk about recruiters and Recruiters.   Recruiters are salespeople.  Elite salespeople at that.  They either have the knack or they don't.  You can't tell if they do until they show it.   I get a lot of kickback when I say a good predictor seems to be how much they got laid in college.  

But to meet that test means a) they had some college ( helpful but not mandatory because a recruiter has to be educated on different levels) and b) they can close a deal, all the way to completion.  99% don't get it done in recruiting.  Recruiters enter every interaction and conversation with an open mind- they don't know where it's going or how it may fit the puzzle, maybe even years down the road.   Small "r" recruiters look at a punchlist, make a calculation, and move on....Real Recruiters are generally pretty good at sizing up how people will fit on teams.

Why does pre-hire assessment mostly suck?   Because it assesses individuals, not teams.  Vince Lombardi and Phil Jackson and Pat Riley and George C. Marshall and Robert E. Lee et al. decided how someone would fit the team first, and looked at their individual attributes second.   They knew that the person you assessed beforehand is dead and gone once they have acted upon, and been acted upon, by their teams.  If you are hiring for hundreds of rote jobs with narrow upsides, like bank tellers or baristas, pre-hire assessment with validated instruments is very valuable and useful.   If you are hiring anyone creative, anyone on an integrated team, or for any role that can have big upside, you are likely getting more bad info from assessing individuals than good info, and you are paying for it on the front end, and in your results.  


Maybe you should hire some losers, on purpose.  I don't mean total losers; I mean people well outside the lines.   A hiring plan that seeks only "A" players is like a portfolio of only blue-chip securities- you will get what the market gives, but no more.  If you want to outperform, you need some flyers in the mix.   Not too many, but enough so they can break big to the upside.   Some will break to the downside, if not most.  That's the way things work.  

In life, the negative carries more weight than the positive.  It's more noticeable, it's remembered longer,  and small amounts of bad dilute much good.   The counterforce (and there always is one) is that outsiders change the world.  People with no identity to preserve, no status to keep invested in (e.g. losers) are so often the ones who redirect history.  Its the people with the courage to risk the negative to make the upside that generally come out way on top. 

Not that mediocrity is a bad goal: it's a fine goal form many  because most people are below average.   Getting to average is a big step up for most of us.  How is that possible?  It is because human performance follows a power-law distribution, not a Gaussian distribution.   Google it if you don't believe me.   Aim for mediocrity and you are bound to overshoot from time to time.    Just saying if you really want to win, hire losers.    Bet you don't see this kind of thinking very often!

Recruiting is entering a golden age.   The Internet does not disintermediate recruiters; it gives them superpowers.  The perfect job can be on the screen of the perfect candidate, but nothing is going to happen in very many cases without a recruiter making it happen.   Switching tribes is hardwired into the human operating system, and it's facilitated by specialized shepherds who move people from one world to the next...Recruiters deeply understand culture, Recruiters build trust on both sides; a job of any value is not a fungible commodity- its identity, security, ideology... high stakes stuff.   Recruiting is a basic economic function, its getting more respect than ever in executive circles and even among the littler people, at least over the 16 years I have been in the industry.  

PS If I won the five bills, I would donate it to Amnesty International.   I don't really care about the money, I just hate when people tell me I can't have the money.... 

PPS Is post some kind of April Fool's Joke?  





Views: 199

Comment by Matt Charney on April 1, 2014 at 3:47pm

@Martin Agree 100% that vendor opinions are not only valuable, but also not a 4 letter word. That was a good catch in editing - what was meant by that is you have to post from a personal profile, NOT a branded account where the byline is a company.  You're 100% eligible, and apologize for the confusion.  Thanks, also, for a great post - proof that no matter which side of the demo you're on, you can still add value.  Appreciate your contribution.


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