Hawkinson’s Homilies

Paul Hawkinson has been doing this for a long time. He has a way with words and a way with ideas. I have never met him personally but I am hoping to in Las Vegas in June for the Fordyce Forum. Sit down, kick back, change into low gear and enjoy…


The better a recruiter tells you he’s doing, the closer he is to leaving the business. 

The frantic jobseeker who pesters you for six months to get him a better job out-of-town, will turn it down because his kid was just elected captain of the Little League team. 

The employer who says the normal fee is no problem will swear in court that you agreed to a 10% fee. 

The more solid a recruiter tells you a place­ment is, the less likely it’s true, especially if you’re on their back about lagging production. 

The perfect candidate will show up the day after another recruiter’s guy takes the job. 

Some of the finest works of fiction are those documents known as “hot sheets” or “pending placements.” 

The fancier the brochure or the flashier the website, the funkier the firm. 

Consistency is always easier to defend than correctness. 

The more some people toot their own horn, the more sour the sound. 

Why are so many well-trained people such poor doers? 

The only constant in our business is the fre­quency of change. 

Some managers force solutions to non-exis­tent problems. 

If you only trust yourself, make sure you’re trustworthy. 

Well-prepared placers are luckier. 

If the check is really in the mail, it will proba­bly arrive unsigned. 

Trying to be a first-rate recruiter without con­tinuous training is like trying to play Beethoven with a kazoo. 

Whenever an employer balks at paying a fee by saying, “It’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing,” you know the real answer. 

Most bureaucrats who regulate our industry prove Darwin was wrong. 

If you don’t want to be treated like a doormat, don’t lie down. 

Boring people are always the first to return your phone calls. 

The more elegant the names that appear on a recruiter’s letterhead, the less likely any of them exist. 

A client’s jokes are always funny. 

Perfect candidate is an oxymoron. 

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The amount of time required to perform a re­tained search assignment directly coincides with the timing of the final payment. 

Even the worst consultant isn’t completely useless so long as they can still be used as a bad example. 

On re-training burned-out consultants: At­tempting improvement is always admirable, but three times zero is still zero. 

The fee that is suddenly being disputed is the one you need to pay the rent. 

Two percent of your “clients” account for 98 percent of your billings in 10 percent of your time; 98 percent of your “clients” waste the other 90% of your time. The same ratio works if you substitute “client” with “candidate” or “consultant.” 

The earlier a consultant learns a deal is falling apart, the later management is likely to hear about it. 

The thicker the resume, the less faithful it is to the facts. 

The more notes a rookie consultant takes during training, the less likely they are to re­member what they wrote. 

The employer you’re desperate to reach will call you back when you’re in the bathroom. 

Your candidate will get a hefty raise and nice promotion the day you send out 100 of their re­sumes. 

Your worst consultant has the best excuses. 

The larger the Sunday ad you run, the greater the probability your receptionist will call in sick on Monday. 

The more important names a potential con­sultant mentions, the less likely any of them have ever heard of him. 

Placement management is not a democratic process. 

An unsuccessful recruiting assignment is al­ways someone else’s fault. 

Employers are never as smart as recruiters.


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