The 12 Blogs of Christmas 2014 – #11

12 Blogs 14
PhilWe are finishing the series with something of a recruitment flourish. Posts 11 and 12 are written by two of our best recruitment thought leaders in Australasia. Today Phillip Tusing (@philliptusing) talks about generosity, very appropriate for this time of year. Anyone who knows Phillip will know his kindness and generosity stands out like a beacon. Organiser of the best recruitment conferences in NZ, Australia and wider afield and bringer of some of the best sourcing talent to speak on this side of the world, he’s well respected by the global talent community.


In 2014 I organised eight recruitment conferences across six cities and had the privilege of meeting men and women who were open minded, connected, interesting and exceptionally generous with their knowledge and expertise. Generosity is attractive. Generally speaking, people are attracted to other people, and organisations, who are generous. Which is why I believe generosity will have a huge bearing on how recruitment is performed in the future.

Let’s take a quick test.

  • If you are a job seeker which employer will you give more attention to? More likely those offering ample information about jobs, career and their workplace rather than the ones miserly with information.
  • If you are an employer looking to hire an agency recruiter, who are you likely to find first? More likely those sharing knowledge generously.
  • If you are a recruiter, who would you like to spend more time with? I bet industry peers who are willing to share and collaborate and not those who endlessly worry about losing IP.

Generosity is appealing to job seekers, employers and recruiters and I think its role in recruitment is worth exploring further. I think a lot of the problems faced by recruiters can be solved by practicing what I will loosely term as ‘generosity recruitment’. Simply, it is the idea that recruiters and companies ought to give generously in order to win talent or clients.

What and why generosity recruitment?

Generosity as a marketing tactic is not a new concept. For ages, businesses give away free products with a view to selling other associated products. Gillette successfully gave away shaving razors in order to sell replacement blades. Video game consoles are priced below cost and profit made via games. Google give away free products and make money in other ways associated. In his seminal book FREE Chris Anderson explore the concept of freeconomics and explains how giving away things for free can be a viable business strategy. And the model is particularly successful in industries whose main product is information.

I think recruiters can borrow and apply the concept of freeconomics because the main product in recruitment is ‘information’.

Recruitment is an information business

Recruitment, at its core is essentially an information business. All the main protagonists – job seekers, hiring managers and recruiters – are involved in creating, distributing, collecting and exchanging information. Information about a vacancy is created by employers/recruiters. The information (job ad) is distributed and promoted using various channels. In return job seekers create information (CV) and recruiters buy and collect them, which they resell to hiring managers. At its simplest recruitment is the buying and selling of information.

So, if we look at recruitment as mainly involving the transaction of information, it can be argued that whoever is generous with information will win more attention. For example, say, if two job ads have the same content, except one has additional information about remuneration, which job ad will be more useful for job seekers? I bet the one with the salary information. By including salary information a job ad can eliminate one of the top frustrations of a job seeker, and that’s being generous in my book.

Now, the question to ponder is – how many current problems faced by the recruitment industry can be solved by being generous with information? I am guessing a lot. The more information you give away the more benefits you get. If you are generous with your information candidates will find you. If you share your knowledge freely clients and peers will find you. This holds true for job seekers too, the more information they create the higher the opportunity to find employers. Being generous with information is the key to solving a lot of recruitment problems.

Generosity can be manifested in many ways

Of course, generosity recruitment is a lot more than just being generous with information. It can be manifested in a myriad of ways:

  • It can be a design issue. If you have a badly designed career website, that’s not being generous.
  • It can be about accountability. If you are on twitter and spit out jobs without much interaction, that’s hardly generous.
  • It can be a process improvement issue. If you don’t give timely feedback or don’t explain the feedback process and timeline, you are not being generous.

And so on. The sky is the limit with how generosity recruitment can be interpreted.

Ultimately, generosity is a mindset that treats the customer, whoever that maybe  – job seekers, hiring managers, clients, recruiters –  humanely and with diginity. It’s about investing in the human experience (increasingly delivered using information). At its best it’s about winning trust by being caring and showing kindness.

The risks & rewards of generosity 

So how do we impart generosity? Does generosity mean we offer discounts, lower our prices or give our services away for free? No far from it, generosity does not mean free but it can actually improve candidate experience, enhance reputation and in the process bring about new or additional income.

The good news is that most recruiters are already practising some form of generosity recruitment. Every time useful information is created and shared acts of generosity are being performed. It is also a great time to be generous. The information economy and the networked world we live in rewards giving and the givers. The long-tail phenomena amplifies any generous effort.

Throughout 2014 where ever I went the people most generous with their knowledge were the ones that stood out. It is no surprise that some of the most well-known recruitment personalities are generous with sharing their knowledge and expertise. And I saw first-hand, how the same people who are generous are often rewarded many times over. Ultimately generosity rewards the giver.

Being remarkable is key  

As we move into a new year, it worth pondering that in every industry unremarkable products and services don’t have a very long shelf-life. To survive and thrive organisations have to delight customers, which can only come about by being remarkable. And at the heart of being remarkable lies generosity.

I am vouching for giving generosity recruitment a go. Here’s to a more generous 2015.

2 thoughts on “The 12 Blogs of Christmas 2014 – #11

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