Recruiter in the DarkEveryone wants their recruiting team to be productive. On the corporate side, you want understanding of hiring needs and performance coupled with adherence to policies. On the agency side, you want recruiters to pick up the phone, stay motivated, and drive sales. Everyone wants everybody else to work, but who really works when no one is watching?

From the recruiting salesperson who meets with their favorite “client” every Friday afternoon to the agency recruiter who surfs the web all day instead of sourcing candidates, to the corporate recruiter strolling the halls drinking coffee, let’s just face it… most of us don’t do much.

Actually, what are we really doing?

  • Social recruiting: Surfing Facebook
  • Developing passive candidates: Surfing Linkedin
  • Internet sourcing: Surfing ESPN
  • Meeting Clients: Taking the afternoon off
  • Meeting Candidates: Having lunch with your friend

We joke, but recruiting is really one of the hardest professions almost because you must confront the terror of freedom. Recruiters don’t have to assemble a particular number of bird-cages every day, nor balance the books or make a computer program work. A lot of what recruiters do is intangible and self-directed – a recruiter’s work is a lot like regular life.

  • We build relationships with people.
  • We meet new people.
  • We try to listen.
  • We try to understand.
  • We have conversations.
  • We try to remember names.

All of these skills are hard to measure exactly and are certainly not judged with any science. It’s why recruiters need a sense of freedom to do their job right.

It’s also why most people can’t make it in the recruiting profession. Great recruiting is all up in the air – it’s hard work and volume, but also undefinable things – trust, communication, nuance, and emotion. There is no way to really teach the profession. Couple that fact with the temptations of a computer screen, unstructured time, and work outside of the office and you have a recipe for disaster.

A recipe for disaster, that is, for some – and exactly what some people need and thrive on. What do you do when no one is watching? Do you love your job and love working? Do you love talking to people about their jobs and life goals? Do you do what you say you’re doing and know you should be doing?

If you are inspired to build your own recruiting success at every moment, even if no one is watching, you should know that you’re in the right career.

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