Don't become a recruitment rhino | Eloquent - Recruitment Marketing

Don’t Become A Recruitment Rhino

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I wrongly assumed it was a safe distance.

The rhino was alert to our presence. There was a deep thud as he stomped his feet in the earth. A snort rolled across the plains and his nostrils flared. My breath caught in my throat.

I nervously eyed the wooden panel on the side of the jeep and calculated just how useless it would be against 1400 kilograms of charging rhino.

“Everyone stay still. Do not get out of the jeep. Do not scream. Do not stand up. It makes you a target” commanded our ranger in a low urgent whisper.

The rhino charged.

I fought the urge to run, to escape, to yell, to do something. Instead, I sat quietly as the rhino charged across the plains directly at our jeep, it’s horn lowered and dangerous.

Seconds before impact, the rhino realised the size of the jeep and started to pull up. The rhino had so much momentum that it couldn’t stop running, so it swerved and narrowly missed connecting with us, and it stopped directly in front of the jeep.

There was a tense silence as it stood directly in front of the jeep eyeing us and snorting.

The moment passed, the rhino decided there was no immediate threat, and he slowly strolled back across the plains, it’s sudden aggression forgotten.

The ranger gently murmured “That was lucky. Last time he hit us.”

(This is how close he came!)

April of this year I was lucky enough to spend some time in beautiful South Africa and to be the best man for a lifelong friend at his wedding. The wedding party spent some time together including going to an incredible animal reserve in KwaZulu-Natal National Park. It was filled with amazing experiences, including this very close encounter with a black rhino.

Afterwards, the ranger educated us further on the rhino including this insight:-

 “Black rhino weigh up to 1400 kg and can run at speeds of up to 55 km/ph. However, they have terrible eyesight and can only see about 10 metres ahead.” 

I did the math. A rhino charging at 55 km p/h is travelling at 15 metres per second.  Once you have finished verifying my math with a calculator, you will realise that

A charging rhino can see less than one second ahead! 

That’s why the collective noun is a crash of rhinos!

There were definitely points in my career when I became a Recruitment Rhino.

The competitive nature of the role demands speed to be successful.

I would charge towards filling that next role without looking up often enough to determine whether I was going in the right direction.

Sometimes the very speed that creates success is the same reason we will crash. We need to take the time to look up.

The challenge for all recruiters becomes balancing the immediate actions of the role while ensuring that your business is heading in the right direction.


3 ways that you can avoid becoming a Recruitment Rhino

If you have decided that you want to ensure you don’t become a recruitment rhino then consider one (or all) of these ideas.

1. Get a mentor, a coach, or join a mastermind

A regular session with a mentor or a coach is an established path to help you think about the big picture and is probably deserving of a post all to itself.

Another idea worth considering is starting a mastermind group with other recruitment agency owners/Directors. A mastermind group is a meeting of highly motivated people that share a common goal and are looking to encourage and help each other improve.

The big benefits of a mastermind group are that they become an exclusive community that helps advise you, create shared learnings, create a level of accountability, extend your network, and allows for cross-promotion.

The idea was originally pioneered by Napoleon Hill about 80 years ago, you can watch his video here

2. Regularly undertake a Stop / Start / Continue session with your team

This is a simple and very effective structure for brainstorming actionable insights into how to improve your business.

Create a 3×3 similar to the below and then brainstorm ideas, actions, and improvements for each category.


             Clients             Candidates          Consultants


Eg. What should we stop doing to improve our client relationships? What should we start doing to improve our access to unique high-quality talent? What should we continue doing that is working for our Consultants?

The reason I love the Stop / Start / Continue process is that it’s a simple, actionable way to get your entire team focused and making suggestions on how you can improve the important aspects of your business.

3. Schedule time to think

I don’t do this enough. It feels self-indulgent.

My mentor suggested it to me. I asked her “How often should I schedule the time to think?”

She replied, “How smart would you like to be?”

The LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wrote on this far better than I can ever hope to so you should check out his post here

The summary if you made it this far

Success in recruitment demands speed.

Unfortunately, that very same speed can make you become a rhino charging at what’s urgent, while not looking up to see the important.

Don’t be a Recruitment Rhino.

Create time in your life to consider how your business can continue to deliver amazing value.

Mastermind groups, a Stop/Start/Continue brainstorming session, and scheduling regular time to think, are just three of many ways that you can avoid becoming a Recruitment Rhino.

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