Recruitment: it’s all a bit grubby isn’t it? Go on. It’s okay. You can admit it. You find it/us all a bit distasteful. You are amongst friends 😉
I joined the recruitment profession in 2001. And like many others walking this path alongside me, ‘fell into it’. I stuck with it, in the hope that my ‘real’ calling would come along, and functioned relatively well as an agency Recruiter. However, I too bought into this sordid perception, and I only really found my recruitment feet when I moved into my current role, at my beloved Shazam.
The shift has given me pause for thought and a chance to reflect over the professional dissatisfaction I experienced in my 20’s. It was so profound that by the time I was 32 (in 2012), I was convinced that I didn’t enjoy recruitment at all and frankly felt ashamed of what I did.
In recruitment, many of us grow up feeling like we are worth less than people in other professions, that what we do has no importance, that we are not people worthy of the professional attention of others. In fact, we will do pretty much anything to avoid being called a Recruiter (says the Talent Acquisition Manager *ahem*) and find sanctuary in likening our roles to that of branding, sales and marketing – roles that we believe to have infinitely more value than our own.
Sadly those feelings, for me, grew roots. I’m sure there are others like me. I spent a decade living in a state of perceived professional worthlessness. The result of that was that I became apathetic, and actually at one stage thought I’d lost my drive altogether, my thirst for work. Those feelings for me were incredibly detrimental, and are feelings that I will work hard to eradicate when I raise any new recruitment family. I categorically don’t want to pass on the damage of that self perception, when I raise my recruitment young.
Many people have had bad experiences with Recruiters, which is what has given rise to the endemic dislike for our profession. So the point in writing this short note to the universe, is not to blame those who dislike us (that would mean many of us too), whatever the reason. It’s to encourage us as Recruiters, to start to see the good in ourselves, and start to encourage it in others. To change our collective perception of self to one of someone that helps others and enriches lives. In changing that mindset, we could also positively influence the mindset of the jaded few that keep perpetuating the stereotype and giving people a reason to distrust or dislike us.
The truth is: recruitment can be a wonderful thing. Sure, I love finding the right human the perfect role, but I take just as much professional satisfaction by helping people to think a little differently, and encouraging growth of any kind.
When I was working in agencies, I was able to enrich the weary search of the tired job hunter with advice, tips, ideas for how they position themselves. Now internal, I coach a different set of people, to help them make the right decisions about the human being they need to hire, and what they need them to be able to come in and do.
Now I feel proud of my career in its entirety and I’m great at my job. I can see that all along I have been doing good things for good people.
I’d like to see more recruitment people feeling empowered by the human element of what we do. We help people to meet people and form relationships that could ultimately change their lives/enrich our businesses; I don’t know about you but I think that’s kinda awesome.