I recently read a blog about the five best quotes for recruiters. It included thoughts from Apple founder Steve Jobs to Chinese philosopher Confucius that could be applied to the recruiting world. It inspired me to create my own list of five of my favorite quotes, and how they can be applied to the recruiting world.
1. The harder you work, the Luckier you get. – Plato
Recruitment is a tough business, and it takes a lot more work than just posting a job order and crossing your fingers. Success takes time, effort and perseverance – not only in getting job orders from clients by building a solid relationship over time, but gaining trust and a good reputation among candidates by providing them with timely feedback and coaching. Sometimes, the recruitment business requires a lot more from you than you’d expect. For example, an NPA member recently shared that over her years of recruiting, she has heard her clients say many candidates are technically qualified, but when it comes to phone screenings and interviews, many miss the mark. Candidates were not doing basic things like answering the question “tell me about yourself” effectively, or asking the employer questions about the company or role. So this recruiter did lots of reading and research and compiled a six-page document that she gives to candidates as a “cheat sheet,” including things such as 15 questions that may be asked of candidates, like “what’s your management style?” and “what should this position pay?”. Her candidate prep starts from the first call, and she gives coaching throughout the hiring process, which ultimately saves her time by sending in candidates that are prepped and ready to go. By putting in a little extra legwork on the candidate’s behalf, and getting the candidates on the same page as her clients, it has made this recruiter very successful.
2. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky
I’m a hockey nut, so I love this quote, and I was reminded of it on a recent Healthcare trading group call, when a member pointed out that the recruiters should look at ways to maximize opportunities with their current clients and focus on all their customer’s needs. For example, a healthcare recruiter may primarily make nursing placements with a major hospital client, but it doesn’t hurt to ask that client if they have placement needs in IT, administrative or clerical. While you may not specialize in these areas, you can partner up with another firm who does – remember, half of a placement fee is better than none at all! And you may become a one-stop-shop for your client, ultimately leading to more job orders in the end!
3. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. – Warren Buffett
Veronica Scrimshaw of NPA headquarters recently wrote a blog titled: Recruiting Resources: Expense or Investment?, which said that while it’s important to pay attention to expenses, business owners need to realize that not all expenses are equal. Some business expenses, such as recruiter training and development, firm marketing and branding, and technology, have a significant return on investment. One example of a specific expense-turned-investment within our network is echoed by many members – the value of going to a regional meeting or global conference far exceeds the cost of attending it. Time and time again we hear of new partnerships and deals made because of recruiters meeting face-to-face at these events. When it’s time to consider expenses, think of the possible outcome and whether it ultimately could be considered an investment.
4. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.
– Henry David Thoreau, “Life without Principle”
While job order reqs focus on experience or qualifications needed, we hear of many recruiters’ clients turning down candidates who have the right skills – such as a specific degree or certification, or the required number of years of experience in the industry — but aren’t quite the right “fit.” Hiring managers and employers can’t afford to hire the wrong person only to have them leave or get let go because they aren’t a fit with the company’s culture. Companies want candidates who will grow with the company, so many have the mindset: skills can be taught, personality can’t. Those who love what they do are apt to have more drive, adaptability and ambition, than those just looking for a paycheck – and those are the types of candidates your clients want. Look beyond the resume – during your phone or in-person screening, try to get a feel for the candidate’s personality, goals and ambition.
5. Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. – Winston Churchill
Recruitment is an ever-evolving business. Some of our members have been in it long enough where they remember the days where job orders were sent to your trading partners by mail, and connecting with people was done face-to-face or over the phone. Now, recruitment can be done via social media or even texting, and interviews over Skype. As a recruiter, it’s important to not be so “stuck in your ways” that you’re not able to adapt to wherever the industry is heading. While it’s not a requirement to download every new social media app that comes out to your phone, it is important to be flexible and willing to learn. That might mean taking a webinar so you learn how to brand yourself and your firm on LinkedIn, or it might be getting educated and branching into a new industry if you see hiring in your niche declining, or it may just be listening to your peers’ advice on how to get more clients or best practices – it’s important to always keep an open mind and be willing to learn.
Are there any quotes — recruitment oriented or otherwise — that you live by?