Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Next Great Weapon In The War For Talent

If you are on either side of the recruiting desk, you have probably long ago heard about the Electronic Recruiting Exchange's web site. They really have done an excellent job and trying to provide a platform for those who operate in or are just interested in the recruiting "space" to express points of view. I try to check it out frequently.

Apparently, as do many publishers, at the end of the year they will reprise some articles they feel had a lot to say. One of these was written by Mike Homula, currently the Director of Recruiting for Quicken Loans and ran under the title of The Next Great Weapon In The War For Talentand ran last July.

As I said, if you are really a practitioner you'll probably want to read the whole thing, but since I am not in the recruiting game to the degree that Mike et al are, I took something else from the point he was making in this piece which was, in short, that the next great weapon is you, not technology filled clicks, links, and resume data bases.

Anyway, at the tail end of his article, Mike lists a number of attributes which he feels really make the difference in the kind of relationships that are needed for a recruiter to be able to land exceptional talent in the increasingly competitive market in which we all find ourselves. Among these were things like:

Build credibility;
Consult, Don't Recruit;
Use Energy & Passion as a Weapon

Maybe it is just the nostalgia that comes naturally as the year comes to close and we all start thinking about where we've been and where we're going that struck me when I was reading this, not sure. All I do know is that it made me realize that some 18 years ago I was just one among millions of other executives who had been caught up in the recession that was rapidly pushing us into the 90's. I was also angry and confused at what felt very much like an adversarial relationship between candidates and recruiters.

While I didn't use the same words that Mike used in his article, when we decided to try and make ExecuNet a reality, I now realize that much of what still are were then the driving factors for us were also based on the building of our credibility on both sides of the recruiting desk, approaching every encounter with someone not as a "sales" opportunity, but rather to help where we could help and not worry about the outcome; and finally, to take the anger and channel that energy into a passionate message that we could take something that many felt was a win-lose relationship, and make it win-win. It all seemed to fit.

It will obviously be left to others to judge as to how far along that road we have come in the past 18 years, but when I reflect on the fact that personal recommendation continues to be the single biggest source of referral to us, it does make me feel that we are still on the right track, and that credibility, an attitude that is built on helping, and passion for what we believe have certainly helped to keep us going in the right direction.

Here's to a peaceful and prosperous 2006!

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