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Takers vs. Givers

By Tim Saumier, President – TYGES International

There are two types of people in this world: Takers and Givers. While pretty self-explanatory, I cannot help but think of how this comparison works in the world of recruiting:

1) The Recruiter – Are you someone who is only focused on the next placement so you can get paid? Or are you someone who understands that placements and cash are a by-product of the work you do and the relationships you build? When I entered recruiting in 2002, I can tell you that the bulk of recruiters I met were what I call transactional in nature. transactionThey were surface-oriented, focused on themselves, and tended not to work towards deep partnership-type relationships with companies and individuals. When you’re a transactional recruiter, you are a taker and everything is about you. Pay me. Next. Over the past twelve years, I have seen these types of recruiters come and go with the wind. On the other hand, there are those of us recruiters who understand that the best way to do business is a true partnership. It is the most effective, it is the most rewarding, and we go home considering the longevity of making this a career versus a stop in life. Please do not misunderstand me, we need to make phone calls. The reason I make this statement is because there are people out there who tout the “I’m about quality relationships not quantity” – the reality is, it is about both, and once you realize this, you can move on to bigger and better pastures either in recruiting or somewhere else. When you’re a relational recruiter, you are a giver and everything is about the customer. Our job is to put a person together with a company and the by-product is getting paid. One of my recruiting colleagues whom I’ve known for 10 years once said, “If you get into this business for only money, you will be miserable no matter how much you make.” He gets it and that is why he is a top 1% recruiter globally.

2) The Client – If you are working with a client who is adversarial, sees you as a vendor, complains about your fees, doesn’t trust you, and doesn’t want you talking to anyone but HR, this client is a taker. They are insecure and for a variety of reasons you are, at best, a necessary evil to them. On the other hand, if you’re working with a client who embraces your expertise, seeks your wisdom, encourages partneraccess to hiring managers, and brags about you to the senior staff, this client is a giver. These are the people who make it fun. Again don’t be confused, I’m not talking about friendship; I’m talking about a partnership where we do what we say we will do and they do also. We all dream of finding the “perfect client.” Think of the recruiter in your office that you know who has some really great relationships with their clients. You think to yourself, “If I could only find a client like that.” Let me clear this up for you. Clients like that don’t exist; they are created through how we position, posture, and teach them how to treat us. Great recruiters who are givers get this and know that they need to decline work and walk away from takers; something recruiters are terrified to do.

3) The Individual – There are individuals out there who only want the transactional relationship. They are the people we spend a lot of time with and once they land in their new career they go missing in action until the day they need you. Huh, sounds like recruiters and it sounds like companies as well. We will all place these people over the course of our career and while they may be takers, you have to continue to be a giver. But every once in a while an individual comes along who we help (maybe land a job or maybe not) and somehow we build a far-reaching bond with this person- this is a giver. Keep these bonds, not for business sake but because it will make you happy. These are people we enjoy talking with. Hopefully, we can impact their lives through our actions.

Not everyone can be a Giver but it is something I strive to do in my daily walk. It makes me happy, it gives my life and my career greater meaning, and, yes, it helps pay the bills. Join me in this walk.

I welcome your feedback as we continue to make an impact in our local community and throughout the world.  You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at, on Twitter@TYGESInt, or here on our blog. Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.


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