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Recruiting: OK, So What (Who) Are You Really Looking For?

I think I have had the following conversation every day at least twice a day for the past six months with clients, corporate Recruiter and HR friends and search firm colleagues.

Upon receiving a job order, job description or hiring summary:

ME: Huh

FRIEND: Huh... what do you mean “Huh”?

ME: This is... a lot

FRIEND: What so you mean?

ME: It seems you want someone who can fly (like Superman), speak 4 languages, juggle (while blindfolded) and have six pack abs.

FRIEND: (confusion)

ME: What or who are you really looking forward?

FRIEND: What do you mean?

ME: Forget this job description... what or who are you really looking for?

FRIEND: Oh, we are looking for...

By the time FRIEND gets done describing the person and skill set needed what I send back to them rarely looks like the job description I received.

So do yourself, me, your hiring managers and job seekers a favor...

Read the job description and ask yourself, is this really who we are looking for?

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Jerry Albright

I'll even go a step further. I don't much care "who" they're looking for. I'll be the judge of that. I need to know "what" this person will do.

Chances are - when I find the person who can "do" the work - I've found "who" they're looking for.

Eric Putkonen @

Amen, Brother!

Unfortunatley, as a corporate recruiter I have had this same conversation many times with the hiring managers.

As Jerry mentioned, I like to ask what this person will do...but unfortunately, I have received many puzzled looks in response to this as well.

As recruiters on the corporate side, we need to spend much more time at the beginning with hiring managers (in my opinion).

If we were doing it right (as a profession)...the process would not be so foreign to hiring managers.

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