Yesterday a client commented to my colleague, “Only you guys could ever pull off something like this”. Within 48 hours my colleague had given him a field of four experienced, highly effective leaders for a significant CEO contract position. The week before another colleague had produced a field of six candidates for a challenging COO position in just five working days, this topped up a client’s own recruitment campaign that hadn’t gone to plan. After three rounds of interviews, my colleague’s candidate from the UK won the job.

At face value, these could be seen as simple tasks for recruiters, to pluck some people out of a database, as a professional group, recruiters are notoriously bad at communicating just what occurs behind the scenes.

The avalanche of people globally who are discovered, screened against multiple job categories and behavioural capabilities, reputations explored and tracked, relationships nurtured over years, screened again against a specific request, matched across job / person / organisation and team fit,aligned with culture and remuneration and convinced that it’s sometimes worth relocating a family. And for every mandate these tasks are managed, processed and refined with the search team wanting to go above and beyond, achieving exceptional results just with that client in mind.

These stories remind me of a much cherished book that I own, titled “The Specialist”.

The book is about a real person, Lem Putt (not his real name), who is a true professional and a Specialist in the art the “simpler forms of sanitary engineering”, or put simply, building dunnies.

Lem’s craft is simple, and the book is old and out of print (first published in 1930), but the lessons that can be learnt from Lem are as real today as then and can be applied to the complexities of our industry and our client sector.

I see it in my colleagues here in the office and others in the industry. They, like Lem, have seen a need, studied, practiced, developed personal insight, built deep knowledge of human behaviour and technical skills. They too have sincerity about building a relationship for real understanding, a genuine desire to help solve a problem  and they get the biggest buzz from getting an exceptional result for someone they have built a relationship with.

“As I look at that beautiful picture of my work, I’m proud. I heaves a sigh of satisfaction, my eyes fill up and I says to myself. “Folks are right when they say that next to my eight holer, that’s the finest piece of construction work I ever done. I know I done right in Specializn.”   –Lem Putt

The Specialist is available from Amazon .. more