Talent Acquisition

What Does a Recruiter Have in Common with Brad Pitt?

It might seem like a fanciful comparison, but there are actually some interesting comparisons between recruiters and top Hollywood actors (and not simply the fact that some recruiters believe that they deserve the red carpet treatment!)

Whether you are new to the recruiting game or a top billing superstar, you can take enjoyment from the fact that there are parallels between your job, and Brad Pitt’s.

You need that all-important ‘big break’ to get noticed:

For aspiring actors, getting that big break is the first step towards launching the career of their dreams. Many will slave away for a lifetime without getting their foot in the door in the notoriously tough film industry. For recruiters, it is also necessary to get that big break – and that first good deal. That first big contract or client win can propel you into the spotlight and make your boss really notice you for the first time, meaning that you are well on your way to success. That first win is also vital for boosting your confidence and reminding yourself that you are cut out for the job. After days of fruitless cold calling or failed business development, this boost can propel you on towards another rapid win, allowing you to ride the wave of business wins!

Everyone will be watching your performance:

Some actors are notoriously shy and suffer from stage fright, despite being superbly talented in their field. Similarly, as a recruiter, everyone is watching your performance whether you like it or not! Your team leader is watching to see that you hit your targets, and their manager is watching you to see whether or not they’ve made the right choice in hiring you. Your recruitment agency director will be watching you to see that you contribute towards the business’s profitability, and your colleagues will be watching to see if you are more, or less, successful than them. And of course, your clients will be watching you continually too, to check that you are doing a good job for them! Be prepared for this and learn to love it. You can also slightly mitigate this tendency to be ‘tracked’ by others by proactively and fully communicating with your stakeholders in as transparent a way as possible. This reassures them that you are delivering, and they may well focus their attentions elsewhere!

You need to look your best to impress:

Actors and actresses need to look incredible to be noticed and get their foot in the door, especially in an industry filled with bright and glamorous young things. Recruiters also need to look perfectly presented and smart as, fundamentally, they work in the sales business and need to be able to sell themselves in a compelling way. Your suit, your hair, your accessories and handshake will all be subconsciously assessed by your stakeholders.

If you overdo things, you can burn out:

So many actors end up in rehab after succumbing to the lure of alcohol, dugs or other addictions. Likewise, as a recruiter, you can end up burning the candle at both ends, with early starts and late finishes. A good recruiter will learn how to balance his diary, so that he can get the best of work and personal time, blending exercise, healthy eating and relaxation into the mix to boost performance and ensure a long-term career. It may seem worthy at the time, but a recruiter who is in at dawn and entertaining clients until the small hours each day is heading for a fall. Be smart and look after yourself. Work out, eat well, sleep and enjoy that all important work-life balance. Far from taking you away from your goals, this will allow you to attack your work with consistent energy, focus and determination – and bring you ever greater success.

One bad decision could ruin your career:

Even the best actors can ruin a hard-earned career through a poor film choice. For actors such as George Clooney (Return to Horror High) and Johnny Depp (Private Resort), those choices can be blamed on the inexperience of youth. However, other actors choose bad films later in their careers (such as every big name in universally panned film, Battlefield Earth), and then struggle to get themselves back on track.

Personality and like-ability factor can really help your career:

For actors, personality is key and the audience must instinctively like them – even if they tend to play villains as a character actor. Equally, with recruiters, personality is key. The recruitment business is fundamentally a people business, and clients do business with people that they like and trust. To be successful, work on your social and interpersonal skills, particularly listening, communication and rapport. Be aware of how you present yourself, from the first handshake, to the follow up call. Above all, be pleasant, sincere, authentic and focused on serving the client. Combine these traits with an enduring commitment to delivering a superb service for the client, every time, and you can look forward to those big billing figures rolling in – much in the manner of a top grossing film!

Author: Satnam Brar is Managing Director of Maximus IT. Maximus is an Oracle Gold Partner which specialises in recruitment in the ERP, CRM & Database sectors, specifically ORACLE, MS Dynamics, and SAP.

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