It’s only logical: 5 lessons recruiters can learn from Spock

Any Star Trek fan will know just how much wisdom is packed within each episode of the show. The exploits of the starship Enterprise crew are not only the stuff that sci-fi fans dream of, they also provide a strong business model to learn from and an abundance of sound strategy advice. Although every character brings brilliance to the table (with the possible exception of Neelix, of course), it is ultimately Mr. Spock who is renowned for his logic.

Whether you’re a Trekkie or not, Spock’s famous logic is of great value to recruiters. So, in fond memory of the late, great Leonard Nimoy, here’s the top 5 lessons that recruitment professionals can learn from Mr. Spock:

1. “Change is the essential process of all existence.”

Spock’s alien perspective gives him a unique insight into humanity. With his rational but highly perceptive perspective on life, Spock is something of an ambassador for evolved thinking. When Bele is insistent that Lokai cannot change, Spock pulls this wise gem of an adage out of the bag, and in doing so reveals a message that recruiters would do well to heed.

Change is absolutely core to the successful existence of the recruitment industry: as a ‘middle-man’ service we must consistently add value and deliver market innovation in order to stay relevant and useful. Faced with high levels of competition and the increasing growth of internal recruitment functions (aided significantly by social media platforms), recruiters must adjust their methods to stay one step ahead of the curve. With the clear-cut eloquence that he is known for, Spock inadvertently coined a motivational phrase to encourage recruiters to roll with the times and embrace development.

2. “Insufficient facts always invite danger.”

Spock has a deep passion for knowledge and exploration, and his decisions are always based on comprehensive consideration. He discerns everything he can before forming judgements, which is a key rule that recruiters should also strive to live by.

In recruitment, it is never acceptable to settle for anything less than full information, whether this information is on a professional’s candidacy, a client’s needs, specific qualifications required for technical jobs or an ideal cultural fit. Not being sufficiently informed inevitably leads to  poor placements and dissatisfied candidates and clients, which in turn only leads to a damaged brand.

3. “Boldly go where no one has gone before.”

We all know the five-year mission of the Enterprise: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Split infinitives aside, the final element of this mission is something that recruiters should take inspiration from. Even though change is on the horizon, the recruitment industry is still commonly perceived as being somewhat behind the times when it comes to breaking new ground and driving change.

Taking Spock’s words on board doesn’t mean that recruiters should commandeer a rocket, but it does mean that they should look to pursue campaigns and tactics that have never previously been attempted. In the digital world where so much is copied and recreated, the recruiters who take bold steps and take an original approach to sourcing talent will be the ones who make a name for themselves. 

4. “Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them.”

The Enterprise is full to the brim with cutting edge space technology, from talking computers to hand-held tricorders to salt shaker-esque medical scanners. However, Spock and the team rely more on their intelligence and intuition than on any elegant gadgets. What’s more, with this quote Spock reminds us that we always need to remain in charge of technology and never vice versa.

For recruiters who spend increasing amounts of time behind the screen rather than on the phone or talking one-to-one in person, this is an important message to bear in mind. The human touch is still an essential part of recruitment, and one which computers should not and must not replace. Technology is a useful tool, but your engaging personality is your best recruiting asset.

5. “‘Because it is there’ is not sufficient reason for climbing a mountain.”

After saving Kirk who has just fallen off a mountain, Spock once more produces verbal gold and comes up with a logical adage that recruiters should attend to. As he points out, doing something for the sake of activity rather than strategy is not a wise move.

This rings true particularly for social media recruitment. We’ve all seen the recruiters who use their accounts to incessantly talk at people and broadcast their list of available vacancies. Guys, just because you can do this, by no means does it mean that you should. 

May we all take Spock’s logic and wisdom on board so the recruitment industry can live long and prosper!

RIP Leonard Nimoy.


Views: 1320

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on March 4, 2015 at 1:23am

Nice article, fellow Vulcan!  However, I must differ with you that the medical scanning devices resembled 'salt-shakers'.  That was only in the episode "Spock's Brain" (as you are probably well-aware)... considered the 'worst' Star Trek episode ever, by some, with ample room for parody.

I went to Kindergarten with Gene Rodenberry's lawyer's son, as well as Stanley Kubrick's lawyer's son... so I have been a fan of Star Trek since forever...  I remember being scolded in 3rd grade while rehearsing for the school Christmas show, for displaying the Vulcan hand-salute...  

Yet Logic still often triumphs~!

Comment by Roxanne Abercrombie on March 4, 2015 at 3:40am

Haha, I'm afraid I must concede to your superior Star Trek knowledge on this one Nicholas! Thanks for reading :)

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on March 5, 2015 at 12:53am

My theory is that the origin of Star Trek actually goes back to the early history of the CIA, which was founded two months after the Roswell UFO crash.  My distant cousin, Newton "Scotty" Miler (just a variant spelling of an ancient Irish/Welsh surname) worked at Roswell and was later the Deputy Director of Counter-Intelligence for the CIA, working for James Jesus Angleton  (notice the resemblance of that name to James Tiberius Kirk -- Tiberius being the emperor at the time of Christ, and the Scottish surname "Kirk" [meaning 'Church'] is somewhat interchangeable with the Anglican Church [Church of England])....  Angleton was considered to be one of the few people in the world with a security clearance high enough to have access to the "Majestic 12" Documents, which are or were rumored to be classified UFO secrets regarding Roswell, etc. At the same time as Scotty and Jim were working together in the highest levels of the CIA, there was also a prominent Agent named Leonard McCoy... the rest is history... fictional history

Comment by Roxanne Abercrombie on March 5, 2015 at 12:35pm

If there's one thing I love it's a good theory...interesting one Nicholas, you could well be right!


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