Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's time for a recruiting Trafalgar

Ok, crazy busy week for me but I had this weird inspiration and wanted to, hang on.  As you know, I’m a History dork.  I’ve got a degree in History and pretty much only read historical books....very little fiction.  This weeks inspiration comes from Lord Horatio Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar.  

If you aren’t familiar w/ Nelson or this battle, I’d highly recommend giving it a little study (I can even recommend a book in comments if you’d like!).  The moral of the story here is that Nelson won this amazing battle due to dramatically changing normally accepted tactics....and revolutionizing the art of battle.

For me...I’m feeling like it’s about time for a whole new take on looking for a job and hiring top talent.  A “Recruiting Trafalgar” if you will.  Here’s what I mean:

Nelson Bucked the Trends - At the time, opposing fleets would basically sail next to each other in parallel lines and blast each other to pieces.  Although this sounds manly and’s pretty dumb.  Rather than take his smaller force and face certain death...Nelson rethought the problem won via innovation.  If we are going to truly change the way people get hired we need to stop lining up in parallel lines and blasting away.  It’s time to think outside of the box, get nimble and build innovative solutions that work for you (or your organization).

Maximizing Fire for Maximum Results - To defeat the French and Spanish fleet, Nelson took his fleet and attacked them perpendicularly...thus allowing his fleet to maximize fire and devastate the enemy.  See below:

The analogy here is that if you’re looking for a job or trying to hire a bunch of HAVE to maximize fire and generate as much activity as you can.  The only way to “win” the battle is to focus your attention as much as you can and develop overwhelming activity.

Hindsight is 20/20 - Ok, last point on this and it’s a good one.  Hindsight is 20/20 in recruiting and history. Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar and became a national hero.  So, if you are on the edge and pushing the boundaries of hiring/recruiting/job search you may not even know it....but, history will look back on you.  Whether it’s a good new job, a great new team or amazing advice to a friend/colleague who’s looking will be easy for you to see your success with the benefit of hindsight.

That’s it this week, my daughter put a copy of my favorite Nelson book in my laptop bag today and told me I’d need it for work....ironically, she was right.  I’m pretty sure in 1805, Lord Horatio Nelson had no idea he’d be inspiration for a recruiting blog in 2012.

Good luck out there this week.......and keep thinking outside the box.


  1. Thanks for the post. A good read. Btw, badass profile pic.

  2. Thanks Brad! I like to think of my profile pic as The Terminator meets the Beastie Boys.