Can Staffing be Sexy? That was the title of a recent Staffing Stream blog article and it took me a bit by surprise. Actually, I posted something on Twitter to the tune of:
“Can Staffing Be Sexy? No. (I jest).”
But can it be? What about recruiting? I mean, no one is creating entire television series around recruiting or HR (a la Mad Men) and there aren’t even any reality shows (currently – remember the Headhuntress?) about recruiting yet (The Job comes pretty close but first reviews are not good, even I think it looks kind of boring). So, I took to the semi-trustworthy library of the future, AKA the Internet to find out.
First up, the original article which delves into the author’s reasons fro switching from the restaurant business into the staffing industry (she’s a marketer by trade….always sexy). While she comes to the conclusion that staffing may not always be sexy:
…you don’t always fall in love with sexy. Maybe you fall in love with an innovative, refreshing, creative business strategy. And the explosive growth doesn’t ever hurt…
Okay so staffing isn’t sexy but that doesn’t count it out of the game just yet, at least not for Andy Headworth, a UK-based blogger who helps recruiting and staffing firms with their social media. He contends that social has brought the sexy back to recruiting. (Wait, it was there before? Recruiting used to be sexy? HR used to be sexy? Like when it was called ‘personnel’?)
For the last five months the top two search keywords against my profile have been:
Have you stopped laughing yet?
Recruitment is spot on obviously, as that is what I do, but sexy? Really?
The truth is, I think recruiting CAN be sexy. That rush you get when you’ve filled a big requirement. The feeling you get when that perfect candidate comes along and you have to figure out just how to reel them in. That client who really needs your agency’s services and knows it. Yeah, that’s sexy.
So how does social play into this? I guess it’s a new and interesting phenomenon. And heaven knows we’ve all been writing about it for some time now, but sexy? Maybe Instagram. But in truth? Social is no more sexy than staffing, recruiting OR HR. Here’s why:
Recruitment is about attraction. It doesn’t get any sexier than that. Finding out what makes your prospect tick and how to get them to pay attention to you and only you. That’s a practice as old as time. It takes skills and most of the recruiters I know have that skill.
Staffing is about speed and strategy. You know why they don’t have gorgeous models perched atop minivans? Because minivans are safe. Now sport-cars, those generally have a sexier marketing vibe because speed is sexy. Knowing your way around a requirement and just where to go to fill it. Yeah, that’s sexy.
HR is intimate. Maybe it shouldn’t be and maybe no one meant it to be, but it is. In your company, there are very few folks who know as much about the people who work there as you do. People share frustrations, illnesses, family needs and new additions. And you know what? Intimacy is sexy.