There’s something I’ve been thinking about for some time now that I can’t quite understand, let alone phrase correctly. But it feels important, so I thought I might try and share and see what others, like you think.
Ever since I came into recruitment I’ve spent a lot of time each day reading recruitment blogs. It’s how I learn, how I try to keep up to date with what I know and frankly, I just enjoy that type of interaction with others (yes, I know, few people actually see reading someone’s work as ‘interaction’… but that’s a completely different subject). I don’t just enjoy reading blogs I agree with, on the contrary – reading something I don’t agree with is particularly rewarding as it reminds me that even though I have relatively little experience, I’m still entitled to my own opinions and my own way of doing things.
So here it is, something I can’t agree with that I keep reading regularly, a subject covered by many recruitment bloggers: the role of recruiters. Apparently recruiters feel that what their work is all about is helping others, changing people’s lives, dealing with their hopes, dreams – and similarly inflated terms would usually follow.
Sure, there are times when we get to give someone really good news and we know that it was our involvement in the process that led to things concluding in such a positive way. But if we have good news to share it’s thanks to the candidate’s contribution in the process as well as our own (oh and the hiring manager’s too as long as we’re at it). So even if the news does have an impact on the candidate’s life, I wouldn’t go as far as saying I changed their life, I think there’s a big difference between that and I helped.
All of this made me think about why I’m in recruitment. I got into recruitment by chance but I can’t imagine doing anything else in the world now, even on a particularly tough day. And it’s not because I get to be a hero who helps people on a daily basis, not because I like to think I have a more significant impact on people’s lives than… hmm, non-recruiters I guess :)
I choose recruitment every single day because I enjoy the impact others have on my life. Over the last two years I met so many incredible people I’m sure I can’t even remember most of their names. I can’t even tell how many of them. Candidates, recruiters, managers, people that I’ve asked for help or offered help to. Most of them I met through social media, some of them I worked with or for, but there’s some more complicated stories there too. Sometimes it was just a one time conversation, with others it would be the first step in what turned into long(er)-term relationships. Weird, remote, complicated, unusual, non-work-related-and-yet-still-professional relationships but ones that changed my life in a lot of different ways. Just like any conversation I have, anything I do as part of my work (or outside of it).
This is of course just my perspective, but I think recruitment isn’t about changing lives. It’s more about letting your life be changed – allowing all the people you interact with to have a very real influence on who you are and how you do things. It’s about constant learning, also learning about who you are, and this is what makes it so appealing, at least to me.
So yes, life changing is definitely right, I just feel like it’s my life that’s changed more than anyone else’s.
P.S. A big thank you to one of my former candidates who decided to share their good news with me and reminded me just how enjoyable recruitment is (and why), even if sometimes it feels you can never leave work even when you’re not in the office ;)