It’s a small world after all

mickeymouse I have a song going around in my head that’s been there since I first visited Disney 3 years ago. We now have annual pilgrimages to Orlando in October and Paris for Christmas week each year, to bow at the feet of Mickey and wonder at his might. This is brand marketing in the extreme, and we always come back for more. The ride we always go on, mostly because my wife hates it is “small world.” Ridden once, you receive the brainwashing of the mighty mouse, and the tune goes on loop annually, with a subliminal message to part with your dollars, Euros, pounds and all other currencies at least once annually.

Just recently, the tunes been playing louder in my head and I can’t seem to shake it. The reason for this is simple, since discovering twitter and LinkedIn over the last 6 months, I while away the wee small hours communicating with recruiters across the world, trying to assist with issues and concerns whilst learning about so many cultures and more importantly time zones. It really has become a small world, where the only geography is bandwidth. This afternoon I’ve run two episodes of my internet radio show Ready for Lift Off (

The concept is really simple; it’s a broadcast conference call lasting one hour. To get on to the show you call a number in New York. During today’s show (thanks to the twittersphere), I’ve had guests from Melbourne, Belfast, Indianna,Texas, London and other parts of the world. The concept of the show is quite simple, we are basically a collection of old recruiters lamenting the days B.C. (before computers) and discussing the challenges recruiters face and some possible solutions, based on some 300 years combined experience.

What has become increasingly clear to me is that wherever we are in the world, the problems recruiters face are basically the same. Geography really is irrelevant; we are as worried about how we make money and the state of the market wherever we are located. My biggest concern right  now is not new business or making placements. I have lots of old fashioned techniques like picking up the phone and getting out and meeting people that help with that and go some way to solving problems regardless of geography. My biggest concern over the future success of the market is our candidate flow and how we treat our basic raw commodity.

It’s easy to say now that there are plenty of candidates about, and our data-bases are overflowing with resumes but what do those candidates really think of us, and are they knocking on our door out of desire or necessity? Personally, I think if you drew a pole the latter would come out way on top. That to me is a dangerous situation, because the challenge is there not only from competitors, but career coaches, corporate recruiters, job boards, web-2.00 and hiring managers themselves learning to harness technology. During todays show a hardened recruiter, and kind of game keeper turned poacher Keith Robinson (@SiteAdvisor) reminisced on how we used to talk about the candidate experience during their dealings with recruiters. I describe Keith in this way because he went from a successful career as a recruiter to launching one of the UK’s largest job sites, which makes him well placed to comment on both.

During my 27 years in recruitment, I have had many candidates that have repeatedly come back to me with help and guidance on the most important thing to them, their careers. Many of these I have never placed, but they have valued the experience and would always refer them to others. I think  billboorman0231the candidate experience is best judged by those we don’t place, rather than those we do. I was given a stat today by Shane from Intelligence Software (@1ntelligence) that recruiters only place 1% of the candidates they come in contact with. I have no reason to think that’s wrong, so how do I keep the other 99% speaking positively of the experience even when I haven’t found them a job?

The key here is in the word experience. I have a few pledges I would like recruiters to make that I believe, those that take the pledge will stand out, and where they are based in the world will be irrelevant.

My 10 recruiter pledges for providing candidates with a Disney like experience that makes them want to come back for more is as follows:

1: I will understand that I sell people and not products and will treat each as an individual.

2: I recognize that I am assisting with one of the biggest decisions you have to make, and will take time to understand not only your skills and experience that are marketable, but also your needs and wants by conducting a full interview and not just register you.

3: I will be open with you over how I work and what your expectations should be of me. If I am unlikely to help you, I will tell you.

4: I will give you a realistic idea of the probability of me being able to help you, and will refer you elsewhere if I think it is unlikely.

5: If I make a commitment to you to do something, I will do it.

6: I will fully understand the vacancies I’m recruiting for including the company, the culture, the role, the prospects and points of appeal and the decision making process. I will communicate this to you fully before you decide whether you wish to be submitted.

7: I will ask three things of you: honesty, reliability and communication. Because I expect this of you, you can expect it of me.

8: I will stress to my clients the need for quick and helpful feedback at every stage. I will contact you when I have agreed even if it is to tell you I have no news.

9: I will give you feedback constructively and honestly in order to help you with your job search. I will not dress up bad news, but give it to you as it is (thanks to @Jerry_Albright for this one) and with guidance for next time. I expect the same from you, and if you give me news I don’t want to hear, then I promise not to throw my toys out of the pram!

10: I will deal with you as I would want to be dealt with were I in your shoes.

Nothing here is rocket science, or in fact anything new. It is something we can all commit to, and don’t really need to learn. It is dependent on building relationships, calling, talking and listening. It can’t be achieved by e-mail or social media (although it has it’s place.) lets get back to making the candidate experience a priority to make your brand and the whole “brand recruiter” stand out, or else we might be lamenting the demise of our natural resource.

It is a small world, you can catch the show any Monday at 1.00 EST or download either the international show or the European show (goes out 7.00a.m. EST) any time after the show.

I’m proud to be a recruiter, let’s protect the brand!

About Bill Boorman:

billboorman-020 Bill Boorman is something of a recruitment veteran, having worked in the industry for 22 years. All this despite being told at his first job that he didn’t have a future in the business! At the age of 42, the industry has given him most of his experience, having worked in most market places.

Recruitment has given him an insight in to the workings of many companies and he believes that this has given him a broad based understanding of business and people in general. He bases his training and consultancy work on this experience. He describes himself as being a non-academic trainer, preferring instead to deliver “true life” training that mixes reality with theory. Through his many experiences he has many case studies that help make sense of the problems delegates face.

Bill operates three distinct brands, spreading his message worldwide:

Personally, Bill is married with two children, who give him plenty of inspiration. He runs marathons around the world badly and slowly, and loves being in the great outdoors.

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.