International Recruiting Lessons We Can Learn From the 2012 Olympics

By Veronica Scrimshaw

I don’t know about you, but my free time is currently consumed with watching the 2012 Olympic Games. I follow the updates on the internet and (even though I usually already know who won) rush home to tune into the coverage. You can guarantee, until the last medal is awarded, I will be watching  athletes from countries around world, with different backgrounds and economic conditions, compete on the same stage in hopes of achieving greatness. The Games give me an opportunity to inspire recruiters to work a little harder to achieve success by keeping some of the tips below top of mind.

  1. Training pays off – Like the 2012 Olympic athletes, you’ve been “training” your entire life for a successful career. From the lessons you learned in high school and college to your first day on the job, your training has shaped the recruiter you are today. So, if you want to be good at what you do, invest in yourself. Attend conferences, training sessions and webinars, hire coaches, increase your opportunities through recruiter networks and take the time to increase your knowledge through professional development. Michael Phelps didn’t become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time over night, and it probably won’t happen overnight for you either. But with each investment, you increase your chances for success.
  2. Be aware of your competition – Each of the 205 countries participating in the 2012 Olympics are very aware of what the other countries bring to the table as it relates to athletes. It affects the way they prepare and the strategy that goes into each competition. You, too, should make yourself aware of your direct competition and do everything you can to gain a competitive advantage. Create a value statement that separates your firm from your competitors and make sure it is continuously evolving. International recruiting is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors and the ability to serve your clients throughout the world will definitely give you an advantage.
  3. Be diverse in skill set – For most of the Olympic athletes, they are competing in the same sport but in more than one competition. For example, there are several different swimming styles and distances and for the most part, the best athletes are competing in more than one event. This allows them optimal odds for success. As recruiters, you want to allow yourself the best chance for success (and money). Being able to place different types of candidates in different niches will allow you a broader opportunity to make money. If you are an expert in one particular niche, join a global recruiting network and utilize your network partners for help with positions or candidates that are not in your specialized niche.

What are some of the comparisons you can make between the 2012 Olympic Games and international recruiting? I know the Olympics inspire me to work a little harder and go the extra mile to achieve success. What about you?

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