August 17, 2018 – Tim Winterich -

Recruiting, Searching and Serendipity

My greatest passion in work revolves around the search, whether it is searching the web for information, that perfect job candidate to fill an open position, or through books for nuggets of knowledge.

And outside work I also enjoy searching for other things like learning how to fix things around the house, finding facts to settle a debate, or searching for the best reviews about future buying decisions.

One of the great unintended consequences of searching is of course serendipity, where you make discoveries by chance.  Regardless of the goal at hand, that act of accidentally discovering something you never knew existed is always a great feeling.

Before the web really took off, and back when bookstores were popular, I used to spend a lot of time in bookstores just browsing shelves and learning about subjects I didn’t even know existed.  For example I stumbled upon subjects like ancient cave art and ancient sports this way. 

But these days bookstores are few and far between as Amazon and the others take over the book world.  The world wide web of seemingly infinite knowledge, connections, and people has taken hold.  Now we have access to this ever-expanding universe of information from devices we hold in our hands and carry with us wherever we go.

Searching the web can be that same type of enjoyable ride of exploration and discovery as any journey of serendipity along book shelves.  (Or it could be a nightmare if you find yourself spending tons of time chasing links all over the internet without absorbing anything of value!  Thus the black hole of binge surfing where you lose all sense of time.)

In the recruiting world, one of the things I really like about the hunt for the perfect candidate is the serendipity of coming across a person whose current job title, at first glance, would disqualify them as a candidate for the position under consideration.  But after digging deeper into that person’s background I can uncover a lot of the skills and qualities that match up with the requirements from the job description.  And voila, the person turns out to be a wonderful candidate!  If you are searching for a new role, you can avoid being overlooked by making sure your online presence reflects your level of experience and related value.  Click here to identify ways to improve your online presence. 

What’s even more satisfying is helping search candidates see the potential in themselves to take on new roles and responsibilities.  When you become the one who unlocks doors to help people grow their careers and to help them to define and pursue their passions, it’s very rewarding!  Which in turn leads to many long-term rewarding relationships.  If you are changing course in your career and want to learn more tips, please see this post.

Of course these days in the age of Applicant Tracking Systems, AI, and constant automation it seems the full force of technology is for all intents and purposes set on wiping out serendipity in recruiting!

But in the end, the human element is still paramount in our recruiting world, as we described in a previous blog here.  So we recruiters will always find those candidates that machines would never reach, and help fit the right person to the right job through constant searching, interviewing, reviewing and, yes, chance discovery.

Thus is nature of recruiting, searching and serendipity!