Reeling in the Big Tuna by @WillRecruits

Feb 3, 2015
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

FishingTripOne of my favorite things in the world to do is to go deep-sea fishing. I don’t go often enough, but every time I go, I am reminded of how much I like to fish. Something about the water, the sun beating down on my face, and being totally disconnected is an exhilarating feeling.

This past summer I went fishing in the Outer Banks, NC with my wife, sister-in-law, and her family. We got up at the crack- of -dawn and headed out. When we arrived at our destination, we caught a number of fish early, and then there was a 3- hour wait before we caught the next one. We had a good day and we reeled in some decent sized tuna and mahi –mahi. 

We all took turns when we got a bite on the line. When it was my turn to bring in the fish, I remember thinking, “Am I ever going to get this fish?” Now, I know there are some really good fishermen out there, but I am not one of them. I just like the sport. It was 30-minute intense fight to catch my tuna. Every time I thought I was getting closer to reeling in the fish, the tuna just ran with the line. I did however, finally catch it, and it was beautiful!

In recruiting, I feel like this a lot. As recruiters, we all feel like this. We are always staring at a big ocean and trying to bring in the big mysterious fish. When we do find the perfect fish (or our case- the candidate), it is always harder to reel them in than we ever expected.

Recruiting takes tenacity. It takes patience. It takes drive. Without these three things, you might as well not go looking for candidates. It isn’t a guarantee that you will find the candidate you are looking to find. Sometimes it takes more than once to get the candidate you are looking to find.

Some may call recruiting infuriating. Just like my fishing trip, there are times when no matter what you do, you just aren’t going to find the candidate. Other times, without much effort you are going to get multiple candidates.

Recruiting also takes commitment. There are times when you feel like giving up. I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to cut the line, but I knew if I kept reeling, eventually I would wear the fish down. If I quit every time I heard “No”, I would never be where I am in life.

Catching the big Tuna is very difficult. The thing about the big tuna is that it happens infrequently. In recruiting when you are trying to recruit the key hires that companies are looking for in 2015, you are going to have to shed some blood, sweat and tears. There will be offers, counter-offers, selling and more selling!

The truth about this year is that many companies will be trying to reel in the big tuna. What are you going to do to differentiate yourself? Are you going to have the tenacity, patience, drive, and commitment? If you don’t have those things, there will be others that will.

Good luck. I’m ready to go stare in that big dark ocean. Are you?

This article is part of a series called Opinion.