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The Physics of Recruiting- Be a Magnet for Talent

Originally posted: April 30, 2010 on TrishMcFarlane.com


Physics has always fascinated me. (stop laughing)


I’ve never been labeled a brainiac, but I certainly have enjoyed learning and studying many of the topics that fall into the physics realm.  I guess I didn’t have enough interest to major in it in college, but Physics was my favorite class in my undergrad studies and I always made A’s in Physics.  One of my favorite studies was magnetism.

To understand magnetism, we have to first understand what a magnet is.  Basically, a magnet is a material or metal that has the ability to attract some metals or it can repel another magnet.  Magnetism refers to the force of attraction or repulsion that is caused by the magnetic field surrounding the magnet.  Something about the fact that it is not just about attraction but about repulsion appeals to me.  So here’s where it gets interesting, magnets have a north pole and a south pole.  In order to have attraction, opposite poles have to be near each other.  If “like” poles are near, the magnetic force actually pushes them apart.  Thus the theory that opposites attract.

From a recruiting standpoint, similar forces are at play.  And, if YOU (as the recruiter, HR, or hiring manager) are being the magnet, then you should be able to attract the “right” candidates and repulse the wrong candidates.  Are you with me?  So, as you go through your slate of candidates, you don’t necessarily want the candidates you think are saying all the right things.  Anyone can practice to do well in an interview.  What you need to be looking for are those candidates who have the experience on paper AND who can bring something different to the organization.

That would be attraction.

I think that idea may be drastically different from what really happens most of the time.  Hiring managers tend to hire like-minded people with similar backgrounds to their own.  And although they would never admit it, they want to bring in little clones of themselves.  The challenge is to bring in someone who will have similar goals to the organization but who has skills that complement those of your current staff.  By doing that , you are ATTRACTING the right talent and BEING a magnet.

What do you think?  Am I right on or completely off target?  Let me know in the comments….

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