Still learning after all these years

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” ― Richard Feynman

                I have learned over time that you should never stop trying to learn new things.  This is when you say, yep no brainer.  Why wouldn’t you want to continue learning new things?  Here is the rub.  You don’t do it. I know you don’t.  When it comes down to it you make excuses.  I am tired; I am too busy, overworked, etc.  You just don’t do it. You should though. There is always room to learn and grow especially within recruiting and sourcing.

Conventions

                I was never really a fan of conventions.  I went to my first one in San Diego.  It seemed more like a party for people from out of town.  That and a sales floor full of vendors wanting to sell me something. However I have been to some conventions that were truly worth going to.  There are sessions and labs for learning.  These are not just the “this is how to do it” sessions but hands on labs to share thoughts and ideas.  It is a great way to meet with your peers and really learn some different ways of solving sourcing and recruiting problems.  I really like the local conventions that we have in DC.  They are one day or half day meetings and a great way to see friends and colleagues that are dealing with similar situations based on our geography.

Groups

                There are so many groups that you can be part of on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Quora, and Google+.  Some groups are more social and that is great. Some are designed so you can ask real world questions and get good answers.  You may even have an answer that you want to share that would help someone else out.  The real point is that knowledge should be shared within our community.  We all benefit from it.  The other part is the amazing connections you can make with your peers.  There have been so many conversations about social recruiting yet we limit ourselves to simple connections on line.  I know of multiple groups that do social meet ups for recruiters to mix and mingle face to face and really connect.  The conversations have been illuminating to say the least. The take away has been, this was fun and I learned a great deal.  Don’t have a group in your city or town?  Make one.  I am telling you from experience it is well worth it.

Classes

                Classes are another great way to learn new things as well and you should carve out just a little time to do one. I took some courses with The Sourcing Institute last year.  It was a game changer for me. I went in thinking; what am I going to learn from this training.  I have been recruiting for years now.  I should teach a class.  It seemed that every “course” I had looked in to was saying the same thing. I also realized it would be hours of my life I would never get back. This training however went beyond Boolean search strings.  It showed me valuable ways at looking at sourcing that I had never thought of before. This was fresh stuff.  I also met new people from all over the country and made new friends that I can ask help for on tougher searches or in areas I have not recruited for.  It is great to have that type of network at your disposal.  Online courses are ok but I find it more beneficial being in a room with my peers and building those connections.

                In many other professions people need to obtain a license to practice their craft. In order to maintain that license they have to take continuing education courses.  Although we are not licensed and are forced to do this I believe it is a good practice.  We should always be learning and educating ourselves.  There just is no excuse with all that is out there not to.  

Views: 177

Tags: Agency Recruiting, Corporate Recruiting, Human Resources, Recruiting Tools / Sourcing

Comment by Matt Charney on April 8, 2014 at 3:13am

Derek - I learned a lot reading this post, so touche - and look forward to you sharing more of your expertise, considering how extensive it is.  I'm not sure there's anything you don't know, and I appreciate watching - and learning - from you every day.

Comment by Steve Levy on April 8, 2014 at 8:28am

Deez- One more thing...when you have a question, recognize there are people in our profession who are stewards of excellence (or perhaps something less full of hyperbole) and are "here" to answer your call (ok, perhaps Skype or email). This "forum" transcends conventions or groups and what truly differentiates this channel of learning is that these people will actually reach out to you before you reach out to them. Weird profession we have, eh?

Comment by Derdiver on April 8, 2014 at 9:09am

Matt, thank you for the kind words sir. 

Steve, I agree with you.  The hard part seems to be separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak. We do have quite the profession!! LOL

Comment by Pete Radloff on April 8, 2014 at 11:23am

Its a huge part of what I love about what we do. It's ever evolving, and while its important not to get wrapped up in every shiny new object, it's critical to stay abreast of whats out there. Someone is always doing something interesting, and lifelong learning is a journey. I've learned more in 15 years in this field than I ever did in school. 

Comment by Derdiver on April 8, 2014 at 12:12pm

Pete, I agree man.  I seem to learn new things every day. I think I take advantage of other peoples ignorance. Sometimes I say something that I perceive as general knowledge and they look at me as though I have opened a whole new world to them. 

Comment by Steve Levy on April 8, 2014 at 12:16pm

D & P, I took a break from writing a new post tentatively entitled, "A License to Learn" where I'm describing what happens when I get these calls from recruiters looking to fill my positions. You guys know me so this won't come as a surprise: I toy with them then I talk with them then I teach them. Last week I sat with one of these recruiters who was having difficulty "finding resumes" with Booleans; one hour later, he couldn't wait to get back to the office to practice "engagement techniques." We're the one-percenters of this profession...

Comment by Pete Radloff on April 8, 2014 at 12:18pm

Well hot damn. I'm a one percenter at something!  :)

Comment by Derdiver on April 8, 2014 at 12:22pm

Great now the IRS is going to investigate us...

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on April 8, 2014 at 3:33pm

@ Derdriver: good one!

Know where else you can learn a lot? From the people you already know and work with. A newbie jr. sourcer knows after a few weeks more about how to improve their job than their boss, the head of Talent Acquisition, or a sr. recruiting consultant ever will.

Another thing: as far as those people in our field who go around telling everybody else about how much they know and how exceptional they are: the main thing you can learn learn is what a little ***** with a big mouth and an even bigger ego can accomplish, and what insecure little bags of **** they are.. Glad we don't have those here on RBC.

Cheers,

Keith

Comment by Derdiver on April 8, 2014 at 3:38pm

Keith, I love your style man!!! 

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