In full disclosure, I’m a huge geek. In 99 out of 100 opportunities on any given night, I’ll watch anything that is on the NatGeo or History Channels before I watch any of that mindless drivel of reality TV. (the Real World still gets a lifetime free pass). And so I had the opportunity to get all freaky with my inner geek and watch the Bill Nye v. Ken Ham debate on the validity of both creationism and evolution. Which got me thinking…..could you have a similar argument for recruiting? 

Al recruiters are most likely a product of evolution at heart. unless of course there is someone out there with the BS Bachelors Degree in Corporate Recruitment, who wants to step forward. (crickets………) Ok, great so knowing that, let’s continue. 

Baby I Was Born This Way

Uh, no you weren’t. You were in a really good job that required either A. Good sales and client development skills B. Good research and/or organizational skills, or C. a love for making money.  Nobody grows up wanting to be a recruiter. We happen to luck into to it, and for some of us (the lucky ones?) it becomes the found career path. We evolve from our former career self into the omnivorous Recruitimus Onthphoneicus. For others, it becomes another gig they had once upon a career. And they will evolve into their next career move, maybe finding their path. Maybe not. Which brings me to my next point.

Survival Of The Fittest

Ok, so now you are a recruiter, and this is what you are going to do for a career (or to satisfy that bar tab that is inching closer to your 401k balance). You have two choices, adapt and evolve with your field and the new resources available to you, or to just continue doing what you’ve always done. Guess who eats and lives and thrives, and who eventually winds up as someone else’s doormat. Being afraid of changing technology and sticking to “what’s always worked” in the recruiting field is akin to feeding on prey that always come to you, and then wondering why you are starving when it goes extinct – because you haven’t learned to hunt and adapt to new methods of food gathering. I’m not advocating adopting every garbage tool that someone is peddling. But you need to continually evolve beyond your comfort zone.

Beware Of Artificial Selection

It’s natural for companies to want to replicate the top performers. Those with the highest spreads at an agency, the lowest time to fill in-house roles, those who can close deals and build deep candidate relationships. But there’s danger in that. If you have an office full of recruiting robots, all programmed to function a certain way, guess what you lose? Creativity. So weeding out anyone that doesn’t fit the ONE mold, is a slippery slope.

It’s fine to have your structure and parameters in a recruiting organization. But keep in mind, good recruiters often tend to be tinkerers. Adjusting this or that, experimenting with a new method, keeping abreast on super cool industry websites is how they continually hone their craft. And thrive. And survive.

Maybe you just shouldn’t mess with the order of things, and things and people will fall where they will in the career path master plan. But, what do I know, I’m just a monkey who learned to talk and recruit people.

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Views: 477

Comment by Tim Spagnola on February 14, 2014 at 10:54am
This is really a great post Pete.
Comment by Pete Radloff on February 14, 2014 at 10:56am

Thanks Tim. Sometimes my nerddom pays off. :)

Comment by Matt Charney on February 14, 2014 at 10:58am

@Pete being a nerd always pays off...except for, you know, with the ladies. And by that I mean HR Generalists.

Comment by Pete Radloff on February 14, 2014 at 11:00am

Clearly no one saw my senior prom date. 

Comment by Derdiver on February 14, 2014 at 11:22am

Geeks UNITE!!  Loved this my man! I have been asked 7 times this week "how did you get in to recruitng" SEVEN (7)!  I think now I have a source to go to as an explanation better than "its better than waiting tables" explanation. 

Comment by Pete Radloff on February 14, 2014 at 11:35am

I hope so. At least its more scientific :)

Comment by Anna Brekka on February 14, 2014 at 11:45am

well put!

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 14, 2014 at 4:31pm

Pete: I call and raise, my "nerda":

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Farscape  or Firefly?

Josh or J Michael?

Buffy or Xena?

David Tennant or Matt Smith?

Benedict C or Johnny Lee M?

American or British Being Human?

American or Japanese Iron Chef? (If Japanese: dubbed or subtitled?

Akira or Ghost in the Shell?

Howl's Moving Castle or Spirited Away?

Monty Python or Firesign Theater? (Yeah, I'm  kickin' it OLD SCHOOL, Homes. Young'in, I'll spare you : HP or TI?)

Anyway enough of this brouhaha (or is it folderol?):

If I had an agency ("the horror, the horror!") , I wouldn't want ANYBODY creative.

I'd fill it with quota-busting, money-addicted sociopaths who were clever/charming enough to avoid any felony charges.

Happy Heart Day, My 'Cruitaz!


Comment by Pete Radloff on February 15, 2014 at 9:07am

Check and Mate Mr Halperin. Check and Mate. 

Comment by Ellen Clark on February 17, 2014 at 9:26am

Change is hard to do when we recruiters are told all the time to stay on the phone and forget wasting time on the computer.Which is it? Recruit the old way by repeated cold calls or engage in the new media and tech available to us? It is difficult to balance both approaches as the computer usually wins in terms of time. How much time is wasted checking email, twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook in order to stay current? It is easy to tell us to turn off the technology and get on the phone. But is it realistic? Now excuse me while I go update my blog, check what is new on LinkedIn, post a tweet and maybe make a call or two.


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