Don Hunter: A Few Parting Words From a Retired Recruiter, Part 1

Don HunterEffective on June 30, Top Echelon Network Preferred Member Don Hunter of Bay Resource Group retired from the recruiting profession.  Don was a Member for just over 10 years, and during that time he made more than his fair share of split placements.  However, he also established a number of great relationships with other recruiters in the Network, relationships that evolved into friendships.

We interviewed Don before he left, and he was gracious enough to provide answers that reflected both his expertise and his wry wit. Congratulations, Don, from everybody at Top Echelon . . . we hope you enjoy a long and satisfying retirement.

1. What do you believe are the keys to a successful recruiting career?

As a pure exporter, one key for me was to “do it immediately, if not sooner.”  To find the right candidate, I was competing with the company, the job boards, other exporters, and even the importer with whom I was working.  If I wanted to find the right candidate first, I had to act quickly. During a search, my phone calls, emails, job postings, database searches, and ultimate candidate submissions were made as quickly as I could complete them.  If you wait until later in the day, tomorrow, or first thing on Monday, your chances of hearing, “Oh, I’ve already been contacted by a recruiter on that job,” or one of my favorites, “We’re already working with that candidate,” are significantly increased.

2. What has Top Echelon Network meant to your business?

Again, my prospective is from the exporter side of the business.  If I hadn’t joined TE when I did, I would not have been able to  sustain my business, especially after 9-11.  The Network creates a platform to develop relationships with other recruiters, which is critical to the process of both importer and exporter, but especially to the exporting side of the business.  You don’t have to build a mega-network to be successful.  Of the 72 placements I’ve made since becoming a member in 2000, I only worked with 18 different recruiters.

It also provides a “safety net” to ensure that everyone complies with a set of rules and standards of practice.  The transfer of candidates and money is based on trust.  Every recruiter I’ve ever spoken with claims to be trustworthy–TE provides the means to verify it.  That, as they say, is priceless.

3. Can you describe the unique bond that exists between the “Core-upt” Group members?

I don’t know that there’s a bond with the members of the “Core-upt Group.”  It’s quite simply a virtual model of Animal House.  I infiltrated “the group” to help my wife gather material for a paper she was writing while completing her Master’s Degree.  The paper was based on social deviance in America.  I told her I thought I may have some specimens to work with to gather valuable data.  The data was gathered from the corn fields of Indiana to the hills of Pennsylvania; from the urban blight of Akron to the beaches of Florida.  Her professor gave her an “A” with a notation, “You couldn’t have made this stuff up!”

4. What are you going to miss the most about being a recruiter (and why)?

Obviously I’m going to miss the people I worked with over the years, although I’ll keep in touch with them on a regular basis.  I’m really going to miss the thrill of the deal.  There’s nothing more exciting then the anticipation of everything coming together to an offer and acceptance.  So many things can go wrong in the placement process and to see that final completed placement form is like finishing a grueling race and coming in first.  You can be in the depths of despair because of a deal gone bad and within minutes the phone rings with news that another deal that you thought was dead is moving forward!  Recruiting and the process thereof is a series of adrenalin rushes and crashes.  Damn, I’m going to miss it . . .

(Editor’s Note: Be sure to check The Pinnacle blog next week for the conclusion to this article.)

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