Super cheesy title, right? I know. But hold on to your rotten tomato, okay? Don't pelt me with it just yet. I've been thinking about recruiting in general and my business in particular, and now more than even I understand that the business we do is a reflection of who we are. I often say, "All business - but recruiting in particular - is a contact sport." As I've gained experience, that phrase means different things. Sometimes a contact sport is bloody conquest, a war of egos and control issues. Sometimes it resembles an abusive relationship, overflowing with esteem problems and codependency. It is also possible for a contact sport to be positive interaction based on mutual respect and value.

We touch people all day long as recruiters, both candidates and clients, but the kind of contact depends on us.

It is easy to say those words, but what the heck am I talking about? I'm getting there, and I'll try to be concise, because we are all busy. Aren't the busyness, short attention spans and overwhelming amount of information all part of the game we are playing? Yes. Let me assure you our frenetic pace and information overload is the backdrop to my post. I, too, swim in these waters, and I get tired sometimes.

A brief anecdote to illustrate how crazy it is out there: I scheduled an interview with a candidate and a client for a Friday. On Thursday the client had to reschedule and wanted the following Wednesday. That didn't work for the candidate so I tried for his preferred day, the following Friday - a week from the initial interview. It worked for all and I sent the invite. The next morning I got an email from the hiring manager asking if the interview was for the day I sent it, next week, or for that same day. Are you lost yet? So was he. He is a sharp, together guy. But he lost the thread in his head and wasn't sure which direction was up. I reassured him that we had sent an invite for the day the interview was supposed to be. We all took a breath. I briefly contemplated a career change to tuckpointing.

What does all of this have to do with recruiting? Only everything. From our first reach out, whether to a prospective candidate or a hiring manager, we are playing a game where we vie for attention and must prove our value. The best way to do that is to find out what those with whom we are playing need or want and find a way to offer it and make it as easy a process as possible. This is Sales 101, I realize. But it is amazing how many business people would flunk a test given regarding Sales 101. We are all so busy trying to get stuff done that often we forget we are doing stuff with and to people. Our success depends on our uncovering and delivering other people's desires.

Read the rest after the jump.

Views: 293

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 22, 2014 at 8:40pm

Thanks, Lisa. you've helped raise an interesting point:

Sometimes, what they say they want, what they think they want, what they really want, and what they really need are not the same...

Comment by Tim Spagnola on July 22, 2014 at 11:09pm

Always refreshing to hear your voice Lisa. Thanks for making it heard within the RBC. #RealRecruiter

Comment by Derdiver on July 23, 2014 at 10:29am

Great read!! Thanks!! 

Comment by Amber on July 23, 2014 at 6:16pm

The rest of the article - wow! Exactly so many things I also run into and some just recently. Also, I don't think I'm naturally organized so I try to work extra hard at being so. Trying to minimize those train wrecks.

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on July 23, 2014 at 8:46pm

Great reminders here, Lisa. It seems many simple things or interactions can quickly become complicated unnecessarily, when people fail to pause,and listen or take initiative to prevent or solve problems. 

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 28, 2014 at 10:53pm

As a fencer, I especially like this quote (which I totally agree with):

"All business - but recruiting in particular - is a contact sport." As I've gained experience, that phrase means different things. Sometimes a contact sport is bloody conquest, a war of egos and control issues. Sometimes it resembles an abusive relationship, overflowing with esteem problems and codependency. It is also possible for a contact sport to be positive interaction based on mutual respect and value.

We touch people all day long as recruiters, both candidates and clients, but the kind of contact depends on us."

It's definitely true, and especially of recruiting.  The whole point of the business is 'reaching out' and deftly connecting with someone.  It's a great analogy!

Comment by Noel Cocca on August 6, 2014 at 12:23pm

Meant to do this sooner Lisa....you are a Bad Ass Blogger!

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