Why did you ask?

My husband has a love / hate relationship with my career choice. Always has. I’ve been a recruiter longer than I’ve been Mrs. Ala, so this is not new to him. In fact, at one point early in our relationship I was THE go to recruiter in his field. People would slip him resumes on job sites and ask for my phone number after meetings. It’s not easy being married to me, and that was before all this social recruiting / LinkedIn / Facebook / blogging stardom. Poor Mr. Ala.

One would think that he would know by now not to ask my advice. So when work came up over dinner recently, I told him what I thought. I gave him some specific points to share with his fellow employees as well as his bosses. Naturally, he didn’t like it. He had an argument for everything I suggested. Reasons why this wouldn’t work, or that would be shot down. I finally just threw my hands up and asked him why he even bothered talking to me about it. See, Mr. Ala is in construction, and when I can get him to do a project at home I’m certainly not in the kitchen telling him what kind of thin set to use to set the tile.

This happens more often than you might expect. I get hit up all the time by friends, family, and acquaintances asking questions about the recruiting process. I’ve reviewed countless resumes, re-written cover letters, advised on a hundred different ways to approach recruiters or hiring managers. I’ve suggested follow up emails, thank you notes, and employing the good old Strike Sheet method of figuring out target companies to go after. If you talk to me about career / recruiting / HR related stuff, I’m going to tell you what I think. You’ll then ignore my advice, still do what you want, and be pissed off when it doesn’t work.

So what’s a recruiter to do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do – not get emotionally invested. That’s it. I know, easier said than done. We are, after all, in a people business. And people make logical (or illogical, I suppose) decisions based on emotions. All. The. Time. How do I feel about this? And… GO! How many of us have had our recruiting hearts broken by a candidate gone wild or a client gone silent? It stings. That feeling is only amplified when people you’re close to disregard your professional opinions.

I’m not talking about strangers and professional acquaintances. I’m used to those guys ignoring my advice. But my friends? My FAMILY? The very ones who have had a front row seat to my recruiting success? Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about as far as they’re concerned. So from now on, I’m going to have a little fun with my responses:

Q: I don’t like my boss. What should I do?

A: QUIT. But don’t just resign, quit in spectacular Jerry Maguire fashion. Steal something on your way out. Doesn't have to be a goldfish either.

Q: I’ve applied to 150 jobs this week but no one is calling me! What should I do?

A: Troll them on Twitter. See how many corporate handles you can get to block you.

Q: I’m hiring, and have interviewed a bunch of people. I don’t know who to hire. What should I do?

A: Cage fight – Mad Max style. Two candidates enter, one candidate leaves. There’s your new employee.


What epic advice do you have I can share?

Views: 1110

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 8, 2013 at 8:43pm

Q: "What epic advice do you have I can share?"

A: Don't ask people for their advice...

When folks ask me for their advice, I say this:

" Listen carefully to what I say and what I tell you to do, and then do the opposite. You'll be a great success!"





Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 8, 2013 at 8:44pm

LOL thanks Keith! I will try that.... my husband worked for his family business and that comes with all sorts of challenges... way beyond my pay grade. :)

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on November 9, 2013 at 6:58am

Charge him for it.

Get half the money upfront.

Comment by Brian K. Johnston on November 9, 2013 at 3:49pm

Very Good Post, And An Excellent Writer... Love The Way You Process Information, Then Creatively Express Your Self... Keep Pressing!!!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 11, 2013 at 10:49am

Mitch - I love that idea. I've considered it before to be honest. :)

Thank you Brian! I've been writing this one for a while, finally decided hit post. I don't think my family reads my blogs anyway, they all think recruiting is boring. ;)

Comment by Erin Passmore on November 11, 2013 at 12:31pm

Love this!  Drives me nuts as well - ex husband and now boyfriend rant about recruiters and recruiting processes but when I give suggestions - that won't work!

I had to laugh when boyfriend had to recruit for a contract role for the first time in ages and was inundated with resumes...  he was going to respond to each one personally until the number hit over 100.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 11, 2013 at 12:33pm

Exactly Erin! I've yet to make a call that hasn't come to pass.... and still they don't listen. Whatever ;)

Comment by Dane Anar on November 11, 2013 at 1:23pm

Wait, so my stalking on LinkedIn isn't going to get me a job?  You mean I actually have to TALK to them?  I thought that these people just saw that "so and so" was looking at their profile and they were like OMG I MUST HIRE HIM RIGHT MEOW. 

You make this whole finding a job ordeal absolutely ridiculous.  In my generation, Gen Y'ers (or what you old folk like to call us, "millennials"), we're a bunch of pretentious little punks who deserve to have ALL of our jobs handed to us on a silver platter.  Why can't you so called "recruiters" make that happen.  I've had 2 years of experience which obviously makes me a freaking PRO.  DUH! 

disclaimer: please read above with sarcasm.  

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 11, 2013 at 1:24pm

LOL Dane I totally read that in your sarcastic voice.

I am Gen X aka the original latchkey kids... we trust NO ONE

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 11, 2013 at 1:55pm

@ Amy: Seems like some latchkey kids locked themselves in and never got out... ;)

@ Mirtch: actually, that's a very sensible idea. You can give someone  a little basic job-hunting/ recruiting info  for free, but if they request more you can say: "I am happy to helpful, and since this is how I make my living, I would be charging this amount for my advice, (and as you said, Mitch) 50% is up front. When would you like to begin?"


@ Everybody: There's a bias in people to discount free information, bu talso a certain bias toward thinking that paid for information is good, even when it may not be Why?: people are reluctant to  see themselves as wasting their money. It's like if you pay a lot of money for a concert, you're more likely to say it was good, because you don't want to admit "I paid $150 to hear THAT? What a fool I was!" You're more likely to give it the benefit of a doubt...






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