53 Discoveries From Life & 20 Years In Recruitment (Part 2)

by | May 8, 2024

So many life discoveries to share!

If you missed part one, you’ll find points 1 to 17 here. They are the most talent acquisition and recruitment related, but from here on in, in no particular order, you’ll find a mix of professional and personal lessons from life. 🥳

Number 35 may trigger women – that is not my intent. Change is my hope.

Discoveries 18 – 35

18. Prospects don’t owe you a reply. Whether on LinkedIn or elsewhere, people don’t have to respond to your message. Most are inundated with spam, so the only way to gain engagement is to be worthy of it; use a relevant, timely message and look deserving of their time. (Chapters 2 & 7 of The Robot-Proof Recruiter)

19. The judgement thrown around over CV length or whether to use a green open-to-work profile banner etc., tarnishes the recruitment profession. Before judging, ask yourself, ‘Why does this minor thing bother me so much?’ The quiet reply could be a fascinating insight.

20. The majority of successful recruiters are getting on with their jobs, not writing content for the addictive dopamine hit from notifications that their peers have commented. Adding value to the network of people you’re looking to hire is, of course, great, but make sure that is why you are sharing your content.

21. Floor Nobels contributed, ‘It’s wrong to think you can hire very experienced professionals with very junior recruiters!’ to my new book Reboot Hiring, and she is spot on. Recruiters play with people’s lives and livelihoods, and it can be hard to discuss something so important with someone who is just starting out. Train them!

22. Too many return-to-workers are overlooked when hiring, and companies miss out on great opportunities by not offering part-time, job shares and other forms of creative or flexible employment due to stigma and bias. I am no expert, but the book Flexible Working by Gemma Dale is a super useful guide.

23. In the main, offices are designed for extroverts who work well in the noise and distraction created by open-plan spaces. Until I started working from home 14 years ago, I had no idea how draining they were. As an HSP, sensitive to noise, smells and glare, I thrive working in silence. (Thought I was an extrovert? 😆)

24. I love that I can mute people’s social media posts without having to unfriend/disconnect from them. Of course, I could create an echo chamber, but I would argue that the algorithms do that for me. Muting antagonistic people or trolls without them knowing is glorious. Be valuable or be muted. 😳

25. LinkedIn’s ‘turn off notifications about this post’ is the best thing they ever introduced after they started notifying me that someone had added a comment on a post I’d only liked! 😬 It’s second only to being able to ‘remove a mention,’ which is a joy to use when someone tags me in irrelevant content. 😈

26. Follower numbers don’t matter if your network isn’t engaged. Yellow badges don’t matter; they are how LinkedIn feeds its AI your intellectual property. But the impact you make on others does matter. Not leaving 82% of applicants down or depressed by ghosting is a better impact to make, for starters.

27. If you quote another person or a source of information, always give the person credit. As you’ll find in my business books, memoir, posts and talks. My issue with GPT et al is that they steal intellectual property and spit it back out without credit. No validation or appreciation for the expertise of the original creator. Rude. Sad.

28. People want to see your authentic self, not a BS AI version of you or your profile picture. Every time I can tell that someone has used ChatGPT to craft a post or a comment/reply, I think less of them because, between their ears, they have the most amazing creative centre, and they’re wasting it. 😢

29. Posting antagonistically just to gain social media fame rarely pans out long-term. As Maya Angelou wisely said, ‘People will never forget how you made them feel’. It is ok to have and voice a differing opinion, but back it up with some evidence or reasoning, or it could reflect poorly on you.

30. Read avidly and widely. Don’t rely on one curated list of articles. Ask your peers for recommendations of great blogs, podcasts or books. Read outside the recruitment sphere, too. There’s lots to be learned from other professions that cross over ours. And a must-read: Stolen Focus by Johann Harri. 🤯

31. Mentor and be mentored. Find the thing you want to do daily and get really good at doing it. It is not necessary to chase job titles or a certain career because you think you should or someone told you you should. Discover the thing you love, uncover others who love it, learn from them, and later pass it on when you mentor.

32. Develop yourself both personally and professionally. We all came in knowing nothing; everything can be learned. Expecting companies to pay for your upskilling when tenures are shorter than your career could set you up to fail; investing in yourself is far more rewarding because you’ll appreciate it more.

33. Life is short, and my time is irreplaceable and valuable. If what I am doing doesn’t make me sit up and buzz, then the answer is no. But that doesn’t mean I will say yes to doing things I love – like my workshops, speaking or writing – for ‘exposure’. Exposure doesn’t pay my bills; money does.

34. VOTE! I often wonder if we’d have Brexshit if the 33% of voters who didn’t vote had voted. I was especially appalled by the women who didn’t vote because not that long ago, the Suffragettes fought to get it for us, and even with the right to, not all women can necessarily vote, even now. If you have the right, vote!


TRIGGER WARNING: violence against women. Don’t let my placement of this here detract from its importance. I’ve had enough; hence, it’s longer.


35. My father was an enabler every time he said, ‘You can’t change your mother.’ With 5 words, he permitted her abuse and didn’t protect his children. He reminds me of the men who deny that women fear men or who do know but don’t speak up or take action. Those who don’t stop their fellow men when they hear their derogatory dialogue or witness their shoddy behaviour towards women.

I get it; it can be scary. My ex-husband defended a woman on a train a while back and had a knife pulled on him. However, women are choosing bears because our subliminal fear is constant and not solely in the moments we speak up.

However when we do speak up, nothing changes. Instead, we are regularly reframed from victim to “bringing it on ourselves” or even the attacker. Even a former policewoman on LinkedIn accused #teambear of attacking men!! 🤯  She brought up ‘all men’ and ‘hating men’ 🙄 when it is about women not knowing ‘which men’ are a threat.

Her comments infuriated me because every single one of my female friends can speak of multiple incidents where they have either been raped, sexually assaulted, drink spiked, groped, attacked for saying no, have given in to sexual advances to avoid harm, or… Her comments infuriated me when I have endured a manager’s attempt to rape me at work, inappropriate sexual behaviour of male colleagues, an ex-boyfriend using me as a punching bag, and more.

The men I expect to speak up are currently speaking up, and though it is lovely that they want to understand and ensure that they create a safe environment for women, it is not enough. Men need to stop men attacking women, as Daniel Sloss explains so eloquently here. For the safety of the women you love, watch it.

Imagine if each time you witnessed a male friend speak or act in a derogatory way towards a woman, you simply said, ‘How would you feel if that was directed at your [name of daughter, wife, mother, niece, aunt, female friend, cousin, etc]?’ and waited silently for the realisation.

I hope change can start that simply.


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