Usain Bolt

by Peter Cotton, founder and president of Best Sales Talent, LLC

I’ve been a recruiter for more than 40 years.  There have been times when I have filled an employer’s job opening very fast — sometimes from introducing just one candidate who gets the job.  It’s in those times that some employers say: “You didn’t spend a lot of time on this search, so why am I paying you a full fee?  It should be reduced.”  For those employers I tell them this:

Usain Bolt is the first man to hold both the 100 meter and 200 meter world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977.

His 100 meter record time was 9.58 seconds.

He proved he is the fastest man alive.

He won three gold medals in 2012, yet the total time he ran in all three races was just 40 seconds.

40 seconds!

Some might say he didn’t have to put out much effort to win those medals, if it only took him 40 seconds.

Do you think he didn’t work hard to achieve his three gold medals?

Are you forgetting the intense workouts and practice he put himself through 8 to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for the last 4 years?

Jackson Pollack

Jackson Pollack, the artist, gave an answer to a question that is a very similar analogy:


When a recruiter produces one candidate for an employer to interview for a job, and the candidate is a perfect match and gets hired, would you then assume that the recruiter didn’t put in much effort to make the placement?

What if the recruiter has more than 40 years of experience in recruiting (and another 7 years in corporate sales and sales management) has worked with several thousand hiring authorities, has placed more than 600 candidates in new careers, and has studied and practiced his profession for all those years? Would you still say it didn’t take him much effort to make that placement of sending out one candidate to one employer who gets hired?

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