Have We Lost our Olympic Fever for Recruiting?

By Kathleen Smith

The Olympics are over, (or did you even know there were on?) I remember growing up watching Nadia Comancei reach the perfect 10, Mark Spitz setting records for swimming and watching the swoosh of Dorothy Hamill’s hair. We looked to these idols, not only in sports, but in every day and every way because they were great professionals.

I work with recruiters every day, and each day, I learn that each recruiter has developed their career in a different way; either starting out as recruiters, sales people or human resources and then they “made it up” along the way. Some had mentors, some were just thrown into the deep end of the pool, others maybe they took a course or maybe they just had a natural talent for it and it just clicked like Michael Phelps.

Each recruiter’s career has developed based on the needs of their positions.  Some have focused on an industry while others have focused on a skill set. Whatever the path you have taken, there are some key career development tools to take into consideration:

  1. Setting aside time for your own career development: Too many times I hear from recruiters that they don’t’ have enough time to….(fill in the blank) but this always relates to what they need for their own career development.
  2. Be a Jack or Jane of all trades: Yes, you might not be a sourcer, but it is good to keep up to know some of the basics.  Not into social media, true it can be confusing, but how can it support your efforts.  Expanding your toolkit expands your effectiveness, but also supports enhancing your recruiting skills.
  3. Understand the functions that impact your role in the company: I find that too many people operate in silos. Even if you are not a sales person, business development does impact your role, so understanding this function and building a relationship with those team members will better help you in your role.
  4. Finding a mentor: Mentoring a big buzz word right now. Most don’t have time to be a mentee, let alone how to find a mentor. I recommend a hybrid- find a recruiter you admire/respect, invite them for coffee, and ask them 1 or 2 questions that really matter to you at that moment; not the nitpicky questions like what I do with a troublesome hiring manager, but some of the bigger questions, what skill set has been most useful to you and why.  Then also find a recruiting superstar, one who blogs, speaks and teaches, that you admire and shadow/stalk them.
  5. Networking: Recruiters tell job seekers all the time, network, and yet when recruiters are looking for a new job – as so many recruiters are these days- their networks are pretty light. So set aside time to network online and offline each month such as Project SAVE, recruitDC or We Recruit DC.

Almost every recruiter I have had the pleasure to work with has an inner Olympian recruiter, we just need to get better at supporting each other in bringing out the best in all of us.

Kathleen Smith is the Chief Marketing officer for ClearedJobs.net. You can connect with her on Twitter at @YesItsKathleen. Follow ClearedJobs.net at @ClearedJobsNet

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5 Responses
  1. Wow I am very impressed that people even remember Dorothy Hamill Mark Spitz great American athletes that were on the Wheaties box for really accomplishing something. Who can forget little Mary Lou Retton. Standing there with her arms straight up smiling so big. It was the American sports spirit. Now days it’s all about money. Our athletes are making 30 $40 million a year and don’t even know how to write their name. Real Americans will not look at them as heroes using drugs banishing weapons. Can you see little Mary Lou with her nose stuck up a straw no I don’t think so can you see Mark Spitz with needles of illegal substances stuck on his body no. Somewhere along the line we have lost sight of sports and all of the entertainment industry. During the Olympics all the athletes in America go and play for their real nationalities. So yes the Olympics I cannot even turn on.

  2. Wow I am very impressed that people even remember Dorothy Hamill Mark Spitz great American athletes that were on the Wheaties box for really accomplishing something. Who can forget little Mary Lou Retton. Standing there with her arms straight up smiling so big. It was the American sports spirit. Now days it’s all about money. Our athletes are making 30 $40 million a year and don’t even know how to write their name. Real Americans will not look at them as heroes using drugs banishing weapons. Can you see little Mary Lou with her nose stuck up a straw no I don’t think so can you see Mark Spitz with needles of illegal substances stuck on his body no. Somewhere along the line we have lost sight of sports and all of the entertainment industry. During the Olympics all the athletes in America go and play for their real nationalities. So yes the Olympics I cannot even turn on.

  3. Smart tips! The great recruiters I have worked with all worked hard at keeping up with their craft, learning new technologies without losing the human touch, and gathering info from other top recruiters. And they stayed in touch over the years, whether they needed jobs or leads or just to say hi. Is this you? If not, why?

  4. Smart tips! The great recruiters I have worked with all worked hard at keeping up with their craft, learning new technologies without losing the human touch, and gathering info from other top recruiters. And they stayed in touch over the years, whether they needed jobs or leads or just to say hi. Is this you? If not, why?

