The Staffing Industry "Best (and Worst)"

I love lively debate. Remember that whole thing about ethics? Dr. John has the masses in a frenzy again and I have to disagree with him again (hey, that's the magic of lively debate). I disagree with some of the entries on each list (I wrote about one of his "winners" here). But you know what they say about opinions..ask Denis Leary (or am I the only one that watches that show?). Anyway, I volunteered this space for recruiters to start a list of the "Best" and the "Others" (in the spirit of keeping things cordial).

My perspective on industry leadership is that you pick your own. You pick the leadership that speaks to you, inspires you, that you learn from. If you don't like the leaders in place, stop following.

Comments (11)

  1. Jim Durbin says:

    Best Trends in recruiting blogging:

    1) individuals writing resume blogs

    2) recruiters writing job posting blogs

    3) the growth of an active online community

    Worst Trends in recruiting blogging:

    1) Trackback and comment spam

    2) Business people getting a blog because everyone has one and then wondering why no one reads it

  2. dave says:

    Dr. John… is he really a leader?

    The thing I like about his writing is that it REALLY provokes thought. And, like you Heather, I disagree with some of what he says; I certainly would not run my business based on his ethics! So, while I dislike some of what he advocates, it also makes my game better because it makes me think closely about his line of recruiting logic and process. To me, provoking thought is not, in and of itself, leadership. His articles constantly remind me of Law & Order CI: What is his intent? Provoking thought is about selling books and services, not about being a leader.

    But, on to his list.

    Great job on provoking thought. But it’s about 2 miles too long. And, one of my pet peaves, it lacks detail about each of the entries because… he assumes the reader has read all his stuff. Ah, the arrogance of a professor!

    Final question, to Heather: Dr. John is a big proponent of Google’s recruiting (bandwagon anyone?), but not of Microsoft’s. This must cause at least concern, if not heartburn on your part. What are you and your team doing to compete? Will we see MSFT become touted as the best at recruiting in the next 12 months? And, if this is all about leadership in recruiting, isn’t there a big problem at MSFT, starting right at the top w/Mr. Ballmer?

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Jim-good list..totally agree

    Dave- I believe that Dr. John thinks of himself as a leader as do many others in the staffing community.

    Regarding Google’s recruiting "leadership", I also disagree with Dr. John there. What’s so innovative about hiring a large number of recruiters and successfully hiring at a company where such a large portion of the job seeking community wants to work (we’ve been that company before, by the way)? Frankly, that kind of recruiting is pretty darn easy. Show me a company without a significant brand presence that can do the same and they will get my vote.

    I guess my own goal is more about filling a business need and less about being "touted" as anything. Steve Ballmer is a great business leader, in my opinion. Otherwise, I would have thought twice about working here. But he’s not a staffing leader so I wouldn’t really compare him to Dr. John.

    Is Google taking advantage of brand recognition and momentum to recruit lots of people? Sure. Does that make them the "best"…not in my opinion, though they are smart to leverage what they have going for them right now. The tide will turn. Frankly, Dr. John celebrates a company he’s enamored of on a periodic basis, well past it’s recruiting heyday (sorry, just my opinion). How many times have we heard about Cisco…we are still hearing about Cisco. They had a great "friends" program, but what since then? Anyone? Buehler?

    All my own opinion, of course.

  4. Susan Hand says:

    Thank you Heather, Jim, et all:

    I would love to start a real forum or email where practicioners, and experts (or people who want to learn from the experts) go for recruitment and sourcing needs. I’m more than disappointed in the aged data and circular thinking of ERE. Any takers?


  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Sue-I honestly feel that ERE does that. The one challenge I have had with regard to sharing is the time commitment relative to my day job. For example, I speak at conferences, write an article, etc., all of which I make time for because they reach a broad audience. But when someone contacts me from one of the forums to say "I want to know about blogging, can you call me?" (which has happened quite a few times), it’s hard to justify the time to walk one person through topics I’ve discussed in front of large audiences and/or presented via web conference. I don’t know that I would be considered an "expert" in anything except recruitment blogging, but I think that people who want to learn should do some seeking of the answers first and not expect people to spend an hour with them via phone explaining it to them (again, this is a relatively small number of people). That might sound harsh but for most of us, we are being paid for a specific job that doesn’t involve individual coaching of people outside our immediate company so it’s really not fair to our company to spend an inordinate amount of time doing that. That’s been my frustration with sharing. But again, I am totally happy to share with a larger audience every now and then. As far as sourcing help, I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to get an e-mail from a recruiter I’ve never met or communicated with asking for sourcing help. We have open reqs here I could be helping on if I had that extra time. Obviously none of these frustrations have anything to do with you Sue… hope you aren’t sorry you asked… ; ) Just things I notice in the industry relative to sharing.

    I guess my point is that the ERE forum is a good way to share info with a broad audience and if there’s a topic that isn’t getting coverage, maybe share it with the ERE staff so they can consider it for their events. I know that some people spend a great deal of time on the ERE site and, though I don’t know much about how they spend their day, I know that my workload precludes me from doing the same.

    If people want a more close-knit forum, they can prusue that, but I suspect that you’ll simply get the usual suspects from ERE. I really couldn’t commit to anything more than I am already doing, since my plate is abundantly full. Speaking of which, if anyone wants to speak to me in person, I’ll be at the next ERE in San Diego ; )

  6. Susan Hand says:

    Hi All,

    I won’t be at the ERE conference in San Diego. ERE has enabled alot of introductions, but I am disappointed in the Leadership.

    Thanks for the support,


  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    uh, yeah, this is my blog. Not really the place to grind that axe. If you have an issue with ERE, please take it up with ERE.

  8. I leave for a few weeks & Dr. Sullivan has the blogosphere in an uproar – again 🙂

    Heather – thanks for your thoughts on the article. We disagree on Dr. Sullivan, but I appreciate the time that you take to contribute to the recruiting community on your blog and elsewhere (especially at our shows :-)). See you in San Diego!

    Sue – I’ve seen your thoughts regarding ERE here, on our survey and on the WITI discussion list (although you do seem to be misinformed about Dr. Sullivan’s role at ERE). I’d be happy to discuss your concerns and hear your suggestions – my # is 212.731.2132.

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hey David, thanks for commenting and welcome back. Hope you had a great vacation…it was SE Asia, right? If so, we should compare notes.

    I don’t really have a negative impression of Dr. John as a person, just don’t agree with some of the things he says and his reluctance to engage with the community he’s seen as a leader in. I think if you put yourself out there as a leader, it comes with some responsibility. I may be an example on a much lesser scale, but it’s exactly the reason I respond to every piece of (non-spam) mail I get.

    Now I haven’t spoken with Dr. John directly in over a year, so I have no idea what he thinks of me and that fact that I challenge his opinions. But I have nothing negative to say about John, the man. We just aren’t like-minded when it comes to one topic: quality (and what that looks like). Love the fact that we can exercise our opinions on ERE! You know I plan to do more of it in the future ; )

  10. I wouldn’t have it any other way – and I know that John loves it when people challenge his positions with thought out counter-arguments.

    I spent the last few weeks in Thailand and Cambodia & it was an amazing trip. If you have the patience to sit through someone else’s vacation photos, they are at

    It’s good to be back!

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ah…you went to Chiang favorite. OK, I am going to look at your photos in more detail.

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