Talent Acquisition

How to Know When You Are a ‘Recruiting Tragic’ [14 Signs]

What is a recruiting tragic?

A recruiting tragic is a person who just can’t help bringing most things in life back to… recruiting. I admit to being guilty. I know others in the sad club. We don’t want to be like this. We are not proud of the affliction. It’s just in our DNA.

By: ivisdompics
By: ivisdompics

Think you may have the ‘curse’? How many of these have you been guilty of?

    1. You see two people, smartly dressed, folders by their sides, talking earnestly at a café. You are immediately convinced it’s a job interview, and you try to work out who is doing the hiring.
    2. When you meet someone new socially, it starts to get interesting for you only when they talk about their job.
    3. You still look at the job advertising classifieds in the weekend papers, even though you stopped advertising there years ago, and so has almost everybody else.
    4. In any new town, your eye automatically finds recruitment agency shop-fronts, or signs that suggest a recruiter occupies the building. In extreme cases you actually take photos of recruitment offices in strange places. (Confession: I have photos from Burma, Kathmandu, Darwin, Santiago, Cape Town and a dozen other places. I know, I know! But remember I admitted guilt already. Recruiting tragic)
    5. The weatherman on TV says, “Temps tomorrow will go up to the high 20s” and you think, “Not a bad temp count this week, wonder what the margin is?”.
    6. You don’t mean to do it, you can’t help doing it but within a few minutes of meeting a new person, you have decided whether they would make a good recruiter, or not.
    7. Just chatting with friends and acquaintances, talking about why they might leave their current job, you want to drill down on potential counter offer. Right there! Right now!
    8. The ‘employment statistics’ put out by the government (any government), just make you laugh, as they are so at odds with the reality on the ground, as you see it.
    9. You know there are a lot of hopeless recruiters out there, and you criticise them yourself, but you still feel very offended when recruiters are demonised as a group.
    10. A drive in an unfamiliar part of town has you mentally taking notes of company names you see on signs because ‘they look like they have lots of staff needs’. Sometimes, you stop and write company names down, or dictate them into your phone.
    11. Sitting in a train or a bus, you start to fantasise that the ‘perfect’ candidate for the crucial, hard to fill role you are working on, is sitting just across from you. Or maybe next to you. Or by the door. They are definitely on this train!
    12. You read classified ads in the paper, and on the web, and mentally you edit them as they ‘should have been worded’. And then you read between the clichés to decipher what is really going on! And when you travel, you browse the local paper, and study the job ads as closely as anything else.
    13. When a friend is battling to decide between potential partners in a relationship situation, you offer advice using words like ‘shortlisting, reference checking and second interviews’.
    14. When a friend comes back from a first date, you debrief her like you would a candidate reporting back on a first interview, occasionally asking how much money it would take for her to ‘have a follow-up meeting’…

Any other ‘recruiting tragic’ traits you admit to? Let us know in the comments below!

By Greg Savage

Greg Savage is a sought-after speaker and presenter, as well as consultant and advisor to the industry. He has founded several highly successful recruitment companies and worked in recruitment all over the world. To contact Greg please email: