Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How grunge music relates to recruiting (Part 1 of many)

Being stuck in this snow/travel chaos I've been listening to a lot of random music...which has inspired me to actually just start blogging about lyrics that I think are cool and relate to recruiting. It's kind of funny because most of these songs have NOTHING to do with business and frankly most of them are dark and, I figure, why not share some of my favorite lyrics from the "Grunge Era" and have a little fun with recruiting analogies! So, without further adieu here is Part One of Many on this topic....

You can’t understand the users mind, but try with your books and degrees – Alice in Chains

This lyric is from the song Junkhead by Alice in Chains on their very popular album Dirt. Its probably my favorite tune from the 90’s grunge era. It’s dark, it’s creepy and it’s about drugs. How can this relate to recruiting you ask? Easy actually. We as recruiters or hiring managers can try as hard as possible to understand our candidates but at the end of the day….people are people and they make decisions that we won’t understand. It’s true, as hard as we try to get to know a potential recruit we’ll never know the whole picture and thus we won’t FULLY understand their decision making process. So, when a candidate makes a decision (good or bad) that you just don’t understand….don’t worry, it happens and no amount of education or experience will help you understand how every candidate thinks.

Too much tripping now my souls worth thin – Big Empty - Stone Temple Pilots

This lyric is from a sort of Grunge Ballad by Stone Temple Pilots. Really great band that was kind of obscured by other bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana…and they got a lot of crap for the Plush video but that’s for another blog. Really this is a great lyric from those candidates that trip between jobs. Ever see a resume from someone who switches jobs every 12 months? People talk about how it’s ok in this new economy but it’s not. Seriously, I realize the job market if volatile and I get it….layoffs happen and I don’t hold that against people but if you are voluntarily moving jobs every few months for a better job, more money, shorter commute whatever…..I’m unlikely to hire you because I’ll be just another stop on the subway of your career. If this sounds harsh, I’m sorry…but really if you decide to take a new job stick around a while and make the most of the opportunity.

Disclaimer: I realize that BAD jobs happen too. I’ve had one, ask me about mine sometime I’m happy to discuss. So, if you’re in one of those “must leave now” kind of jobs it’s cool I get it….but please don’t make a career out of bad jobs.

You gave me life now show me how to live - Audioslave

I realize I’m stretching the limits of Grunge here but Chris Cornell has enough street cred that I’m counting it. Audioslave was his attempt at a super band with the guys from Rage Against the Machine…really good, heavy cool stuff. I can’t say ALL of it is amazing, but this is probably another one of those Jeff Top 10 kind of songs.

Recruiting link? Well, it’s more of an HR link than anything. We as HR and Recruiting professionals spend a lot of time telling people why they should join our company or why they should be happy..but how often do we actually SHOW them what we mean? Not as often, and frankly it’s hard.

How do we remedy this? Well, it’s easy. And any of my hires, I hope will tell you this is exactly how I pitch a role. I give real examples of things the company has done that I think are cool and why I love the company. Ask me about The MathWorks? I’ll tell you about the summer outing, cookies on Friday, super technical software and really good co-workers. Ask me about Google? I’ll tell you about random raises, stock exchange programs, ridiculously great co-workers, my rock-star massage therapist and a host of other things that make it one of, if not the best place to work on the planet. The key here? I’m showing you how I live and love my job showing you with real examples of how I think you’d live too if you joined the company.

That's it for now...but I've got many more I'll share soon...hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


  1. By the time I hit the 5th paragraph, I turned green with envy because: a. You work in Google (I'm eyeing a position in NY Google but I live across the globe), b. You have a rock-star massage therapist and c. You came up with an idea of relating music to recruitment. When it rains, it floods. How blessed you are. =) I miss the grunge era. Sigh!

    Waiting for the other parts,
    Anne =)

  2. Thanks Anne, appreciate the kind words!!