  5. A few adjustments to the one before.To piggyback on the article I’m surprised that people even remember Dorothy Hamill Mark Spitz little Mary Lou Retton with her arms stuck straight up so happy. Perfect 10. People who deserve to be on the Wheaties box. Athletes that weren’t making 20 30 40 million a year and can’t even spell their name. But yet they have college degrees. Can you see Dorothy Hamill shooting herself in the leg like Plaxico did, or Mark Spitz with needles hanging out of him oozing of illegal substance (like any Yankee ball player) or that Michael Phelps smoking pot. Or can you see little Mary Lou with a straw stuck up her nose snorting pain pills and smoking doobies (No). I maybe wrong but I have a lot of people that agree with me that recruiters really don’t recruit anymore. I’m not sure what they do. If you fill out something online and it takes you 40 minutes then four days later you get an email saying this has been canceled. Do that 300 times and you will go crazy. Make sure you pay special attention to detail in your suit and getting it pressed and taking off and making sure your hair cut or now days (hair did) is perfect. Resumes are printed on the proper paper with the proper ink with proper spelling detailed to that situation you’re applying for and then attend the job fair only to find out that 90% of the groups there want you to enroll in some school or gimmick. Or you can keep sending your miscellaneous resumes out into the ocean where computers have to pick them up in order for the recruiter to see it. Trick words have to be applied manipulation and deviation. Kind of sounds like the same thing we’re dealing with in sports these days. I see useless people around aircraft that have no business being around them. I see drug attics with top-secret clearances, people that sell drugs to little kids with clearances, what is going on that the person applying and actually has knowledge and wants to do good cannot get the position? I went to a professional career fair and Wendy’s was there yes Wendy’s the burger place. You can’t just walk in and order a Baja salad and give them your resume? Wait what. Yes. Wendy’s. Another job fair I attended near Andrews one of the contracting recruiters for a aeronautical company told me they don’t have any openings he is just there because he was sent there. So he was lying and collecting resumes giving people false hope. Is it just me or do we have a broken system? So everyone say thank you to the recruiters for all they do. We couldn’t be in such an economic boom without you.

    1. Oh. And I forgot to add this when you attend a career fair with your resume in hand and they say have you applied online. You have to submit on our website under the career section Well dah. What the he double hockey sticks are you even here for ???

  6. A few adjustments to the one before.To piggyback on the article I’m surprised that people even remember Dorothy Hamill Mark Spitz little Mary Lou Retton with her arms stuck straight up so happy. Perfect 10. People who deserve to be on the Wheaties box. Athletes that weren’t making 20 30 40 million a year and can’t even spell their name. But yet they have college degrees. Can you see Dorothy Hamill shooting herself in the leg like Plaxico did, or Mark Spitz with needles hanging out of him oozing of illegal substance (like any Yankee ball player) or that Michael Phelps smoking pot. Or can you see little Mary Lou with a straw stuck up her nose snorting pain pills and smoking doobies (No). I maybe wrong but I have a lot of people that agree with me that recruiters really don’t recruit anymore. I’m not sure what they do. If you fill out something online and it takes you 40 minutes then four days later you get an email saying this has been canceled. Do that 300 times and you will go crazy. Make sure you pay special attention to detail in your suit and getting it pressed and taking off and making sure your hair cut or now days (hair did) is perfect. Resumes are printed on the proper paper with the proper ink with proper spelling detailed to that situation you’re applying for and then attend the job fair only to find out that 90% of the groups there want you to enroll in some school or gimmick. Or you can keep sending your miscellaneous resumes out into the ocean where computers have to pick them up in order for the recruiter to see it. Trick words have to be applied manipulation and deviation. Kind of sounds like the same thing we’re dealing with in sports these days. I see useless people around aircraft that have no business being around them. I see drug attics with top-secret clearances, people that sell drugs to little kids with clearances, what is going on that the person applying and actually has knowledge and wants to do good cannot get the position? I went to a professional career fair and Wendy’s was there yes Wendy’s the burger place. You can’t just walk in and order a Baja salad and give them your resume? Wait what. Yes. Wendy’s. Another job fair I attended near Andrews one of the contracting recruiters for a aeronautical company told me they don’t have any openings he is just there because he was sent there. So he was lying and collecting resumes giving people false hope. Is it just me or do we have a broken system? So everyone say thank you to the recruiters for all they do. We couldn’t be in such an economic boom without you.

    1. Oh. And I forgot to add this when you attend a career fair with your resume in hand and they say have you applied online. You have to submit on our website under the career section Well dah. What the he double hockey sticks are you even here for ???

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