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Be like a Dog

Matt Woodhouse / Wednesday 17th August 2017


I think a dog would be an awesome recruitment consultant. Obviously not an actual dog, that would be ridiculous (or would it? They might get a bit more love on LinkedIn). But there are many traits from man’s best friend that I think ring true in recruitment.

Look forward

K9 interactions can often be hit and miss, as with humans you can’t get on with everyone! The key thing is the ability to walk away with nothing but a forward focus. A dog won’t spend the rest of the walk worrying about what that dog thought of him, feeling guilty for stealing her ball or considering a myriad of reasons the dog may have barked at him. The moment passes and the journey continues.

Rumination is a human trait that we would all be better off without; Why did that person but the phone down on me? How did I come across? Why didn’t that client appoint my candidate? How? Why? What if? We exhaust ourselves reviewing insignificant interactions when we should be leaving things in the past to focus on a positive future.

Be like a dog with a bone

Have you ever tried to take a bone from a dog? One can be assured of one thing, that they won’t let you have it if they can help it. Dog’s value their bones, they will chew it all day and when it’s time to go to bed they will either keep it with them or bury it. Maybe recruiters could treat their candidates like this (don’t bury them!) but do show them you care. Tell them that they are important to you and don’t give them up to a rival without a fight. GRRRRRR

Broaden your mind

Saturday morning is dog school and from the minute I wake up my dog is pestering me to leave the house. He loves seeing all his friends, getting fed treats and having to engage his brain. Although the commands are often simple and ones he has done a hundred times before, the mental stimulation keeps him active. As humans we tend to focus education on the young when there are too many other distractions going on to get the most from it. Without using the cliché about old dogs and new tricks it is important to learn new skills, broaden your mind and spend your time on this planet developing yourself. You can always learn, develop and improve. What can you do to become a better recruiter?

Be yourself

My favourite thing about my dog is that he is truly himself (as are most dogs). Dogs don’t put on an act to get people to like them or hide their feelings for fear of rejection. He will try and lick your face no matter your size, religion or pay packet – you’re just another human that needs a kiss and that is awesome to a dog! Now recruiters can’t go around sniffing and licking potential clients, but what you can do is to approach this like a dog. Everything is awesome to a dog, and if your treat every client and candidate as if they are awesome – they will feel awesome and you will create a real positive buzz. And as well all know, positivity often leads to success.

Listen like a dog

Everyone knows that dogs have great hearing. But did you know that dogs are great listeners? In recent years’ schools have used dogs to listen to children read. They are a great tool to help children with difficulties reading because children don’t feel worried if they make a mistake reading to a dog. The dog doesn’t correct them or tell them off when they make a mistake, simply being a good listener boosts the confidence of the reader.

Maybe recruiters could all be better listeners? Maybe don’t judge people and cut them down because they made a mistake. We have all seen the abuse that gets thrown around on LinkedInafter someone has made a spelling mistake on a post. Maybe it’s time to stop and spend a bit more time listening and less time being critical. Have you ever heard a dog rip into someone after a typo? No – so be more dog.