Recruitment Algebra

If Algebra + Consulting = Recruitment, then Algebra = Recruitment – Consulting
I remember my teacher saying; Algebra is great fun – you get to solve puzzles!

Little did I know years later I would be practicing algebra (recruitment) on a daily basis and making a living from it.

Now I was never great at maths in school, especially the whole money puzzles. Example; Johnny went to the shop with $20 for his Mother, he bought 2 oranges for $1.50 each, 5 bags of apples for $1.70 each, then found another $2 on street, spent it on sweets, paid $4.30 for the bus home, how much change did he give his Mother etc…

I wasn’t good at these puzzles because I would read the scenarios like a joke in my head and think “What’s Johnny doing buying oranges at this time of season” and “did you lie to your Mother when you got home Johnny, you really stole the sweets and then took the bus to the pub to play pool????”

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Algebra on the other hand has certain rules and mechanics that must be followed in order to find the value of X. You need to gain an overview picture before you dive in. You need to know the value of other components in the equation before you even attempt to solve the puzzle.

Recruitment is the same, you must understand the candidates values; on salary, location and their job responsibilities. Clarify with the client; who you are usually solving the puzzle for (hopefully with), you need to know the value they place on their new hire, their commitment to investing on the equation. Know the interview and feedback times, starting date, salary with or without additional bonus. Truly understand why past equations were not solved.  I could write a blog on the recruitment process piece alone – but you get my drift.

Jumping into solving a recruitment equation is a disaster unless you have already a clear understanding of the job, candidate and client values. If you think you can skip steps in the process, what you will discover is by the time you find the value of X. It will often look like a counteroffer, discounted fees, candidate falloff, damaged relationships, dent in personal brand and reputation etc. Whereas when you follow the mechanics like in algebra, sometimes it can take a little longer to solve the puzzle however you will find that more often than not the value of X  = Happy successful placement, fair honest fee and flow of suitable  referrals from all stakeholders involved.

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Mind you if all we recruiters followed the principals of recruitment, we would have more enjoyment & success in our line of work. If we had more courage to truly partner with our clients and candidates, to educate them when necessary, to get more clarity in what the value of X is to them.  We would save more time instead of working on recruitment equations we don’t know the value of all components involved and sometimes never will. Therefore spending our consulting hours where we can genuinely solve (wholehearted attempt) the unique puzzle of each recruitment equation. That ladies and gentleman is fun and is what we get paid to do!

– Written by Philip Divilly

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