“That Won’t Work Here” and Other Recruitment Myths

Over the past 10 years, I have helped roll out Recruitment Functions across to new locations/countries/business groups across the Asia Pacific region. One of the phrases that I have heard from both customers and even Recruiters when we want to look at a new way of candidate sourcing is “That won’t work here”. I have also heard “That won’t work here’s”  infamous sidekick “That’s not the way we do it” used as well.

One of my favorite writers Seth Godin published a Blog Post titled “Because it Has Always Been This Way” that I think explains some people’s resistance to change.


I love all the different locations and people that I support in my role(s) here. There is always a local custom or way of work that I need to  respect and pay heed to when I am working with others in different locations. One thing though that rings true across the globe no matter where you are is that a solid Recruitment Plan and a good Recruitment approach is a universal trait that applies everywhere. It can be easy to say why running a direct sourcing strategy or why a social media campaign won’t work.  It can be easier for people to stay in their comfort zone and use tried and tested methods even if those approaches hurt them in the long run. When you say ‘that won’t work here’ or ‘that’s not the way we do it’ without giving ideas proper consideration you are not allowing yourself to ask the question “What if”?

What if I could find all the candidates I needed with a Recruiter working from  a remote location, what if I could source all my competitor’s best talent, what if I could hire xx number of people in xx amount of time. When you stop limiting yourself to thinking only of the ways things are done and think about the end result you can then really start to make things happen. Once you have an end goal in mind you can work backward from that goal and figure out all the things that need to happen to make that goal achievable.

I think one of the key components of a Recruiters role is to take our customers hand and help them keep improving their recruitment capability. Customers have a million things to do, recruitment is only one of them. Recruiters need to stop taking ‘job orders’ and work as business partners to help educate their customers on what the best Recruitment practices are and give them options on how they can be implemented into a business. As a Recruiter you need to be the expert bringing new sourcing approaches to the table to discuss, if you are not doing this are you giving your customer the best level of service they deserve?

What is the worst that can happen, you try something that does not work out – at least you know if it works or not instead of dismissing ideas without trying. The upside is too big to ignore.

There is always a reason not to do something, but those Recruiters who can make the impossible possible are the ones that really shine!

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