Career Recruiter Pin MapEveryone’s career affects them. A friend of mine has been managing a Pharmacy and Retail Store for years and he’s developed a rather odd perception towards his customers…he doesn’t really like them.  Lawyers fear getting cornered at parties for free legal advice. And health professionals?  They hate everyone always calling them about their strange medical problems.  Just go see your Doctor for God’s sake.  Well, it’s the same for Recruiters.  We carry the badges and scars of our profession around with us too.

Have you ever found yourself at a party sizing up your candidates? Er, I mean friends. As a Recruiter we spend our day not just hunting talent, but setting expectations, balancing schedules and frankly, stalling our butts off when clients or candidates throw curveballs our way.  So how do you know your one of the lucky few Career Recruiters out there?

Here are a few tell tale signs that you are, in fact, a career recruiter!

  1. Expecting the Worst…You Pessimist, You: As a Recruiter we like making placements. I don’t care if you’re a Corporate Recruiter or an Agency Recruiter; you like closing a job successfully.  But far too often a curveball gets thrown our way.  Maybe a Hiring Manager changes a job description.  Or maybe a budget has evaporated. Maybe the candidate is a no-show.  Bottom line, once you’ve done this for awhile, you come to expect those curveballs.  Case and point: I received a cryptic email from a candidate earlier this evening. “Call me.”  Now, I had just made an offer to the candidate and it was the salary he wanted, the job he was psyched about and the company that he loved.  So why did I automatically assume it was bad news? Because I’ve been doing this for awhile now.  It turns out that he just wanted to say thank you, from him and his wife.  Yeah…I felt kind of guilty for thinking he was going to ruin my night.
  2. Everyone is a Candidate: Seriously, have you ever stood at a party or with a group of friends thinking about how ‘placeable’ someone is?  If you’re spending time on, I bet you have.  We get paid to be judgmental (astute) and that’s not always a bad thing.  If you’ve honed your skills over the years and you can just tell when someone is a home-run, you’re a Career Recruiter.  If you unconsciously judge, characterize and sort your friends’ ability to kill an interview, you’re a Lifer. One of my best clients was broken wide open when I went to a party and met my friend’s new fiancee.  I placed him within a week and with all of his referrals I had a fantastic year.  Hey, sometimes being judgmental (I mean perceptive) is a real bonus.
  3. Obsessively Interested in Where People Work: America is a funny place.  If you travel abroad you’ll find that people don’t automatically meet and start discussing where they work and what they do.  It’s fairly unique to Americans….and Recruiters; it’s part of our self-training over the years.  Our ears perk up and professional mode kicks in anytime someone starts talking about where they work, what they do or who their boss is.  We can’t help it.  I mean, it’s just good business.  Have you ever noticed over time that you’re the creepy guy or gal who always brings the subject back to someone’s Company or work?  More than likely you haven’t noticed, but you’re likely doing it.  Instead, you probably walk out of social situations completely oblivious to anything other than sorting the details you’ve just learned about a particular company and how you might engage with them.
  4. You Avoid Family and Friends: Friends Facebook, Gmail, Tweet and G+ me constantly with resume and job questions.  I always try to help but it just gets more and more difficult.  But it gets worse when friends of friend or friends of family start reaching out to you for help and advice.  There’s a big misconception about what it is Recruiters do.  Most people outside the profession think that we work to help people get jobs. Laudable, but not quite right. We work to fill positions for our Companies or Clients, not the other way around.  So when the numbers of friends, family and acquaintances reaching out to you gets to be too much, you probably find yourself avoiding those people.  Have you ever politely tried to avoid your brother’s buddy? Or maybe your Mother’s best friend’s son?  I know I have.

When you get right down to it, Recruiters are busy people.  We’re juggling a lot of people, a lot of expectations and a lot of outcomes.  And while a tendency to avoid some family functions or constantly qualify friends might seem like a negative at first, it’s really a positive.  It means you’re good at what you do and it’s starting to become second nature.  Everyone who’s good at their career wears just a bit of it on their sleeve.  Happy Hunting!


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