“You can’t pick up where you left off.” So spoke a frustrated recruiter on the phone late last evening. In Metro New York, job ads are starting to produce fewer and fewer results.

When the pipeline breaks, companies scramble to hire contract recruiters. False bravado fills the halls as CEOs assume that they know how to recruit in today’s environment. Old time recruiting consultants will chime in as well.

These days, I am experimenting with Linked-In. After years of pooh-poohing the service, Shally and Don Ramer persuaded

So, as you can see, I’m revisiting the question of relationships and how they impact recruiting.

It’s very hard to generalize about a process that handles both call center development and strategic executive acquisition. It’s like trying to talk about construction generalities with a plumber a carpenter and an architect. The thing looks different one nail at a time or one drawing at a time or one leak at a time. The overall view (building a building or maintaining and expanding a culture) has generalities that don’t always flow down to the specific discipline.

You simply don’t need the same depth of relationship to recruit an assistant that you need to have when you recruit a rock star.

Historically, executive search professionals focused on relationship development (at least some of them did) while their HR based brethren focused on scale and relative anonymity. Between those two extremes, the range in technique varied from pure direct marketing (no real relationship, lots of volume)

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