Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Top Ten Recruiter Truths .. can you handle the truth?

Evan Erwin (The Search for a Good Story), blogged recently about the Top Ten System Administrator Truths. This guy is funny. If you've got any techie blood in you at all, you can relate, and laugh, at Evan's list. I thought it appropriate to find an application relative to recruiting, so I'm changing the title to:

The Top Ten Recruiter Truths

Of course this is not an exhaustive list, but it should be fun. I will start by using Evan's first sentence with just one little word change. Here goes:

I figure with enough time and effort, anyone could be a ... Recruiter.

True? Well, let's run through the list and you can decide for yourself. An understanding of these truths will certainly get you on your way.

#1 - Applicants lie (sometimes)

Oh yes, they do. No, not all, but some. An engineer recently fibbed on his resume. He noted graduation from a particular university on his resume, then named a completely different university on his application. Me-thinks he was smart enough to know that the application would be referenced (not his resume) when the background check was performed. He was correct. Me-also-thinks he didn't expect an audit of his file. Busted? Yep. Employed? Nope. Worth it?

#2 - Applicants are not alone in this folly - see#1

Recruiters too? No, not all, but some. Are you gasping in shock? Hey, every recruiter has been on the applicant side of the fence at one time or another. We have all heard the same line:

"Hey chief, all the feedback I've received points in the direction of an offer. I'll call you first thing in the morning (clicking sound with side of mouth) and we'll wrap up this bad-boy. Ok, buh bye."

Click. Waiting...waiting...does this mean that all Recruiters are liars? Of course not. Sometimes dishonest? It often appears so. Good intentions? Sure, but good intentions are a far throw from honesty. As Heather blogged once upon a time, "honesty is a best practice." Too much is at stake to be anything less than honest - character and candidate experience.
Great recruiters treat candidates like customers.

#3 - Metrics Prove Your Worth

Metrics? You know, those numbers that justify the existence of many a recruiter? In a recent ERE article, Sullivan said, "When staffing leaders are polled about key issues facing the staffing function, one of the top items always on the list the past few years
has been developing the ability to prove performance and value through metrics."

Have you been too busy to see how you measured up in '05? Here's my philosphy - you can never be too busy to help your customer comprehend the value added to their organization (to their department) as a result of the quality hires that you facilitated.

#4 - NEVER Burn your Bridges with any negative prospect

This one should be in the first chapter of the Recruiter's Bible. Remember, when Cortez got to the new world he burned his ships, not his bridges. Many times negative prospects will watch and return, based on your success.

A fundamental principal to remember about recruiting is, "no is for now not forever."

#5 - Customers don't respect Paper-Pushers & highly paid Interview-Schedulers (disguised as Recruiters)

If we are to gain the respect of our customers, we have the obligation (privilege) to change their mind regarding our role in the organization - it will never be accomplished until we become partners with them in their business; business leaders who proudly share an understanding of the customer's business objectives and the strategic direction of the company.

#6 - World-Class Recruiters are Investment-Bankers

Companies that have superior human capital practices create superior returns for their shareholders. That is why I refer to recruiters as Investment Bankers. We have the opportunity, every day, to improve our companies' market value. Ask Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

#7 - World-Class Recruiters Adapt to Change

"The world rewards only those of us who catch on to what's happening, who invest our energy in finding and seizing the opportunities brought about by change...change always comes bearing gifts." Price Pritchett

#8 - World-Class Recruiters deliver 1st-class Customer Service

As Chris Forman (AIRS CEO) once said, "One great recruiter is worth 100 good recruiters." Why? Because a great recruiter finds ways to add value to their customer's business; they become a service-center to their customer. Is customer service the differentiating factor between a good recruiter and a great recruiter? One could make a strong case.

# 9 - Elvis, I mean, Execution is King

Great recruiting initiatives will never get off the ground if they only stay in our minds. We rub shoulders every day with some pretty smart people. However, the main thing these folks have in common is this: they are not afraid to pull the trigger. Be willing to make a decision - build a plan - create your initiative ... then let 'er rip!

Patton said, "Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash." A calculated risk is going to be the very thing that keeps you from thinking and doing the same things that everybody else is thinking and doing.

#10 - The Holy Grail of Recruiting...become a Pocket of Greatness

Consider it a challenge to be different - to think differently - to be creative. Pursue immunity from the rut of recruiting that keeps you doing the same thing as every other recruiter in your industry.

"So long as we can choose the people we want to put on our minibus, each of us can create a pocket of greatness. Each of us can take our own area of work and influence and can concentrate on moving it from good to great. It doesn't really matter whether all the CEOs get it. It only matters that you and I do." - Jim Collins

Don't wait on anybody else. Focus on your customer and do something unique within your circle of influence.

There you have it - ten recruiter truths. Ready to enlist?

Well, before you decide too hastily, I'll close with that famous court-room rant by Col. Nathan R. Jessep, in response to questionable decisions made in the recruiting-line-of-duty:

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee:I think I'm entitled to them.

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I want the truth!

Jessep: "Senator Edwards, I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. My existence as a recruiter, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, brings millions of dollars to this organization's bottom-line.

We work in world-class organizations that have walls. And those walls have to be guarded by recruiting warriors. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

We use words like honor, code, loyalty, character, integrity, and customer-service...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very gate-keeping freedom I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it!

I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a telephone and start cold-calling! Either way, I don't give a hoot what you think you're entitled to!

Kaffee: Did you cut the P.O. for the Jobster invoice?

Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

Kaffee: Did you approve the Jobster P.O.?!

Jessep: You're ding-dang right I did!!

Dennis Smith

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1 comment:

misterorange said...

Awesome list! I'm proud to have inspired it.

Thanks for the kind words. Awesome blog! :)