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The Recruiter's Digest
 Recruiting News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin

June, 2005

Forget the Past -- The Future is Now!

"What's the score?" the basketball coach asked his star rookie during halftime.

"We're down by 20 points," said the rookie.

"Wrong answer," shot back the coach. "From this moment on, the score is 0-0. What happened in the first half is history, and there's nothing we can do about it. But if we go out and play a great second half, we can outscore the other guys by 21 points and win the game."

I love this story, not only for its optimism, but because it addresses so many aspects of our professional life.

For example, many rookie recruiters feel they can't compete effectively against recruiters with much more experience. Or that cold calling is a waste of time, because it didn't work the last time it was tried.

But they could be wrong; from this moment on, the score is 0-0.

I've found that an enterprising rookie recruiter has just as good a chance to open a large account or find a high-quality candidate as a ten-year veteran. If that weren't the case, there wouldn't BE any ten-year veterans. And in terms of cold calling, recruiters sometimes give up too easily, especially when confronted with gnarly gatekeepers or a painful string of rejection.

Whatever your failures or mistakes have been, it's best to leave them where they belong -- in the past. While it may be true that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, it's just as crazy-making to switch horses every time the race becomes contested.

As Jim Cramer of CNBC's Mad Money says, it doesn't matter how much money you made or lost in the past by investing in a particular stock. The only thing that matters is where the stock is headed in the future.

The Flip Side is True, Too.
Just because you had a terrific client yesterday doesn't mean the client still needs you today. Or that the expertise you worked so hard to develop will forever guarantee your success.

According to Tom Friedman, author of The World is Flat, the U.S. has been asleep at the wheel for over a decade. During that time, the Chinese were quietly taking our manufacturing jobs, the Indians were taking our technology jobs and the Argentines were taking our Olympic gold medals in basketball. Our response? Hit the snooze button.

The U.S. was so dominant for so many years, we never felt the need to look over our shoulders. But that's no longer the case. We're now ranked 17th in the world in math and science, and new technical schools are popping up all over the planet to satisfy our competitors' insatiable appetite for skills that drive innovation and job creation. And you can bet our global high-value rivals aren't racing us to the bottom.

Should we worry about losing our jobs to a team of bright and enthusiastic 22-year old recruiters working from a 24/7 call center in Bangalore? Maybe. But from this moment on, the score is 0-0, and if we go and play a great second half, we can outscore the other guys and win the game.


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