Recruiting Success: Visualize a Birdie

The field of recruiting is steeped in rejection; hiring managers, candidates, even the agency itself will scuttle many opportunities — some within our control, others outside it. Therefore, some assert, in order to be successful, the recruiter needs to develop a protective shell — a suit of armor, if you will.

This shell, it has been observed, may be the result of scar tissue that has built up over many wounds, each scar the result of individual rejections. Over time, the recruiter has seen so much failure and rejection, that the outcome is an individual who simply accepts failure and rejection more painlessly — scar tissue being what it is.

But what if we instead took a different approach? What if instead of bracing ourselves against the inevitable failures, we instead focus on success? How is this accomplished, and how does it provide scar-free relief for the inevitable death by a thousand cuts? Perhaps more importantly, how does it lead to a better result?

Let’s look at an example in sports. In golf, each golfer visualizes success before each swing; watch closely — the golfer takes a practice swing, steps behind the ball and visualizes the flight of the ball before he executes his actual swing. He’s envisioning success.

His head actually moves to follow the imagined trajectory of the successfully struck ball. This envisioned success is predicated on past success and practices. The golfer draws upon this visualization — an imagined successful swing and path of the ball before any action takes place. He considers lie of the ball, wind conditions, distance to the desired location, club selection, geography, pin location, etc.

Every visualization doesn’t end in a perfectly struck ball, but the odds improve if you commit to a belief in that success. For those cases in which visualization is unmet in execution, it’s important for the competitor to quickly understand what went wrong, then forget just as quickly and forgive. If not, that agitation will follow the golfer to his next swing, likely bringing about unwanted influence.

Likewise, if a recruiter looks at an opportunity and visualizes success, that outcome is more likely to occur than if she doesn’t.  Just like the golfer, the recruiter has many factors that impact success — rate, availability, skills, experience, geographic considerations, education, etc. All require consideration in advance of execution.

If the recruiter envisions these factors prior to submitting a resume for consideration, the odds of success increase. And again, just like the golfer, not every swing will be successful. For those submissions that fail, it’s important to understand why, but forget quickly before moving on to the next candidate.

The author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield, was once quoted as saying:

“Build your self-esteem by recalling all the ways you have succeeded, and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again. Give yourself permission to toot your own horn, and don’t wait for anyone to praise you.”

Golfers do this. Recruiters should too.

Scar tissue provides a numb approach to failure, but also to success. Envision success, and instead of building scar tissue at the prospect of inevitable failure, believe in yourself. Failure will occur — as it always does for those who act, but place the emphasis on success instead of adapting to failure.

It may result in a hire-in-one!

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