What Would Harvey Specter Do?


As Recruitment Professionals we all consider ourselves some form of a “Closer.”   A guru that we could all learn from is Harvey Specter, from the TV show ‘Suits’.  Harvey is a revered lawyer, known as ‘the best closer in New York City.’  As one of the main characters and a partner in the firm, Harvey proved to us that with a certain amount of talent, and a strong ability to think outside the box, we can be very successful.

10 things we can learn from Harvey Specter:

  1. Don’t get emotionally attached!  As a Recruitment Professional, your job is to find the best person to take a company to the next level.  Your clients are not your friends, they are clients.  Your candidates are not your fans, they are your product.  When the deal is done, get out of the way and let everyone else get to work.
  2. Know people, better than they know themselves.  We trade on our relationships every day.  If you set up an interview before knowing everything there is to know about both parties, more fool you!  Knowing the smallest details about all parties will allow you to defuse potential bombs you may ignite by setting up an interview.
  3. Keep pressing until it hurts. Then you know where to look.  Clients make bad hiring decisions and candidates make bad career moves.  Don’t shy away from uncovering these mistakes.  You will be saving everyone time, and will be able to close deals easier.
  4. Be tough but fair, and call it like you see it. You don’t make money on unfillable orders so don’t waste your time trying to. You don’t make money fighting off calls from candidates who should have been disqualified two weeks ago.  Take the time, right there and then to set expectations.
  5. When someone has a gun to your head, take the gun away from them.  We all feel pushed when we are trying to close a deal at the eleventh hour. When the candidate or the client is holding a gun to your head by trying to force an impossible situation TAKE THE GUN AWAY FROM THEM.  Say “NO”.  You will be surprised how quickly people become willing to work together when you take the power back.
  6. Take responsibility.   A client forgetting an interview or a candidate telling an off color joke is our responsibility.  You are responsible for making sure everything is done, and everyone is prepped and debriefed properly.
  7. Don’t tell them what they want to hear.  Tell them what they need to hear.  A bad hire or a bad career move will cost everyone in the end.  Be the expert you are in the process, and explain the consequences of a bad move.  Not everyone will like your ideas, but they will respect them.
  8. Don’t play the odds, play the man.  Better known as “Candidate Control” or “Client Control.”  If you don’t know what Candidate Control or Client Control is, you need to find a Recruiter Training class to get into ASAP.
  9. Always hire up.  This goes for you, and your hiring managers.  Whether you want to grow personally or you want your company to grow, always hire someone smarter then you.  You say,  “But there is no one smarter than me!”?  I am sorry to say there is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder.  Maybe you want to rethink that position?
  10. Loyalty is everything. ~ To your clients, candidates, internal staff. Need I say more?

Next time you are faced with a tough moment just think…#WWHD?


The Recruiter’s Coach


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