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Recruiters Forget Names…Or is it Just Me?

| June 9, 2017 10:35 am

Let me start by telling you a little about myself. I recruit, I forget names. I thought this would be a common thing among recruiters, but when I attempted to google it, I found nothing. This is completely unlike other recruiting topics I have come across, which have 1000s of blogs (…I have posted some of these repetitive topics over and over and over again). I did not find a single indication of “recruiters forgetting names” to be a common topic of interest. So, this could just be me.

I am sure (most of) you have a social life beyond that of work. Even fewer of you may be involved in activities that involve groups. For example, I used to be involved in competitive billiards and also play tournament style poker. During these recreational activities, I encounter a fair amount of people. After a little time, some faces become familiar and after more time, you know who the regular competitors are. Nine… or so… out of ten times, I run into the situation where someone knows my name, and although I have talked to them 100 times, I have no clue what their name is. EMBARASSING. So, what do I do? I blame it on recruiting. My famous line, “Well, you know I recruit; I see over 50 names from resumes a day.” Majority of the time, this works out and they are understanding.

I further go into explanation utilizing the “Rule of 150” aka “Dunbar’s number.” In case you are unfamiliar, Dunbar’s number is the “suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom we can maintain stable social relationships…” as defined and coined by British Anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, with that magic number being 150. I was first introduced to this concept as the “Rule of 150” by Malcom Gladwell in his book called “The Tipping Point.” If you have not read this before, I HIGHLY recommend it. The theory dives further into how this is impactful on businesses and Malcom Gladwell provides specific examples on businesses and communities that adhere to this rule with proven success.

For my purpose, I am referring to just the social/community aspect of this rule. Malcom Gladwell provides an example of the Hutterites (who possesses similar traditions as the Amish and Mennonites). Once a Hutterite community reaches approximately 150 members, the community splits into two for a number of reasons to include a decrease in the level of intimacy with relationships, which is essential to their functionality.

Well, I think remembering someone’s name is part of a general relationship, let alone a close one. So, basically what I am thinking, is that I have to forget someone else’s name in order to remember yours. It feels like a strange contest. Who wins the award of me remembering their name??

So, if I forget your name, please do not be offended (especially if I don’t see you or talk to you in 6+ months). There’s a limit to how many we can remember! Seriously though, how many people do you have on Facebook? I am sure you don’t remember ALL their names and faces!

So, is it just me, or do recruiters tend to forget names?

Priya Jindal is the Engagement Manager at NSS RPO, a consulting firm that provides on-site and virtual recruiting professionals. Contact NSS RPO to learn about how we can help your organization meet and exceed it’s hiring goals.