Dicky Fox and the Recruiting Trenches

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Beautiful Secret Agent

From the Trenches of Day-to-Day Recruiting

He usually listened in the hallway; I knew he was there.  He walked past my desk, often.  He collected my call sheet every single day – the one with at least sixty hash marks.  He made sure that I received the printed call log from the software embedded in our phones – keeping me honest about the number of cold calls I was making – but making him a freak micro-manager.

I sat in front of him, days on end, with a yellow pad in my hand, making frantic notes in a scribble I could later barely decipher.  He urged me to quit my other job and take up recruiting full time.  He taught me the subtleties of the job, the day-to-day responsibilities I should feel for clients.  He coaxed me through my first phone interview and sat next to me during my first face-to-face.  He taught me coercion of the best kind.  I learned how to negotiate a fee and a salary package for my candidate which benefited my client.  And I soon knew how to talk to the enemy, which was my friend,  through the side of my face.  He trained me to be a recruiter with a heart of gold and the ethics of C.S. Lewis.

He was my mentor.

He was my first boss in recruitment.  I know that I learned the fine art of recruiting from the best of the best.  He didn’t hold a degree or any type of HR certification. He wasn’t certificated in anything.  He was a salesman, through and through.  He had learned in the trenches and now, so had I.  His clients valued him and returned his calls.  His candidates loved him, no matter what.  It is he who taught me to never leave a conversation without getting something for myself, an email address or a referral of some kind, even after a candidate sign-off-> get another candidate.  “I am sorry, the client doesn’t want to move forward with your candidacy.  You now know this job better than anyone now, is there anyone is your circle of influence that might be a good fit or could help me get the word out?

He was my Dicky Fox

My love for recruiting and this industry runs deep, as do the lessons I have learned over the years.  Of course, there have been mistakes, misunderstandings, new jobs, and new heartaches.  But through it all is the abiding respect I have for this profession, occupation, career, vocation, calling.  Not everyone can do it.  Those who do it only for the money – they probably had a little tougher time during the last and current economic crisis.  When you do it because you must, it is who you are. You survive.  The words of my mentor, my Dicky Fox have rung in my ears for years and I so appreciate the training, the information share, and the foundation he laid.

Thanks is not enough, so I will just continue on, benefiting the “force” as only I know how.  I love what I do – I love the recruitment industry.  If I spend the rest of my life working toward an understanding of the logistics and force behind what a recruiter does, it will not be enough.  Never enough.

What I know

It is about changing lives, it is about bettering the process, and it is about finding the better way.   To me, that’s all there is.





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