My favorite quote this week comes from Brian Tome, one of the senior pastors at my church. He said this morning, "You will get a person's best when you encourage and uplift them; you will not get their best when you criticize and belittle them."
I have been mulling over in my mind for the past couple of days a project I would like to work on in my spare time. I wanted to compile the thoughts, opinions, and advice from a select few researchers and sourcers out there and write an article on how to become a great researcher. Excited about this idea, I decided the best way to reach these selected individuals would be to write a Question through LinkedIn and then send it only to them. Unfortunately in my excitement, my question was posted for ALL of my 700+ LinkedIn connections to see! I only knew this after receiving the following response to my question:
"I'm sorry I don't mean any disrespect but I'm a little confused.
Searcher/sourcer is kind of the entry level in the staffing and recruiting industry. Your question seems a bit like asking, 'how can I be the world's greatest 'low-man-on-the-totem-pole'?
My advice would be to aim a little higher and then ask for advice on how to get there."
I am purposely withholding the name of this individual because I do not want him to be bombarded with scathing hate-mail. Well, part of me does, but seeing as how I'm just a lowly researcher, I don't want to stoop one degree lower to do that!
My response to this individual is as follows:
***, thanks for your quick response. My intent was for this question to only reach a handful of people, and apparently I posted it to my whole network. I have taken this question down as I only desire feedback from a select few, so my apologies that you received this.
In response to your message however, with all due respect researchers should not be viewed as the low man on the totem pole, but unfortunately many recruiters like to place them there. I myself have made a 5-year career out of researching, and I have no desire whatsoever to “grow up” to be a recruiter. Ask folks like Maureen Sharib, Shally Steckerl, Jim Stroud, Rob McIntosh, Glenn Gutmacher, etc., all of whom have made very successful careers out of researching and sourcing, with Maureen and Shally being self-employed doing just that. There are entire training programs, such as AIRS, dedicated to training on research techniques. There is even a national conference that is being held in Atlanta later this summer entirely focused on sourcing and research. It is not simply the ‘entry-level’ position and the stepping stone that everyone takes to become a recruiter. Yes I will agree that many people who start off as researchers do move on to become recruiters. But there are a great number of people, myself included, who have found that our love is in research and are interested in learning what it takes to become really great.
I see that you have a long-standing history working in executive level positions in electronics. I would imagine that being such a senior level person, you encourage the people who work for you, no matter what level they are at in the organization, to strive for excellence in whatever they do. Regardless of whether a researcher is simply an entry-level employee or if that individual desires to make a career out of it, I would hope you would encourage that person to be the very best researcher they could be, even if in your eyes that is as “low-man-on-the-totem-pole”.
I appreciate your thoughts, and I hope that my viewpoint on this will help clarify this misconception of what researchers truly are.
Sorry guys, this probably isn't 'my best' as my whole profession has just been belittled! But this is a perfect example of the misconception of researchers that I have been fighting for the past 3+ years. I hope that no one else out there looks at us in this light though I know there are probably plenty who do. Regardless, I will continue to fight this ignorance and promote the benefit and value that dedicated research brings to a recruiting organization.
(P.S. - if you're REALLY hot over that response, send me an email and I might be coerced into providing the name of the individual who wrote it!!)