I am a certified baseball junkie....guilty as charged. Baseball to me is the perfect metaphor for life and everything in it....including recruiting. The great recruiting trainer Danny Cahill said that there are three general types of candidates in the world. I agree. But....let me put it in terms I understand...baseball terms.
- Tony Gwynn. This is my guy! I loved watching this guy hit - absolute artistry. Tony was the guy that no pitcher ever wanted to face. Why?....because there was no pitch you could throw him that he couldn't do something with. Tony was disciplined. He flat out did not swing at a ball outside of the strike zone. To make matters even tougher for pitchers, he would not only not swing at pitches outside the zone (forcing you to make great pitches in the zone)....if the pitch was great - and one he couldn't do much with....he'd just foul it off and make you do it again. Tony was like that annoying leadoff hitter who didn't really want to get a hit, he just wanted to see every pitch in your arsenal. He wanted to make the pitcher work at every one of his at-bats. Sometimes, the pitch count could reach double digits. Tony swung at his pitches. Period.
- Adam Dunn. This dude swings at everything. Yes...everything! In 2012 he had 222 strikeouts in 539 at-bats. That means there was almost a 50% chance that every time he got an at-bat he would whiff. Adam never saw a pitch he didn't think he could reach - much to the delight of opposing pitchers. Ok, ok...I'll be fair to Adam...he also had 41 home runs that year (giving new meaning to the phrase: "All or nothing"). But for our analogy, he just couldn't help himself....first pitch, there is a pretty good chance he was taking a hack at it. I seriously doubt any of his at bats made the pitcher even think about a double digit pitch count.
- Barry Bonds. Ok - somewhere in between was a guy like Barry. Say what you want about his steroid use or bad attitude or whatever....dude could flat out hit. Sure, he struck out a bit....but he also walked a ton. Barry was that perfect blend of swing at anything close that he could drive - and - don't swing at any crap. Love him, hate him, doesn't matter...if you ever watched the game of baseball and loved it....you had to watch this guy and love him as a hitter.
So what's the point right? Well, simply put...every candidate is either Tony Gwynn, Adam Dunn, or Barry Bonds. They are all great hitters, you just need to know what you are going to get with each one.
Adam is that candidate that is going to want to hear about every job, take every interview, see every job description. He is going to think he is a fit for everything and yeah...he's going to swing and miss a lot of the time (probably even more than Adam's 50%). If you know that going in, you can adjust. Make sure to present only opportunities that you think are a great fit - be judicious in presenting him to your clients.
Tony is just the opposite. He is the candidate that is NEVER looking, never interested in seeing new opportunities, always happy with his job. While it's probably not entirely true, Tony is the guy that is only going to look for a job when he is out of work. He knows exactly what he wants, and if you are lucky and pay attention, you just might be the recruiter to help him find it.
Barry on the other hand is where we live. Barry is 70% of the candidate pool out there. Barry candidates will take a look, will swing at a pitch even when it's not perfect. You just need to make sure you aren't passing by Barry candidates because you think that they are Tony candidates. While they aren't "looking" or may classify themselves as "passive"....you need to know how to find they pitches that they like and love. Try the dialogue like this: "Candidate, I've worked with quite a few people over the years like yourself - who are happy with their current situation. That is great....but....we both know how quickly things can change in this industry and how "happy" can quickly turn into "hey...I wonder if there is something better". I just want to take a minute to make sure I know what "something better" is for you. What is it that if I come across it.....I need to call you and let you know about?"
Barry is gonna strikeout a few times, hit some doubles and singles too....but oh boy, when you find a pitch that is close....it'll go, and it'll go far and quick. HOMERUN baby!