These Aren’t The Recruiters You are Looking For…

The candidate’s recruiter…whoever that is 🙂 Titles can be dangerous. Just because your email signature or twitter bio says you are a recruiter, DOES NOT mean that you are the “recruiter” to your candidate. Conversely, if your business card says something other than recruiter, does not dismiss you from being placed right into the role of being one. 


Who is REALLY the “recruiter”?
Is it the corporate assigned recruiter for the function/region/business…or the employee that the candidate knows who asks him/her to apply?
Is it the sourcer that sent a templated spammy InMail and got a response?
Is it “Sally”, who that candidate has known a long time, and who sings the praises of that company on the train ride home.

Maybe “the recruiter” is simply a weird combination of Twitter, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, the corporate website,  and the hiring manager that had a great phone screen with the candidate. Maybe the “recruiter” is a head hunter who called that candidate and has placed them three times before…or maybe, its nobody, as the candidate recruited themselves right into applying.

Let’s admit the most obvious thing there is in recruiting – our standards are weak and virtually non-existent. There are no rules. We have laws and practices, but there are no standard rules. You can appreciate how ridiculous it would be that with no standard rules or practices how its MADNESS to assume that there is a standard perceptions of how the candidate views who is “their recruiter”. 

PAUSE….let that sink in. 

UGH. Now what?? How do you control the candidate experience now? You can’t even control who the candidate believes is the most pivotal role in the relationship.

Our natural biology is designed to protect ourselves and our offspring first, not the pack. Looking out for others that are not dear to us is not our natural state. Think about your day – did you say Thank You to the Starbucks barista today? Did you wish them a great day? Did you turn your phone off completely at the last dinner you had with a friend to give them full attention? Maybe you did…but maybe you didn’t. If you did – realize that those behaviors are learned. So let’s realize our human nature (and our flaws) and simply give people tools, reminders, and encouragement to slow down and be deliberate with others. 

With that, consider this – maybe the recruiter is not the pilot. Maybe they are simply the air traffic controller. The pilot certainly sounds sexier. They are in control of the plane, they wear cool jackets and sunglasses, they are recognizable, and in many cases respected. Meanwhile, the air traffic controller is hidden, placed in a tower, and works all hours. Their job is has NO actual role other than to drive awareness and advocacy to this concept >> a strong experience needs to be placed into the hands of EACH of your employees, regardless of their role, not the recruiter.


Here is what you don’t do…get a bunch of adults into a room and tell them they suck at being human. 
Are we seriously having lessons on how to be courteous? How to smile? How to say THANK YOU? I don’t need my LinkedIn thread or a conference session to tell me NOT to treat people like an ass (I am good at that when I need to be anyway). Of course I say this as I prepare for several conferences coming up discussing candidate experience – but I am not getting to the front of the room and telling people to be human. However, I will tell them how to use analytics and evidence to see where human flaws happen across the THOUSANDS of interactions that happen daily, so we can encourage people to slow down and be deliberate. I promise I won’t talk about how important it is to be courteous. My teachers, parents, grandparents, and the rest of the village did that when I was playing soccer on Saturday mornings with the other 4 year olds. This is playground 4 year old stuff, and we have escalated common courtesy so much it is now lost in a sea of technology, conferences and presentations that really are not necessary. Maybe I am the exception. I was just a kid who went to public school, played outside occasionally and loved watching TV when mom didn’t make me study, so CLEARLY I am in the minority and demented in thinking that courtesy is not a bother or pain in the ass.


Aspen has crazy awesome tech that tracks engagement and experience, and I love using data to help understand where to make change. The fact that we can find out how engagement and experience is good/bad across thousands of locations, employees, and interactions is impressive…but the fact that we had to design it…that is actually kind of depressing. I didn’t design it to track where the planes are in the air, to use the radar analogy, I did it so we could AVOID collisions. Our humanity creates those collisions all the time, and that injures people – sometimes deeply. I wanted to know where people were being discriminated against, so it could stop. Where inequality needs to become equal, and where fairness needs to replace what is unbalanced. That’s why experience and engagement is important…safety first.


Back to the playground…I got my own 4 year old to teach…

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