I am so excited that Jorgen asked me if I’d be willing to write a column for The Undercover Recruiter. I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog for awhile, but when the best in the business comes and asks if you want to help out, there isn’t any answer but yes. My goal is to add a voice not often heard in our online communities: a voice from the bottom up and not the top down. I also like the idea of being an American working with the best in Britain.
I have been in the Staffing World on the Agency Side for over 15 years. I have done recruiting, sales and team management, essentially every role an agency recruiter can take without becoming the MAN. Like everyone ever who has had a job, there are parts I like and parts I don’t like – welcome to work (there is a reason they do not call it Super-Duper Happy Fun Time). After 15 years though, I still get off on helping someone get a new opportunity or helping a client find the right fit to make their team work.
Personally, I am an old school hippie-dippie, left wing, tree hugging, anti-establishment, iconoclast, socialist, pinko commie, but I also have to make a living! I have no problem with profit or with being wealthy. I have issues with how it is currently being done in the world, with the unfair nature of society, and with the rampant inequalities that continue to exist in our flawed lives. I try and balance the business I do with my personal values. I also try and not let the way I think things should be interfered with the way things are. I do try to make things better if I can.
I think that attitude comes from 2 events that shaped me into the man I am today. I survived September 11th, was evacuated from downtown NYC, the full works. My picture was even in Newsweek. OK, just the back of my head, but I know it was me. Then, in February 2002, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Some real heavy stuff to hit me all at once, Wham-BAM! It helped me understand what is controllable and what is not, what is important and when we should just nod our heads and smile. I am too cynical, bitter and Generation-X to ever think I can change the world on a Macro Scale. I haven’t been beaten up enough to think I cannot help people on a one to one level.
In my not so humble opinion, success in the Agency Staffing world is all about luck. That luck is always backed up by Hard Work. It still boils down to being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I have seen some horrific people – nasty and rude – run the best accounts, just rolling in the money. I have seen some amazing (and humble) recruiters, me included, still waiting for the “big” hit.
I have multiple goals I’d like to accomplish with this column:
- I’d like to share my knowledge of the Staffing World and help people improve their headhunting, business development and relationship making skills.
- I’d like to show that you don’t have to be a corporate stooge to do it and that becoming a top hat wearing, pinky diamond ring capitalist pig isn’t the best end to a life of work. I think that recruiters, especially agency recruiters, internally are viewed by many Managers and Company Owners as simply cogs in a machine, to be replaced as needed. We are seen by our candidates and hiring managers as circling soulless vampire squids just looking for cash. I don’t buy that, but I know it to be true. I hope by our actions and our behaviours we can improve this image.
At the end of the day, I don’t have answers to why but I know a lot of answers to how. I also have full faith that the wheel of Karma grinds very slow but it grinds very fine. Hopefully, some of the things I will share from my experience will help you to do better in this business we have chosen (or ended up in).
I also hope it helps make you sleep better at night because you balanced the day, the work and your heart. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn and leave any questions I might be able to answer in the comments below!