Do You Speak My Language? Or Further Reflections of a Rookie Recruiter

By Jennifer Copley, Rookie Recruiter, Q4B

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”  – Charlemagne

I am not sure when I first fully appreciated the importance of having learned a second language. I took French in high school and college and most of my friends and peers took some language as part of their course requirements. For many of us it was just another subject, sometimes required, that we needed to pass in order to graduate.

In college I took a few trips to France, traveled the country side, visited the museums, sampled the exquisite cuisine, the wine, the cheeses and spoke to or tried to speak to the locals in their language. Over time I became more comfortable with speaking French, my second language. And I began to see France through a different lens. And I liked what I saw.

I am now in my third month as a Rookie Recruiter for Q4B. I am also in my third month of learning a third language. A third language, you might ask, maybe Spanish, Chinese, German? No, although any one of those languages would certainly be of some use no matter what business you were in. No, the third language I am just beginning to learn is the language of Recruiting.

I read somewhere that English is considered the language of business, that French was considered the language of diplomacy (at least up through the mid 20th century) and is considered the language of love. If that is so then Recruiting should be considered the language of success.

My job as a Rookie Recruiter with Q4B is primarily to source and screen candidates for the various positions that we are trying to fill for our clients. In other words, I am the first point of contact with candidates and it is my responsibility to understand our client’s business, their market, the position and identify the basic requirements that the candidates must have in order to be considered.

From the very beginning I knew a couple of things. One, I had no knowledge of our client’s business, the position requirements and most if not all of the terminology was foreign to me. In other words it was a foreign language. And Two, I needed to approach each assignment the same way that I approached the subjects that I took in school, in other words, I needed to learn another language.

Before I begin working an assignment, a job order, I read the information that the client gave us during our needs analysis meeting. I then research the client’s web site, picking up information on the company, the culture, any press or media information, their blog (if they have one) as well as information on their key executives. I also read their own job description on their site. I then research their LinkedIn page, their FaceBook page and their Google+ page in an effort to gather even more information. I make a note of any specific words, phrases, terminology that are unique to this client’s business. I look up the definitions for these words, phrases and terminology in order to better understand them.

With each assignment that I am given I am slowly beginning to learn a third language.

The language of Recruiting is quite broad. There are just so many dialects, so many colloquialisms, so much local slang. Every industry has its own way of speaking; every job has its own terminology. Learning to speak French certainly was a whole lot easier, but perhaps not as rewarding.

Learning to speak Recruiting has opened up doors that I never dreamed existed. And just like my experience with speaking French on my trips to France allowed me to see that country through a different lens, learning to speak the language of Recruiting has allowed me to see the opportunities that exist in each of the markets that Q4B works and the value that we bring to both our clients and our candidates, through a different lens. To say the least this experience has been eye opening. And I like what I see.

So, do you speak my language? Or should I say, “Parlez- vous Recruiting?” Because I can speak yours!

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