If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

If – Rudyard Kipling

In the past I took a slothful approach to personal fitness. If there was a choice between a lazy evening on the sofa watching TV, going to the gym or just for a jog, the appeal of a sofa won every time. Although raised with a love of team sports, a youth spent playing matches and going to training sessions, I found the training and physical effort required to attain match fitness a struggle. The thought of endless laps around the pitch and the dreaded bleep test was enough to send me cold and whilst I could comfortably compete from a skill perspective, my lack of stamina often let me and my teammates down. When I think of all those wasted years I spent fooling myself that I was half fit, the simple truth was I was barely surviving in games and running on empty.

Ironically in the year I turned forty, I’m fitter now than I ever was in my twenties or thirties. Something about getting older made me wake up and realise that a healthy body could also lead to a healthy mind and the benefits it can bring cross over into my professional life also. Running allows me the space to think clearly. It’s as if my brain needs to be temporarily distracted by the physical exertion of running and simultaneously allow my thoughts to wander. Some of the greatest moments of clarity I’ve encountered during a long run. I could sometimes run 10 miles and remember little of the course I took or the sights, sounds and smells, but I can recall in perfect detail what I was thinking about at that moment and what decisions I came to in light of this. It’s these moments of clarity that are addictive and as much as I enjoy the feeling of getting fitter and the endorphin rush of completing a long distance run, the mental side effects can be much longer lasting.

But I don’t run for the sake of running, I do so with the aim of completing a race, be it a marathon, half-marathon or 10k. Every single training run has to be completed with an end goal in mind and whilst there are many for whom running is a hobby to be enjoyed, I regard it as a test to be endured with the race itself being the easy part. I can’t say that I enjoy the training all that much, but then I never did and half the battle of training for a marathon is overcoming the mental challenges it involves. Persistent doubts and negativity can fester in your mind but you have to push these aside and reaffirm your commitment to going the distance. I’ve been fortunate to work and train with some exceptionally fit athletes, many of whom were similarly late converts to the pursuit of physical fitness and encouraged by their achievements, I’ve been inspired to set my own fitness goals. But what does any of this have to do with recruitment I hear you ask?

There are elements of the recruitment process that can be similarly tedious but ultimately are essential and worthwhile. I’m willing to bet if you did a straw poll of recruiters anywhere in the world and asked each what part of the process they find most challenging, a good percentage would volunteer – sourcing. It can be boring, monotonous and fruitless if you don’t know what you’re searching for. Running is similar; it too can be boring, monotonous and fruitless if you don’t have an end goal in mind, hence the need to run regularly with a specific race as your target.

Running can be solitary, there isn’t anyone else going to get you up off that couch and over that finish line. It’s the self-determining element of putting one foot in front of the other, to push yourself when every fibre in your body is screaming at you to stop, that’s the challenge. Recruitment too can be a solitary existence but again you have the power to determine your own goals and ultimately your own success. Ultimately it’s your desk to run, your responsibility to pick up the phone to your clients and candidates and your responsibility to fill the jobs you’ve got to work.

Starting out a search process is in many ways like training for a marathon. Both are endurance tests that you have to pass in order to achieve your goal.That little voice inside your head that questions if you’re fit enough to go the distance is the same one asking if you’re up to the challenge of filling this job by finding that impossible to find candidate? Long distance running is as much about your mental fitness as it is about your physical. From a recruitment perspective, have you put in the hours of calls and connections necessary to hit your mark? Sure you may come out of the blocks at lightning speed, but over 26.2 miles it takes endurance to sustain that pace. Equally it takes talent and mental fortitude to recruit well. I believe that physical fitness can help play its part in ensuring that you’re mentally fit for the challenge.

At Campbell Rochford, we believe that by investing quality time with all our clients, we can and do achieve amazing results. The old adage of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” applies and we take a long term view of our client and candidate relationships. We are your recruitment partner, your “running mate” if you will. By investing time with our clients to accurately understand their needs, we are best placed to satisfy them and keep our recruitment process simple and straightforward. If your next hire for your business is proving impossible to find, come and speak with us because we have the stamina required to win your race to the best talent in the market.

Campbell Rochford – Turning Good to Great

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