Talent Acquisition

The Principles of Being a Better Recruiter

I realized, as I sat here 2 days before my deadline (don’t leave it so late next time Jeff! – Editor), that I really had no excuse to why I hadn’t written anything. “C’mon Newman,” I said to myself. “You’re the People’s Recruiter! Oh, and Jorgen has you with a deadline. Think of something!” I know why I haven’t written anything. A lot of my earlier work is me trying to turn negativity into positive vibes – making the best out of crappy situations, trying to find meaning within an industry that can be gut wrenching, soul crushing and, at its worst, one step below running down puppies in a parking lot.

However, I happen to be very happy at my new job, even with its challenges. I just moved from NY to San Francisco, and I absolutely love this city. Despite the fact that I cannot find an apartment (but, that is my fault – credit issues, anyone?), I can’t complain too much. Every opportunity I have moved to in my career has been an improvement over what I was doing before. My move to Mobiquity has been one of the better ones. So, what could I write about? Improving your interview skills? How to be a better hunter beyond LinkedIn? How to improve your online presence? Comrades, the amazing people at the Undercover Recruiter have covered that without much I could add. I see my work here as adding a different level to the whole shebang we do 40+ (OK…who am I kidding? 60+) hours per week. I needed something from that zone of space.

Then, I read an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit with John Perry Barlow. Mr. Barlow has always been a hero of mine. As a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, as a founder of the EFF, and as a member of Leary’s little Millbrook gang, his achievements are legend.

All of them are things that are important to us as people, as members of the “Monkey Sphere”, that we should live our lives to try and reach. However, I decided to pick a few that if we follow will make us better at our roles as recruiters. So, without further ado, a few tidbits, though I encourage you to read (and live, learn and love) them all.

1) Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun:

Man, this is a great technique while recruiting, a reminder that we should be focused on our clients and our candidates and not what WE want. Personally, I try to turn my “I” statements into questions. Take “I think this is a great offer” and make it into, “How do you feel about the offer?” People who use the pronoun “I” reveal a lot about themselves. Nothing during the recruiting process is about YOU. We are the facilitators; the bridge that helps everything happen. We are the wizard behind the curtain of making organizations amazing.

RELATED: NEWSFLASH: A Recruiter is Not a Job Finder

2) Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change:

I know I have written about this before, in different ways. You cannot close a placement. You cannot shorten a commute, make more money magically manifest itself, or fix a company with a shitty reputation. Be open, be honest and be yourself. The rest will work itself out… or it wasn’t meant to be.

3) Never lie to anyone for any reason:

(Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)

What article have I written that doesn’t mention this? Go back and read all my articles if you don’t know how I feel about it. Even lies of omission in our business can be a very very dangerous road to take, too… It is not what you say, but how you say it!

4) Try not to forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong:

Ask questions, question all the way to the top and then back down again. Do not assume a gap is someone sitting on the couch marathoning Orange is the New Black. Another way I like to phrase it is NEVER ASSUME. Presumptions, basing your decision on past experiences, assumptions etc etc… they are all dangerous roads to travel. Listen, learn and be open minded.

5) Be patient – no matter what:

Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!…NOW WAIT! The resume has been sent into the black hole of Human Resources (I feel weird about saying that now as I understand the black hole better being on this side but I have been there). The candidate who doesn’t call back. The day the office WiFi goes down and no work gets done by anyone. The “We want to make her an offer but we need the VPs signature, one she’s on vacation in Majorca with the Dursleys”. Patience, friends, we need it as recruiters.

I love writing these articles, and could write a little paragraph for every single thing on Mr. Barlow’s list. It was difficult to stick to just 5. However, being 3 days behind my deadline (as opposed the 2 days before when I started this), I felt let’s tighten it up. I’d love to hear if any of his wisdom rang true for you, personally and/or professionally as well. Comments are always welcome!

By Jeffrey Newman

Jeff Newman a.k.a. The People's Recruiter, has been a Full Life Cycle IT Recruiter and Full Desk Placement expert for over 14 years. He prides himself on always making sure that what he is offering a candidate is an Opportunity and not just another job. He is a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Mobiquity. Watch Jeff live on stage: "Recruiters: The Good, The Bad, and the Devious."