Does being a recruiter change you?


yuove changedI’ve always considered myself a happy-go-lucky type kind of guy. I have a pretty positive outlook on life, tend to roll with the punches and generally think that, regardless of what the TV says,  the world is an ok place, apart from a few knobs.

So when the following happened I had to take a moment to have a word with myself…..

After a challenging day at the recruitment coalface I got home a bit frazzled and grizzly. I had had a deal fall over, a candidate go walkabout before a final interview and a battle with a client not paying an invoice…. you know the sort of stuff…. it’s all in a day’s work for a recruiter, although this one was a particularly trying day.

“How was your day dear?” asks my wife.

“F…ing rubbish…..…blah blah blah ….why wasn’t he honest with me….blah blah blah….wasted my time….blah blah blah….wanker…..people…..grrr…..I’m giving up recruitment and going to write a book instead…..blah blah blah….”

“You’ve changed” she replied whilst quickly exiting stage left.

Her comment was tongue in cheek…but to be fair it was quite a rant I spewed out and it was unusual for me. I am far more likely to take my frustrations out on a cheeky bottle of red and a bad Man Utd performance. I just put it down to a bad day. But did she have a point? Have the day to day frustrations of 15 years in recruitment finally got the worse of me and turned me into a bitter, annoyed, angry misery guts? Have I changed?

I hope not…. well, not too much anyway.

I have certainly developed a healthy dose of cynicism and distrust over the years. And I have become less tolerant of idiots, tougher and I am sporting a few more grey hairs. But I see these as mostly positive changes and think they actually make me a better recruiter.

Hopefully I never get  to the point where I am distrusting everyone, walking around with a big chip on my shoulder, or ‘finding that I am hating everyone these days’ as one recruiter told me this week.

What about you? Have you changed much since being a recruiter?

PS If recruitment hasn’t taken it’s toll on you yet, and you want to make sure it doesn’t,  working in the right business will help….like these guys for example.



Luke Collard


4 thoughts on “Does being a recruiter change you?

  1. Murray on Reply

    I have felt that way many times in my 20+ years in recruiting Luke. Cynicism is an important part of being a recruiter, however there does need to be a balance with seeing the good side in people and trusting them and being diligent – it is a fine line or somewhat grey. Making the time to de-frag and clear your head is essential to survive in this industry. Knowing when to take a break and assess how dangerous that chip on your shoulder is in integral for your own mental health, let alone the relationships you hold in all aspects of your life.

    As a mate of mine said to me six months ago ‘sometimes you need to take a break before something breaks’. You don’t get to choose what breaks when it goes, so congratulations for recognising your situation…now go take a break!

  2. Nicole on Reply

    The rant is definitely something I experience and hear on a semi regular basis around our office, the are a lot of WTF, Are you Serious, What is wrong with people and so on questions blurted out. We are constantly amazed at ‘today’s employees’ but…. we dust off and go at it again tomorrow! Why because there is always a diamond in the rough waiting to be found, or so they say!!

    Ambiguous answer, mmmm yep probably

  3. Andy on Reply

    It’s fair to say that I too Luke over my 15 years in recruitment have had to “have a word with myself!”. Over the years I have definitely developed a “thicker skin” and become more tolerant of some and less tolerant of others! I have become more cynical but I think that this basically meant that I question certain responses from people and second guess some people….this I think has made me a better recruiter and now BDM.
    Recruitment I think does change you but I think the way I have changed is more positive than negative, I have definitely become more business savvy over the last 15 years.

    Another good article Luke and quite thought provoking!

  4. Lachlan McNeill on Reply

    Yes, I can verify the replies of the others. We’re always bouncing between optimism (which normally starts the process), and pessimism (where we miss the opportunities).
    I have learned that it is the awkward questions at the beginning that we conveniently “forget” which often seem to be the root of all evil.
    I’m interested to hear the need to “mourn” the lost time. Absolutely agree. It’s also the lack of respect/status that results.

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