Recruiting: An Industry Like No Other

By: Jill Reynolds, President and CEO

Call it what you’d like: head hunting, career matchmaking or just plain old recruiting, there is no other industry quite like it.  I can’t think of any other industry where the deliverable (in this case, being the candidate) has the ability to change course and make their own decisions: for better or for worse.

I often compare recruiting and hiring to dating, there are a lot of unknown’s out there.  You have a list of traits and qualities you’d like to find, you surf for just the right profile, but the meeting leaves you underwhelmed.  Once you find someone you are interested in, it takes time to really get the know the true person.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes even if it works, there just isn’t any sizzle.  On rare occasion, you find out your significant other isn’t at all the person you thought they were.  You may end up blindsided or betrayed.

Assessing candidates and conducting interviews is a lot like reading dating profiles and going on first dates.  You get a snapshot of the person, but sometimes, only time will tell if the person you hired is all you’d hoped.   A resume alone can’t tell the whole story and how much can you really find out about a person’s experience, decision making capabilities, aptitude, personality, character and ethics in the interview process?  Sometimes it is long after the hire, when the honeymoon is over, that the real person is revealed: beauty or beast.


Recruiting, unfortunately, is not an exact science nor is it simple. Like dating, if finding the right mate was simple, there would be no need for online searching and matchmaking services; if hiring the right candidate was easy, there would be no need for recruiters  The service we provide to our clients is different in every situation.  No two “orders” are the same.  Every hiring manager has their unique wish-list for the talent they are seeking.  There may be a number of candidates that meet the manager’s requirements, all with similar skill sets, but the individuals can be vastly different.  Not often, but eventually, disappointing situations happen when you match people with people.  Offers are extended and declined, performance disappoints, conflicts arise, personalities clash, dishonesty creeps in.  Of course, due diligence is critical; comprehensive screening and interviews, background checks and seeking input from references, but this is not fool proof.  When the variable factor is “people”, there is no way to predict ultimate success.

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