Recruiters: The Sportscasters of Industry

Everyone has an opinion on Recruiting, all levels of a company, and pretty much anyone you meet just on the street. It's always puzzled me yet somehow made sense. Something occurred to me. Recruiters are mostly trespassers.

We are interlopers, we hang out in communities we don't really belong in don't we? We exude expert knowledge in industries we haven't actually worked in. We advise people on career choices in industries we watch yet in the majority of cases haven't participated in. We are viewed suspiciously by all, as we fight for respect.

But here's the thing, I figured it out. Inspired by a post from Paul Jacobs, who asked if Recruiters are like Real Estate Agents, I figured that Recruiters are like Sportscasters. Those professionals who comment and discuss sports. Not all of them have played at the top level themselves, and the don't necessarily have to. Those that have, put in special comments and don't have to wait as long to gain credibility, but in the end, they are still sports commentators.

People listen to them, and take what they say as gospel, without the hands on experience to back it up. What they have is vision, passion, experience, a holistic picture, a flexibility, a craving to be heard and make a good living out of it.

I'll put it this way. They know their Market ie sports, football, basketball cricket; but they hone their craft to standout in their Industry, ie Broadcasting.

Recruiters are the same. We play the same balance between our Markets and Industry.

For example. Here's me, I've been "in" the IT game for 12 or so years now. Can I cut code? Nope. Can I write technical documentation? Nope. Can I Regression test something? Nope. Yet, I am still a professional operating in the IT Industry (OK for me it is m Market). I was even lucky enough to be asked to present at an Australian Computer Society function the other day. (The irony was not lost on me. In my first ever Computer class (they were called that at the time), I managed to format my teachers favourite disk. It wasn't intended, to this day I don't know how I did it, however I got a crowd of people around me looking at the colourful circle I'd magically made. I wasn't allowed back in the class for weeks.) Why? Because I watch my market, I engage with its participants, I know the score. I'm seen to be able to advise the viewers at home (read clients or candidates) as to the state of play, trends, tactics in their Industry (not mine).

But I hone my craft away from the Market or the game. I learn MY Industry, about Recruitment. I pick the brains of Industry veterans, I listen, I read, I try new things, I innovate. (Just like sporting journalists, would speak to their predecessors, watch tape, learn stats, speaking tones, elocution, etc) These tactics increase my Industry knowledge, but increase my value in my Market.

So when you feel that weight of people's eyes on you, casting aspersions as to why you are attending their user group, their conference or sponsoring an industry breakfast. Hold your head high. You may be just working your Market inside their Industry, but think of what our sports would be without the Broadcasters, a bland, lifeless, un-informative, un-entertaining event. We compliment the Industry (event) and make it better for all involved. For all those Australians reading this, think Bruce McAvaney or Eddie Maguire they seem to have done pretty well for themselves. For anyone else... I've got nothing, find your own analogy. :) You know what I mean....

Views: 239

Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on August 19, 2009 at 11:34am
Great angle on what we do as professionals. It's like this. You don't have to be a trained musician in order to study music theory after which prolonged study does give you the credentials to have an opinion on a Beethoven symphony. And after a long period of time within a certain discipline we do become subject matter experts in our arena's because we have developed deep knowledge. And it's the same comparison that a hiring manager will typically NOT be as good as we are when it comes to hiring their position because it's not something they do on a regular basis and they lack the expertise beyond the bare bone basics.

Great article!
Comment by David King on August 19, 2009 at 11:37am
Dan, this is outstanding. Thanks for sharing and confirming what many of us sensed to be true, but had yet to validate the feeling. WE.ADD.VALUE.
Comment by Patrick Frost on August 19, 2009 at 11:49am
Dan, Nicely done! I'm right in the middle of an assignment where I am quite aware of my outsider status and this post helps put things in perspective for me. Thank you for yet another outstanding post.
Comment by Laura Reiley on August 19, 2009 at 1:58pm


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2022   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service