I am at a cocktail party and one of my long term friends grabs my arm and says, "There is somebody I want to introduce you to." 

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but in this most recent economic downturn, those words are usually preceded by an introduction to a person that has been out of work for 'x' months and needs some help getting employed.  Sometimes a good candidate, sometimes not; but always it entails effort  and time on my part for which I truly cannot seek or expect to be paid.

However; the conversation sometimes takes an interesting turn when the person to whom I am introduced then asks, "And what exactly is it that you do?"

How many times have you been asked that question and how many times have you tried to explain to a disbelieving audience that what you really do is meet the people/talent needs of organizations whose own efforts have not met with success?  Why is it that people outside of the recruiting world have such a difficult time understanding the delicate balance of talent, qualifications and personality that we seek for our clients?

Perhaps we need to promote our field a bit more eloquently. Perhaps we need to speak in terms of "Unit cost per hire". Perhaps we need to use phrases like "Strategic Talent Acquisition".

I guess it's all up to us as individuals but when I get asked that question, I usually and not without some level of satisfaction just answer, "I'm an Executive Recruiter." What about you?

 

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I hate telling people I am a recruiter because of the looks I immediately receive afterwards. Then try explaining that I work in the government sector and only with people with high government clearances and forget about it, their eyes glaze over.

 

I have no idea what we can do to get rid of the "recruiter" stigma, but I would love to hear suggestions. (I partly blame the body shops like AEROTEK for the stigma that I am stuck with.)  

I usually say "I'm a recruiter" and I usually get "Really?  what branch of the service?" or "you don't look like a soldier...."
I think "Recruiter" comes out on some list somewhere just before attorneys and after used car salespeople.  At least we are ahead of a whole host of "Elected Officials".

Megan Flynn said:

I hate telling people I am a recruiter because of the looks I immediately receive afterwards. Then try explaining that I work in the government sector and only with people with high government clearances and forget about it, their eyes glaze over.

 

I have no idea what we can do to get rid of the "recruiter" stigma, but I would love to hear suggestions. (I partly blame the body shops like AEROTEK for the stigma that I am stuck with.)  

Better than being asked, "For what team?"

Amy Ala said:
I usually say "I'm a recruiter" and I usually get "Really?  what branch of the service?" or "you don't look like a soldier...."
I have tried all the responses and finally settled on. "I find people for companies to hire when they need an employee."  They pay me to find somebody who fits a job they have open, interview them and co-ordinate interview times." "If they hire them i get paid, if they don't i don't get paid. " "No i don't find jobs for people just people for jobs."
I LOVE THAT! "i find people for jobs." such a good way to explain it!

Sandra McCartt said:
I have tried all the responses and finally settled on. "I find people for companies to hire when they need an employee."  They pay me to find somebody who fits a job they have open, interview them and co-ordinate interview times." "If they hire them i get paid, if they don't i don't get paid. " "No i don't find jobs for people just people for jobs."
Isn't it amazing how many people, including some very senior people who based on their own hiring experiences should know better, think that they are your/my 'client'.

Sandra McCartt said:
I have tried all the responses and finally settled on. "I find people for companies to hire when they need an employee."  They pay me to find somebody who fits a job they have open, interview them and co-ordinate interview times." "If they hire them i get paid, if they don't i don't get paid. " "No i don't find jobs for people just people for jobs."
I start out with "I help people find jobs that are more satisfying and rewarding and help companies identify the right people for their needs, what do you do?"  That usually works out pretty well.

Yeah often people don't get the it we do to make a living.

 

Sometimes I say,"I am a Bounty Hunter... for Talent."  

Other times I say, "I find and enthuse people with specific talent profiles on behalf of my clients."  I love the word enthuse.  

Periodically  I say, "I sell people to people." I get some looks, man.

 

Today I'd say I am Sisyphus pushing the damn rock up the hill, but that is a story for another day.  ;-0

 

 

 

 

I'm a headhunter.
I just say I'm a marketing and technical recruiter.

When I say "I'm an executive recruiter" to a new acquaintance, the whole cycle starts over!  They say, "Oh, well I know [god's gift to the unemployed] who you should really talk to".  I usually say, I'm an executive recruiter, AND the biggest misconception about my job is that I don't really find jobs for people; I find people for jobs.  FOR THE CORPORATE EMPLOYERS that retain us.  The extra statement then puts people in the position of having to say, oh of course, I realize that... then the conversation changes.  I've gotten into the habit in 27 years of pre-empting their assumption that I can/will personally help them!

Regards,
Mark

PS:  I just noticed Sandra's reply, so I came back to edit mine, and acknowledge that she said it right!

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