The most important word in Recruiting is…

To. Too. Two. Tew.

Okay – that is four words – but one homophone. These are words that have the same sound, but very different meanings. In the world of recruiting, there are all kinds of things we say out loud – but we really don’t have many definitions in the function. Something as simple as a word “candidate” means different things to different people globally- and that’s the point.

So let’s talk “2” and show how it is at the center of everything.

To – these are are ACTIONS. To recruit, to convince, to care, to negotiate, to learn – and so on. The world of recruiting is ever moving, and every action has a reaction and then a result. Recruiting is about actions and results.

Too – this means “in addition”, and “more than what was wanted” and “very”. You bet your ass those have to do with recruiting. We always need more, or get asked for more than what was originally asked. Meanwhile extremes are the name of the game, and there is always something that is VERY this or VERY that. This means you need to plan for all that could happen, not what you think is going to happen. Resource with room to spare, and plan like crazy. Don’t worry – you will have plenty of reacting to do – which is fine if you just know that you have to do it.

Two – Without numbers you are dead.  This 2 is about knowing when you need to take action. Evidence is so key in recruiting. How, what, when, and where are all about numbers – so get used to data. Admittedly I swim in numbers all day, so I am pretty comfortable here – but its important to have this 2 in your arsenal – even if you rock at the other three.

Tew – this is probably the most important. This one is even more important than the numbers for me, and that is saying quite a bit. So its an older word – the verb means “work hard” or “belabor” or “to prepare for purpose”. There are a few more meanings, but I think you get it. Recruiting requires effort, sometimes tireless effort – but it also requires preparation. Recruiting can yield a tremendous amount of wasted time and energy. You spend all kinds of time getting people to apply and interview, meanwhile the about 14% of that activity turns into anything (see post on recruiting’s batting average). But TEW is also a noun – which means “a state of worried agitation or excitement” – meaning we fuss, worry, anticipate and get excited about the actions, extra planning, and numbers that come in. Will they accept? Does my manager like that candidate? Are we too late? Did I choose the right vendor? The excitement then comes as booyahs, hi-fives, and toasting success – all are part of recruiting. This stuff is fun and drives you crazy – all at once. The Tew is why I have my tribe of recruiting colleagues. They “get it”.

And then one more…

The last concept is this – 2 is a homophone. It sounds the same any way you say it, but it could means different things based on the listener’s context. When you say “we need to really be aggressive on this offer” that could mean any number of things to the listener. Instead say “we need to pay X, and here is why – and I need you to work hard to get it. I know that is unexpected, but that is what is required”.

Notice that I just hit all 4 of my 2’s in that sentence.

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