Something on Your Mind?

Please allow me to take a quick breather from my writing so I might ask you a question: Isn’t it time you wrote an article?

Surely you must be tired of my face by now, perhaps even what I have to say and how I say it. (Just wait until you see my new pic; Mac glasses and all…) Tell me, are you tired of any of the others as well? Truth be told, at times, I also get so weary of the same people writing variations on the same things (e.g., 8 Ways to Do This, 4 Things to Get That, and How to Supercharge Your Whatever).

So, here’s the proposition: If you have grown weary of hearing from the same old white guys, I suggest you write an article. You must have opinions you want to share. There have to be things that make you crazy about our business, such as candidates, hiring managers, processes, or the sheer madness of recruiting. You must have ideas as to how to make this profession better. Why not write an article and share them with the rest of us? After all, we do not just write articles; we read them as well.

Let me be a bit more specific and out a few people:

  • Effie Magas: You are a shining star and will be one of the most influential recruiting leaders within 10 years. Where is your article?
  • John Amodeo: Our conversations are terrific; your insights are seminal. Where is your article?
  • Danielle Monaghan: If I had your brain, I would throw mine away. Where is your article?

To the rest of you: Where are your articles? Where is your contribution to the dialogue that will make this a better profession? Where are the new ideas that will make us think and discuss and change? The future will be invented by you, those in the trenches who live and breathe recruiting. So, perhaps now is the time to give back to the community.

For most of you, there are two reasons not to write:

  1. No time; or
  2. Can’t write.

To those of you who say there is no time, let me fix that problem for you right here. The time we have is the time we make. I am writing this article in longhand over lunch in Boston. It is stained with food, grease, and bits of a cheeseburger (honestly, it’s disgusting), but nonetheless it is an article. I will finish it late tonight and get it in for edit tomorrow. Find a way to make the time.

Now, to those of you who say that you can’t write, I have the answer. I call it Howard’s “handy-dandy-guide-for-writing-an-article.” (Look what it did for Sullivan’s career.) If you follow its formula, you will have an article. It might not be the most brilliant article ever written but it will be a start, the content of something in which you believe and wish to share. (Read my first article from 2002 if you like. It did not win a Pulitzer, but it made a point. I got better as I wrote more, as will you.)

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Will people disagree with you? Of course, but that’s OK because you took a stand and put your stuff out there for the world to see. (Ever see some of the comments on “The Myth of the Passive Candidate?” I need a bodyguard just to run out for milk…)

For those of you willing to take the plunge, please look at the following guidelines and give it a shot.

How to Write an Article in 5 Easy Steps!

  1. Develop an idea based upon something you feel strongly about and have enough knowledge to discuss. The article should be something in which you feel strongly, as passion can create an article that is riveting and persuasive (Let’s take “Recruiting out-of-state candidates to undesirable locations” as an example).
  2. Create six to eight points that apply to the article. Let’s use the seventh point listed below as an example:
    • Getting the candidate’s attention.
    • Stress the opportunity.
    • Accentuate the positive.
    • Introduce the candidate to others who have relocated.
    • Develop a program just to sell out-of-state candidates.
    • Research and review best practices on world-class relocation.
    • Dealing with the candidate’s spouse and kids.
  3. Create three or four ideas that support and illustrate each given bullet point. Using the fourth point listed above (“Introduce the candidate to others who have relocated”) as an example, these ideas can be things like:
    • Identify an employee who has relocated to the company.
    • Prepare the relocated employee as to the concerns of the candidate.
    • Have the relocated employee sell the company as well as the location.
  4. Provide a beginning and an end. Write an opening paragraph before the 6 to 8 points of the story to get people interested. Tell them why your topic is important, and what is to be gained by reading it. Then, write an ending paragraph outlining one or two major benefits of your idea or concept.
  5. Review and smooth out your work. The article should be about 1,000 words in length. Short sentences are best. Now, take the time to go through the article and remove every word that is not absolutely necessary to make your point. This will produce a stronger, more tightly-worded article with good impact and no fat. Next, have the article edited for clarity, grammar, and syntax by someone who can actually spell. (Few can self-edit, as it is not easy to catch your own mistakes.)

There you have it: an article for submission.

Is this an over-simplification? Of course, but it is a tool that will get you on your way to doing something that is out of your comfort zone and will help you grow professionally. (Now, if I can only convince you to join Toastmasters…)

Honestly, I really think you should write an article.

(Not bad for 1,002 words!)

Howard Adamsky has been recruiting since 1985 and is still alive to talk about it. A consultant, writer, public speaker, and educator, he works with organizations to support their efforts to build great companies and coaches others on how to do the same. He has over 20 years' experience in identifying, developing, and implementing effective solutions for organizations struggling to recruit and retain top talent. An internationally published author, he is a regular contributor to ERE Media, a member of the Human Capital Institute's Small and Mid-Sized business panel, a Certified Internet Recruiter, and rides one of the largest production motorcycles ever built. His book, Hiring and Retaining Top IT Professionals/The Guide for Savvy Hiring Managers and Job Hunters Alike (Osborne McGraw-Hill) is in local bookstores and available online. He is also working on his second book, The 25 New Rules for Today's Recruiting Professional. See if you are so inclined for the occasional tweet. Email him at


7 Comments on “Something on Your Mind?

  1. wow Howard, I pulled up this article, saw your picture, and said, ‘hey, someone stole Howard’s identity!’ You have replaced the ‘glam’ shot with the ‘cool’ shot , eh? very cool indeed.

    deb jones

  2. This is a great ‘how-to’ article. I’d like to see more of this. I agree with Howard – contribute!

  3. Very compelling article! I became motivated to write again. Quite possibly your article is having the same impact on others. We shall see.
    Best of luck to you.

  4. Love the new glasses Howard, you’ve inspired me to update my look to a more stylish fashion statement.

    … and as for inspiring an article contribution (and starting a blog for that matter), it’s always on my list of things to do, except somehow it stays at the BOTTOM of the list. I’m grateful to errant scribblers like you that write articles, blog, and respond to every email.

    It’s hard to keep up with the articles & posts on the forum & contribute to the discussion…and the last time I felt passionate enough to write an entire article it was deemed too biased for publication by my friends at ERE.

    So all of you first time contributors who are considering an article, make sure you read the submission guidelines and save the more controversial themes for your blog (except for you Mr. Sullivan, we like it when you color outside the lines).

    Sylvia Dahlby

    >> SmartSearch >> Recruit the Right Way. Right away.
    Staffing Management & Talent Acquisition Software from APS, Inc.

  5. Happy New Year, Howard!

    Great article and a great new look! It’s also a good format to prepare for any public speaking event. Of course, you have to change the characters to match the subject matter.

    Perhaps many of our members may be a little shy to write since it’s almost like speaking in front of a group of 100 people. Perhaps some of our members are not good writers and that’s why we like to read other’s people’s articles like yours.

    Of course for those who are writers, this is very freshing to read! Perhaps this will make some people spring into action!

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