When I Grow Up I Want To Be A… Recruiter… Really?

I took my 8 year old nephew to school last week. He took me into his classroom, introduced me to his teacher and showed me some of the work they were doing.

On a wall at the back of the classroom there was a display entitled – When I Grow Up I want to be a…

Being a recruiter I was naturally drawn to this display, and here are the highlights…

  • 24 kids in the class
  • 6 wanted to be a doctor
  • 4 wanted to be a teacher
  • 3 wanted to be a hairdresser
  • 3 wanted to be a policeman
  • 2 wanted to be a fireman
  • 1 wanted to be an actor/actress
  • 1 wanted to be a racing car driver
  • 1 wanted to be a gardener
  • 1 wanted to be a Footballer
  • 1 wanted to be a chef
  • 1 wanted to be a So You Think You Can Dance contestant.

I took a closer look somewhat surprised at what I was seeing… what? No recruiter??

The teacher – let’s call her Miss Moneypenny – saw me looking at the display and came over…

‘I see you’re looking at our display,’ she said ‘What do you do for a living?’

I gave the obligatory, smug smile and said… ‘I’m a Recruiter…’

‘Oh…’ Miss Moneypenny’s eyes involuntarily dropped to the floor… ‘A Recruiter…’ Imagine the whiff of derision in her voice, the hint of disappointment, the twitch of fear in her eyes, as she looks for a way to back out of this conversation.

I, on the other hand, chose to ignore her questionable behaviour and keep talking. After all, I am a Recruiter – proud of it – and I’m used to people not understanding how important our industry is to the fabric of society…

‘Yes,’ I smile, ‘A Recruiter… It amazes me that some of your students didn’t choose it as a career path. Did you know that in the last year alone Recruiters in Australia helped over 350,000 people find new jobs?’

‘No.’ she responded.

‘Did you know that over the past 2 years the recruitment industry in Australia was the second fastest growing sector in terms of growth?’

‘No…’ in a slightly more bored tone this time…

‘Did you know that next to Travel & Tourism, Banking and Insurance – Recruitment spends more money in sponsorship and development of sport than any other sector in Australia?’

Obviously, these stats were made up on the spot… but I felt threatened…

‘Wow… you guys are practically super heroes…’ Miss Moneypenny responded, with a roll of the eyes and a sneaky look at her watch. I took the hint and excused myself from the classroom, but it really got me thinking…

Our industry – and what we do – is a noble profession. Yes, we are paid for our services, but so are Doctors, Police Officers, Fireman and Teachers. And guess what? We help people too!

We – as a group – need to turn around the perception of Recruiters that’s out there in the greater community… Are you as sick as I am of beingever so slightly embarrassed when you are at a barbecue with new people and they ask you what you do for a living? It’s up to us to change this view.

It’s the little things that will help – and here’s a short checklist to live by…

Respond to all applications you receive.
If you promise to get back to someone – get back to them. NO excuses.
Be honest with your feedback.
Be transparent with Candidates and Clients
Out the ‘cowboys’ in our industry – we don’t need them.
Believe in the value of your service.
And… Be proud of being a Recruiter!
Let’s face it. No-one goes to school and says… ‘I want to be a Recruiter when I grow up…’

But… wouldn’t it be good… if we helped change that?

An just as a sign off, a little question… I’m training for ‘Tough Mudder’ in a couple of months and I was wondering in my training schedule does running late count as exercise?

Craig Watson

This post originally appeared on RecruitingBlogs

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