I had a chance during the weekend to squeeze out some time to watch tennis. Apart from the obvious thrill of watching the sport, I did have an ulterior motive. Who has an ulterior motive for watching tennis, you ask? And what could that motive possibly be? Maybe it was the concoction of a few sleepless nights with this new brand of coffee I’ve been having; but to me, the match seemed like a competitive arena of recruitment. Now before you start blaming my coffee and lifestyle, give me a chance to explain myself. The match was between the renowned Nadal and the new chap Almagro. Initially Almagro, surprisingly, turned out to be a force to be reckoned with - but then he lost. Reason? Almagro got beaten by the patience of Nadal. The match remained tied for both the players, who won on their serves but neither of them tried to capitalize on the opponent’s serve. Once it was 6-6 down, Nadal broke Almagro’s serve to win the set and changed the score to 7-6. The rest was all Nadal’s show, as Almagro was psychologically beaten. In the remainder of the match, Almagro failed to capitalize on the Nadal’s serves while Nadal continued to tap into his psychological warfare with great success. To add insult to injury, the poor new lad got injured too.
The analogy between the game and recruitment was clear in my almost-coffee-induced-coma head. Just as Almagro failed to aggressively respond to the opponent’s serve, we as recruiters have become so passive during the recession and are literally hoping for things to fall into our laps. Any recruiter can have his share of the pie in the hiring frenzy, but the art is to perform even in bad economic times. The recruiters in recession wait for the clients to come to them and become passive in vigorously seeking applicants due to lack of business in the market. I personally believe that recruiters should become even more aggressive during recession and steal the show. This is the time to pounce; to set you apart from everyone else. This is exactly how Nadal won the game; by being aggressive even at the receiving end. The only way to win the game is to respond at times when its least expected. Economic conditions will only be a hindrance unless people don’t make a move to get rid of it. The economic situation has been further worsened by the people who are a part of it. Blaming the economy is nothing more than an excuse for being passive.
To sum it up, all recruiters need to do is to change their attitude and respond in a better, more aggressive manner, especially now. How? By hiring reliable ATS and talent assessment service providers to create a difference; by seeking candidates to benefit the existing clients; and by looking for more and more clients in this huge market filled with numerous industries

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Tags: assessment, behavioral, business, characteristics, code, department, experts, performers, personality, psychology, More…recieve, serve, traits, us

Comment by Charles Van Heerden on December 3, 2009 at 3:40pm
Hi Hassan, great analogy between sport and recruitment. It is very easy to ignore tools that can help to improve our performance. Ongoing R&D is required to be a step ahead of the competition.

I agree that it is all about attitude and changing our approach. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to use old solutions that have worked previously trying to solve new problems.
Comment by Harry Urschel on December 3, 2009 at 4:10pm
You're right Hassan, it is easy to get complacent or passive when it seems like the market is at a standstill. Pursuing things more aggressively does set you apart to both your clients and candidates. So... I better get back to work!

Good article!
Comment by Mark A. Leon on December 3, 2009 at 5:00pm
Hassan, Excellent commentary and very witty. I need to try that coffee. We have to try even harder to find the most successful performers and sell the value and growth of the organization to help draw top performers away to a new opportunity. Well described.
Comment by Hassan Rizwan on December 4, 2009 at 1:13am
Thank you for such great comments.

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