Business coaches don’t know anything about recruiting
Now, I’m gonna walk that back a little bit. I know there are tons of great business coaches. I’m connected to some on Linkedin who are also amazing recruiters, and I don’t want to take anything away from those people. I also know business coaches who have been recruiters in the past and who’ve grown great teams. But I want to give you three reasons why this title still rings true. Feel free to disagree with me, or comment below if you think business coaches know more about recruiting than recruiters (you know, people who are experts in the field after tens or dozens of years). I’ve learned from other experts. Now the reasons I’ll give you are:
- Business coaches, I believe, are jacks-of-all-trades but also masters of none.
Now this expression hearkens back to the days when there was a tradesperson who did a lot of things pretty well, but couldn’t do anything really well, not like a master could. Somebody who is good at logical work might not be great at doing diesel mechanics or really artisan craft work like building amazing stainless steel monuments.
Business coaches who have a lot of value should always have some input to share about the recruiting process–but should stop there. All employers should be working with expert recruiters in-house, and likely external as well, if you’re in a larger organization.
- Issues of specialization.
Sometimes, business coaches will specialize in a niche, and I think that’s really great. But that still doesn’t make them experts. Take the law, for instance. Business coaches probably shouldn’t be giving much legal advice unless they are also a lawyer. Even actual lawyers don’t practice all areas of the law. So there’s always specializations within specializations. I specialize in trades and industrial management recruiting. I’m not the expert in finding computer engineers or people who do Agile, even though I do know lots of those people. So, I wouldn’t advise an employer on that front. And unless they’ve got the specific expertise, neither should business coaches.
- They can’t be 100% in the game.
As I’ve said, I know there are amazing business coaches who’ve grown great teams, hired their own people, and developed some great methodology. They know top-grading ins and outs. They may have some cutting edge recent experience from helping some other clients. But what if their experience isn’t all that recent? Recruiting is not like riding a bike.
Right now, you can do a lot of things with science, automation, AI, and chatbots on recruitment. If you haven’t been doing that hiring on a large scale on an ongoing basis, then I would say you’re probably out of your depth. There has been tons of studies and there’s still so much to learn. Google has really been studying how to find top performers. I’m seeing a lot of useful data that definitely wasn’t even there 3 to 4 years ago. Applicant tracking systems are much more advanced. It’s easier to do things like an Employee Net Promoter Score, to really find out how employees are performing and how they’re doing. So much has changed that a recruiter, especially different levels of recruiters and recruitment managers, are super valuable.
I have nothing against business coaches. Coaching is very near and dear to my heart. I’ve spent tens of thousands on business coaching! I do think they need to stay in their lane a little bit and make sure they’re giving the right advice and not point their clients to go the wrong direction.
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. We have a wide variety of services to help you find the best employees. See how we can help on our Recruiting Solutions page.