Bob Dylan – On Recruiting, Hiring and the Candidate Experience

“The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind”.

–          Bob Dylan

 In case you missed it, or were just too busy waiting for the rapture, Bob Dylan turned 70 this past Tuesday, May 24th. In honor of that milestone, I decided to go back and listen again to my extensive collection of Dylan albums and CDs. Every time I listen to Dylan I hear something that I didn’t hear before, a subtle phrase, the idiomatic word usage, and the rhythmic undertones that all conjure up a slightly different take on a song that was once familiar but is now new again.  Dylan has that effect on the listener.

This time I decided to listen with an ear more attuned to what I do, what our company does, what my business is. I was hoping to hear Dylan speak about recruiting, hiring and the Talent Acquisition process. Below is a partial list of Dylan songs, the albums and some idea of what Dylan had to say about our business or at least what I heard him say to me.

4th Time Around – Blonde On Blond –  A candidate’s thoughts and frustrations with having to go through another round of interviewing where the same questions will be asked again, but by different people

Ain’t Talkin’ – Modern Times – What every recruiter should hear to prepare for the candidate reference check

All I Really Want To Do – Another Side of Bob Dylan – The candidate’s lament. Forget sending the resume, waiting for the phone call, filling out the application, just “let me go to work for you”.

Are You Ready? – Saved – Probably the best example of how to send out and extend the offer. No candidate will ever turn the offer down or take a counter offer if you use this approach.

Beyond The Horizon – Modern Times – Employees considering leaving your company are well advised to listen to this piece.

Can’t Wait – Time Out of Mind – The whole candidate experience is summed up in this song and you feel the frustration and the helplessness –

Dignity – Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol 3 – How we should approach every engagement, and how we should treat every candidate

Everything Is Broken – Oh Mercy – No ATS, no process, no talent strategy, what is a good talent manager to do?

Going, Going, Gone – Planet Waves – How to turn in a very professional resignation letter – no burning of bridges

Hard Times in New York Town – The Bootleg Series Vol 1-3 – What it really feels like to be conducting a job search in a big city without a good recruiter

Honest with Me – Love and Theft – Do I have the job, can I get the interview, is the position filled? The candidate wants the answers.

I Feel a Change Comin’ On – Together Through Life – What every recruiter needs to make his candidate say about that great opportunity.

I Threw It All Away – Nashville Skyline – Had a great job, just didn’t get the proper on boarding from the company. Whose fault was that?

If Not For You – New Morning – The recruiter’s classic line to get referrals for a position. Similar to that other classic “Who else do you know”

Nothing Was Delivered – The Basement Tapes – What you never want to say about a new hire after the first 90 days – so what was the cost of a bad hire?

One Too Many Mornings – The Times They Are a’Changin – No job, no prospects, no idea of how to conduct a successful job search. Just send out some more resumes to some of the openings on Monster.

What Can I Do For You? – Saved – The best question we can ask our candidates, our hiring managers, our clients and each other.

This is just a sampling of the many Dylan songs that could deal with recruiting, hiring and the candidate experience. You probably have many of your own favorites that could be added to the list. If you do, just send them along or include them in your comments to the blog.

So, could Dylan have been saying all of this about recruiting, hiring and how candidates are treated? You know the answer my friend, and you know where it is.

Happy 70th Bob Dylan!

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