I have a confession to make. I’m a total dork in my everyday life. I know it’s hard to believe – I’ve been called a social butterfly and have at least once been the life of a party. For more than 10 years I’ve gotten a thrill out of calling up total strangers and convincing them to completely change where and what they spend the majority of their waking hours doing. I get a kick out of those who think recruiters have to be social butterflies (what a stupid term, really) who just adore people to be really great at this job. That. Is. Not. Me. Some days I don’t even like people. But I am a really good recruiter. Put me in a room full of people, or on the phone with a client or candidate, heck even on the Recruiting Animal Show – I can talk all day long.
Not so much in real life.
Put me in a social situation where I have to talk about non-recruiting things, I completely clam up. I am immediately back in 3rd grade, starting my 4th elementary school, wishing the ground would just open up so I could disappear. I’ve spent countless little league games, church potlucks, PTA meetings and block parties over in the corner playing with my phone. Not because I’m rude or anti-social, I just don’t know what to say. I don’t do small talk. And nobody outside the business wants to talk about recruiting. I tried to get my kid to listen to my latest Animal Show appearance and she said “no offense Mom, I think you’re really funny and witty, but recruiting is BORING”.
Boring?? Recruiting is FASCINATING! There is so much to dissect – stupid behavior, bad advice, the value of job boards, the death of resumes. To tweet or not tweet? How important is my “brand”? But seriously, where can I find a performance diagnostics Program Manager with solid coding skills?
I could do this all day. I freaking love my job SO MUCH I want to talk about it ALL THE TIME. Maybe that’s the real reason I started writing about it. I can have these conversations in my head, get them on paper and hopefully turn them into real conversations with all of you. My family sure isn’t listening and I obviously don't have any non-recruiting friends.
So introverts, take heart! You don’t have to be “social”. Great recruiters will usually have certain traits in common, but being sociable doesn’t have to be one of them.