I was recently recruiting for a fairly senior HR person and during the course of the interviews I asked one of the questions I regularly ask candidates;  tell me why he or she has chosen this particular career path.  Several of the candidates replied that they had chosen HR as a career path because "I just love people!"

 

I am certain that because I was an HR practitioner before I came over to the recruiting dark side, I always cringe when I get this response.  First, I cringe because I believe that there is far more to the HR profession than just the love of people.  Secondly, I think that this particular answer is one that some candidates believe the interviewer wants to hear and that is an even more frightening thought.

 

As recruiters, we weigh answers from candidates.  I sincerely believe that most of us try to make certain that we are weighing candidate responses with our best "client focus" possible.  That is; we want to do the best job we can of matching client needs/expectations and candidate needs/qualifications.

 

Unfortunately, stereotypes do exist and we recruiters do react to them.  Again, speaking from personal experience, I find I must set aside that initial reaction and press on.  I need to dig deeper with a follow up question if the candidate has met all of the "Must Have" criterion of the client.  I cannot allow my visceral reaction to blind me to the possibility that I could be over reacting to a personal pet peeve.

 

So I can only offer this:  Keep the recruiting requirements clear and firmly in place in front of me.  Remember that the candidate will be working for the client and not for me.  Remember to ask a detailed follow up question before I make a 'go - no go' decision.

 

Keep your pet peeve chained up and your mind open.

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LOL I hear "Keymaster" and I think of the character from 'Ghostbusters I'


Bill Schultz said:

IF you're recruiting for an HR position what you really want to hear:

"I don't like people.  I enjoy putting up road blocks where none existed before.  I like contracts with conditions.  Miles of conditions.  I am the keeper of the gate, the keymaster"

 

That's a slam dunk right there.  ;-p

When i hear, "I just love people" then next thing i know i am going to hear is that their nickname is Fluffy, Muffy, Buffy, Staci, Traci or any name ending in an i or a y.   They started their career in social work or missionary outreach and now want to transition into HR.  I can't help it.  When i hear that line i tune out, check out and mentally move on. 

I'm a people person, particularly if they are in need of candidates for hire; or if they may be interested in a job I intend to fill.

Then I'm a pets person...

Then animals in general... 

Then plants...

Then nature, but not when it's raw.

Talk about coincidences Tom.. Five minutes ago I was having this same conversation with my HR Intern.. "There are two major reasons people go into HR. One of them is not the right reason." It's still on my notepad.... ~Karla

 

I haven't placed anyone in HR but I'd expect to hear something like:

"I've learned to value the good ones because they are rare."

with good examples
What I like to hear when I talk to an HR candidate is, "people are the most valuable asset and the biggest problems a company can have.". I don't particularly love or like people but I find people interesting and I have the training and ability to recognize the asset and work through the problems. Short answer, "I don't love people but I can handle them effectively.". Said with a knowing smile or a small chuckle.

Bahahahahaha, great response Bill!

 

Oh boy do I know THIS candidate for sure. In fact, working with just this kind of person is the primary reason I left one of my favorite past positions; look up misanthrope in the dictionary and you'd see her picture.

Bill Schultz said:

IF you're recruiting for an HR position what you really want to hear:

"I don't like people.  I enjoy putting up road blocks where none existed before.  I like contracts with conditions.  Miles of conditions.  I am the keeper of the gate, the keymaster"

 

That's a slam dunk right there.  ;-p

In general, almost everyone wants to be good a person.  When done well, HR can help each person reach their potential.
lol...sounds very familiar Tom..guess 'just  love people' should go to charity services.. Honestly more than we 'digging deep' at times i feel it is these people who need to dig deep to set their own expectation from careers and life.. But we are 'Recruitment consultants' and thats what we will be till we die.. so many more bricks in the wall my friend :)

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