Have you ever heard the expression that headhunters are all fishing from the same pond? Who says this and why? Are people referring to using Indeed and LinkedIn, two of the largest but worst mediums for communication on the planet? Does the person who thinks this know anything at all about recruiting or fishing?
Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. They believe that when you fish in the talent pool of posting jobs on the internet, you are fishing in one place that holds about 30% of the fish (the active job seeker). You can buy a better lure (or a job posting, or maybe promote the job by adding a flasher, sponsored jobs), but you are doing the same thing as most other fishermen/women; you are targeting the same busy weekend fishing spot that many people are focused on. Where are all the boats? Go to them and fish there.
This strategy limits you to a weekend warrior fisher who isn’t focused on being able to fish anywhere anytime the fish are biting, and using communication and technology tools that will mostly not apply. Take real professional fishers, for example: if they are guides or commercial fishers they use the same basic techniques that most people do not. I’ve been a recruiter and a fisher for about 15 years and can honestly say I’m good but not the best, and to become the best you have to be focused and not recruit off the side of your desk or fish only on weekends.
Top three differentiators of top Headhunters and Fishers are:
- Communicate with other professionals all the time. Putting a lure in the water or posting a job are passive activities. The best will get on the phone/radio and call other professionals and they watch the competition like hawks and trade information.
- Professionals live and breathe what they do, even in their sleep. I wake up at 2-3 in the morning sometimes before I go fishing and can’t go back to sleep. I record every catch, every recruit, every job advertisement and every lure used.
- We use technology, excellent maps and sounders, like the best Applicant Tracking Systems, SMS, calling, chat platforms. We try new things and only use what works to catch the type of fish we want. We constantly seek to improve our interview to hire ratio, or hit to fish landed ratio (or whatever analogy you prefer).
Anyways, you get my drift. If you are a recruitment professional, come fishing with me someday and we can swap tips and land some big fish. Until that day, comment below.
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 Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.