“Steve was among the greatest of American innovators–brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.” – President Barack Obama
Wednesday October 5th marked an historic and sad day not just for America, but for the world at large. On Wednesday morning, Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple passed away after a long battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Steve Jobs was indisputably an amazing man. He changed the landscape of information technology and in so doing, changed the daily lives of every person in America. He changed the daily lives of people throughout the world. And it’s not stretching to say his achievements and visionary leaps in IT have even rocked international politics. Would the demise of world leaders through social networking and rebellion have happened without the technical capability of social networking sites? Did Steve Jobs’ technology create a world where the masses can finally come together and for the first time, truly communicate and understand one another? I hope so.
As an IT recruiter, I spend my days seeking, qualifying and placing IT professionals throughout the US. It’s my living and my career. And for someone who spends so much time working with IT, it would be impossible for me not to know Steve Jobs, Apple, Linux and Unix. It would be impossible for me not to marvel at new mobile applications, iPhones and iOS (mobile application development). It would be impossible for me not to have noticed the leaps and bounds that technology still makes everyday due to Mr. Jobs and his ideas. As Recruiters we should all pay attention to a man who changed the world, not through money, violence or politics, but through vision, drive and dedication. An homage to Mr. Jobs.
The Measure of Excellence: One of the defining characteristics of Steve Jobs was his focus on excellence. Excellence as an expectation is something that we Recruiters can lose sight of very quickly, if we ever had it at all. Our days are filled with Managers, candidates, colleagues and running numbers, and metrics. We become focused on the bottom line and at the end of the day, we run the risk of losing sight of what it is we do. Whether you’re an Agency or Corporate Recruiter, we find people work. We find people careers…and that’s a deeply important role, now more than ever. Take the time to stop and realize that what we do for people is a crucial life changing service. In a world of unsure economics, waste and desperation we should strive to be excellent. We should strive to change lives. And we can be the very best we are capable of, losing sight of the cynicism rather than the service.
Agents of Change: Steve Jobs changed the world in a very real, very discernible way. Did he start out to do that? Was his plan to become famous and to have his name live on? Probably not…if it was, he probably would have been in politics. We know the inspiring story of so many that have changed the world…Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Ghandi. But to find someone who changed the world through their career? That’s a difficult task to say the least. But Steve Jobs was able to create a lasting and meaningful change in the world simply by striving to be the best and striving to have new ideas. He changed the corporate world that we all live and breathe each day. I find that inspiring. For professionals who spend their day in the world of recruiting, we can impact corporations, the market and the individuals that make up those markets day in and day out. While Recruiters can become cynical with time (managers, candidates, deadlines and budgets; need I say more?) it’s important to always remember that we are agents of change. We can change the market, change companies and change lives…all by doing our job well.
Making People Better: We tell anecdotes and joke with colleagues about candidates who have done the unthinkable. We recount stories of interview killers (wearing a turquoise tux) that we couldn’t have seen coming. It’s funny and it’s how we survive the day to day in this business. But we don’t always tell the stories of counseling our candidates on how to be better. We don’t mention the times we spent helping someone speak better, wear better clothes or prepping them to get the job that they so desperately needed. Recruiters spend a great deal of time making people better and it’s not always easy. I’m sure most of us have had uncomfortable conversations regarding presentation skills or even personal appearance. It might seem like something small, but it’s a glimmer of greatness that Recruiters share with leaders like Steve Jobs. He believed deeply that his job wasn’t to make people feel better; it was to make them be better. And isn’t that what Recruiters do, day in and day out? We make people better; better candidates, better employees and better assets. Take pride in what you do and never lose sight of what it is Recruiters do… we can help people find better jobs and in the process, we make people better, we make their lives better and we (hopefully) make the market a little better with every man or woman we place.
We can all be people of vision. Strive to be great.