Talent Acquisition

All Recruiters are Paranoid – If You Aren’t, You SHOULD Be!

Paranoid? Who, me?!! Who said that?!!

During a recent dialogue with a fellow recruiter (whom I am representing for a new role) who was awaiting feedback from a client, the call from the decision maker didn’t come instantly and as the minutes and hours ticked by, the candidate started texting me from work saying “Is it bad news? Tell me the truth”. Now I knew that my client, who is a Director in a £multi-million business, was heading into meetings with his team so that was the reason for the delay and although I attempted to appease said candidate, the fact is that they remained paranoid – “no news meant bad news” (that’s not a new saying…).

I state this now: I am not criticising that candidate at all. What I am asking is: Are all recruiters born or made into paranoid people (as I know that I am paranoid, as is my colleague!)? You know, you wait for the phone call from the candidate at the final interview stage. You don’t hear anything, so you assume the worst – that the interview went so badly they have gone straight to the pub to drown their sorrows, not that the interview has gone so well that the new team have taken them for a drink to get to know them! Oh no, we never get paranoid about positive things…false hopes…no way!

I find it tricky when D Day comes and the candidate has to resign – you have talked through the possibilities(the dreaded counter offer, the threat of non compete clauses…) and, of course, 9 times out of 10 a resignation goes fine as you have managed the process effectively (we are control freaks after all – as per my last blog!) However, paranoid recruiter that I am, I assume the worst for the couple of hours whilst they are committing the deed…

I am definitely a paranoid recruiter. My colleague is, without a doubt, a paranoid recruiter and yet, funnily enough, when she calls me about something that’s making her paranoid, as the objective party, I can relay to her why something is occurring (or not) and quickly quash her fears – usually, I’m right. It works in vica versa too – she often calms me down when I am in über paranoid recruiter mode (which is a frequent event – we are in R2R after all!)

So now I ask you: if you aren’t a paranoid recruiter, should you be?

I think that, by being paranoid, what it effectively does from a psychology perspective is make you think out all of the consequences before they have happened, so that you can manage the expectations of all parties (and your own). It gives you a better objectivity, as it means you are one step ahead looking back thinking: “Have I covered that issue/matter? If I don’t what could happen?”

I think by being paranoid about anything in life it means you actually CARE about what is happening and, as a consequence, you can’t bear the thought of your candidate not getting their dream role. Equally, maybe after 15 years in recruitment, I just don’t want to build my hopes up (or bury my head in the sand.) So, by focusing on what could go WRONG instead of RIGHT it feels like every placement is a bonus?

So are you a paranoid recruiter? If you are, is it something you are aware of and if so, do you try and change that about yourself? If you are not a paranoid recruiter, how have you coped emotionally with failure?!

I would love to hear from fellow paranoid people (especially recruiters!) to prove my theory that paranoia creates a much more efficient and thorough recruiter!

RELATED: All Recruiters are Control Freaks!

By Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.