More than thirty years ago, when I told my friends that I was going to be an advertising recruiter, there was a universally positive response. People said it was a natural evolution of my career in advertising. And they were right.
This month marks a full year since I was hit by a taxi.
During the many months I was in the hospital, I had the opportunity to take stock and think about the business and my role in it. It was a perfect time to determine if I wanted to stay or go. Now, a year later, I thought It a great time to let people know how I feel about the business and what I do.
My decision was easy. Indeed, I love both advertising and recruiting.
Here are my ten reasons.
I love helping people
I have always been interested in careers and helping people develop their careers. That is one of the great joys of what I do. Over 30 years, I have personally placed well over 1,000 executives. There are literally dozens of people who I have placed as juniors or gave advice to when they were young, who are now successful senior executives (Many of them at the very same places I put them in years ago). There are hundreds of others who I helped along their way; their success is thrilling to me.
I love the chase
I love solving puzzles. And, when clients give me complete information about their issues and problems, finding the right people for them is like solving a puzzle. It makes me feel great to know that I have helped a client solve a problem.. There are many recruiters who I call "placers" – they just want to earn money and don’t give a damn about truly finding the right person. For me, finding the right person is a challenge and a joy.
I love partnering with clients
When I was in advertising, I was a very good account person. I still am. When clients work with me, I can be a very effective partner. When clients take me into their confidence and allow me to be a part of their organization, I am not only turned on, but I also become a more effective recruiter. The more information I have, the better I can do for them.
I love meeting people
I am gregarious and outgoing by nature. An effective recruiter must have these attributes. I am pleased that I can call so many people friends, both candidates and clients. I am still in touch with many people I met over the past 30 years. Some I have actually neve placed, but they have become friends.
I love the advertising business
I grew up in an advertising family. It is in my blood. Recruiting has allowed me to step back but still remain in the business. I am a yenta at heart. I revel in following the business and knowing what is going on.
I love hearing advertising people tell their stories. For those who read this blog regularly, you know I collect them. Despite all the changes in the last few years, it is still an exciting and interesting business. I love following it, reading the trade press and talking “shop” with friends. I pretty much know what is happening at most agencies. Through interviewing, I have learned what works and what fails and I relish knowledge.
I love the people in advertising
Advertising people are inherently creative and interesting. The best of them enjoy life and discovery. It is true that people are an ad agency’s only asset. Over the years I have heard stories about everyone; I know who is liked and who is disliked, I know who is successful and why. And even the one’s with negative reputations, I like them, too. Often they can be successfully placed – it is a matter of matching personalities and attributes with an agencies goals and needs.
I love finding people who are out of the box
Too many companies insist on putting square pegs in square holes. And while I am very good at doing that, I take great pride in finding successful executives with unusual backgrounds. (e.g. the number of non-package goods people who I have placed in highly strategic CPG accounts) Of course it requires that I have a client willing to trust and listen to me. Many of these people have gone on to build wonderful advertising careers. That pleases me to no end..
I would have made a good shrink
A great deal of what a good recruiter does is to listen to candidates and understand what motivates them and what underlies their successes and failures. Sometimes hearing their stories is heart breaking, while other times it ca be exhilirating. In either case, I am a good listener and a very good dispenser of advice. And by listening carefully, I can also make creative placements, as stated.above.
Recruiting is fun
I love meeting people, helping them to grow and develop, I love dispensing valuable advice.
I look forward to getting up in the morning and getting on the computer. In the days before cell phones, I still remember calling clients and candidates from outdoor pay phones (remember them?) during blizzards and rainstorms. It was exhilarating and despite that I can now do it from my mobile indoors, it still is highly satisfying and a lot dryer.