Archive for May, 2008

Why Recruitment?

May 28, 2008

What is a right-brained photographer/musician/foodie/wine consumer/vintage watch freak/beach bum doing in the world of recruitment?   Shouldn’t I be out running an art gallery or opening a restaurant that features food categories never dared to be combined before?  Only time will tell.

After graduating from Berklee, a funny thing happened on the way to becoming a rock star.  I needed to cover rent and food.  So I dusted off the sales hat I first wore at age 16 — selling pre-fab fireplaces in L.A. (it does get down to a bone-chilling 59 degrees at night there).  I quickly rediscovered the virtues of sharing (not selling) my soul with the Sales Gods and found that I could make a decent living, all the while helping people acquire what they need.

Soon after building my first 386 computer (yes, I’m somewhat dated), it made sense to dovetail this newfound interest and knowledge with sales.  From there, my career shifted into technology sales and marketing management.  Along the way, I’ve found an ancillary ability in counseling colleagues and staff members on the many trials and tribulations associated with career tracks, career aspirations, and the inevitable delta between the two.  And after years in management, consumed with interviewing, hiring, onboarding, etc., I finally had the opportunity to dive into recruitment and serve the industry from whence I came.

At the end of the day, recruitment is sales — with one nuance.  Instead of having a product and hunting for clients to sell the product to, recruitment involves hunting for both clients and products.  So basically, we’re dealing with the human factor on steroids.  Many variables.  Tons of emotions…and rightly so.  After all, one’s career is right up there in the Mt. Olympus of major life issues.

On the client side, it’s truly inspiring to work with entrepreneurs running small emerging and high growth firms.  In most cases, human capital, or the shortage thereof, tends to be the predominant bottleneck in a business owner’s ability to scale their business.  Just as I enjoy helping people further their careers, I very much thrive on helping businesses build out their teams and move the needle on their evolution.

Such is the 10,000 foot level answer to how I came to be a search professional.  It certainly isn’t a far cry from my past sales endeavors.  As opposed to many other professions, the path to sales is usually a circuitous one.  After all, most everyone who winds up in sales didn’t plan on it, attend college for it, or seek out internships for it.  The path to recruitment is equally, if not doubly circuitous.  In my case, it was purely opportunistic.

Now that I’m in the search business, I expect to keep learning, both from candidates and clients alike.  Yet, having been a hiring manager, turned search specialist, I also expect to leverage my experience on both sides of the fence, not only in my daily practice, but also in sharing thoughts and lessons I’ve learned along the way.

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