Why being OCD & ADD helps me as a Recruiter?


I have this innate ability to carry on a conversation with a person, check my email, and watch for text messages on my phone all at the same time. The only problem is, I’m the only person who thinks this is an ability at all. Most people get ticked off when they get the sense that you’re not paying attention to them.

As a Recruiter I have the most sensational OCD tendencies. I will spend over 10 minutes trying to figure out the composition of my subject line in an email to a candidate. All of my form emails have to include the same nomenclature. I have even more OCD tendencies that I can’t think of off the top of my head because I’m also ADD. I thought I might be ADHD, but I’m refusing to accept that I’m hyperactive. I was most likely hyperactive as a child. You can check with my Mom and I’m sure she would support the claim. I have not been formally diagnosed. I’ve learned to cope with these disorders over time. It took me 15 minutes to find a decent image to upload for this post. It was mostly because I couldn’t find an image that was at least 640 x 400 pixels. While I was searching for the perfect image, I read a few hilarious comics about ADD. That’s being ADD at its finest.

Being a recruiter has to be one of the most insane jobs on the planet. Recruiters come in all different shapes and sizes. I’m not meaning that in a body shape type of way, but more figuratively about our different characteristics and temperaments. What specifically makes our job insane is the amount of people you have to ignore because they’re not a fit for the requisition you’re filling. Now that I’m a recruiter, I jumped to the other side of the pursuit spectrum. For most of my life, I’ve been the one trying to pursue everyone and wishing I was good enough to be accepted. Now I have hundreds, thousands of people pursuing me. Those deep seated feelings always surface when I’m reviewing a candidate resume of someone who clearly isn’t interested in actually finding a job. Or the candidate who sends you their resume for a requisition but has no idea what they just applied for.

What does this post have to do with me being ADD? Being a recruiter has everything to do with being ADD. Ask any recruiter how much time they spend reviewing a resume, and if its longer than 5 minutes, they are either lying or they only have one requisition to fill this year. You have to be ADD to get through the mass of resumes a Recruiter sees in the course of month. I hate to say this, we don’t even read the entire thing. Why you ask, because our job requires us to skip around on your resume making sure that you have the appropriate education, skills, and experience. My first recruiting boss, Glen Smith, told me in my interview that I will have made it once I’ve been able to look at a resume and in an instant can tell if they are a fit for the position or not. How long is an instant? Heck if I know, I guess it’s relative to the person.

To all my recruiting comrades may your ADD skills serve you well today as you source through and endless stream of resumes. If your applicant tracking system does it for you then I hope your keyword filter and boolean search string capabilities serve you the same. If your a candidate interested in making your LinkedIn profile and resume Recruiter ADD proof please feel free to comment!


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