Why recruiting matters

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I had coffee recently with a guy I used to work with years ago.

He admitted that he’s never understood guys like me. As he put it, “hardwired for seeing what I can get out of myself.” The original context of our conversation was business development, but he also expressed that my dedication to sport was something he never really understood.

I tried to explain why I need a physical outlet in my life – as I did HERE.

But the real value in our conversation was in the realization that life is about the relationships we establish and cultivate and nurture. He called it (relationship building) “the currency of God”. I realized that for so many years that was lacking in my life. And I realized in the same moment that is exactly why I’m so fulfilled now in the recruiting business.

It’s a hard business. A single day can feel like a roller coaster of emotions. It’s a business where some days you have to find “small victories” to keep you moving forward.

To call the recruiting business “competitive” is an understatement.

I know recruiters get a bad rap sometimes.

“X” number of resumes = “X” number of positions filled = “X” revenue generated.  Done this way the business can be hurried, inexact, and worst of all, impersonal. You reduce the “candidate” to a set of skills on a page and flood the “client” with pile of resumes they might have dug up on their own. You diminish real people on both sides who have a need that you’ve been given the opportunity to serve.

I knew I had landed in the right place when I listened to the man who started the company (an old triathlon friend), explain his vision for why he got into recruiting to begin with: serving people.

That’s it.

Helping people find a job restores a sense of dignity that losing a job degrades. While we’re certainly not our jobs, having work to do each day is what we’re designed for. At least for now.

So putting people to work matters. The only way to really do this well is through the currency of God. Building relationships. Not data mining. Not sheer volume. But real conversations. Face to face, so that the presence of another person in close proximity imparts hope because someone actually cares and is willing to walk with you.

I want to know the people I’m serving.

What makes them happy. Not just in work, but in life in general.

What were their dreams. What they are now. Why they might have changed.

What really matters to them.

To serve someone I need to know them.

Not just how many programming languages or project management processes they knew. Skill sets are easy to come by. People who are passionate about them and the next opportunity to use them are not. And the only way to know the difference is through a relationship.

As a career “sales guy” I’ve heard over and over about “relationship selling”. Rarely was I able to do that in previous jobs I held.  But in recruiting and business development for the recruiting business, it’s the only way to succeed. Knowing a person motivates me to work for them. To become their advocate. Whether it’s for a candidate or a client, because if I’m doing my job right I’m helping both.

Recruiting is putting someone else’s needs and dreams in front of your own, at least in context of how you spend your day and working hours.

Success isn’t tied directly to income, although ultimately that comes as well when your focus is on helping people.

I remind myself each day that it’s about relationships, not resumes. The currency of God and not men.

I love you,

– Daddy