Ever since I was little, I’ve been obsessed with knights. Swords, horses, lances and castles. Why wouldn’t you think they were the coolest thing ever?
Well, lots of reasons, probably. We all like different things after all.
As a child, I was convinced that one day, I’d be a real-life knight.
As it happens, I kind of am. In my spare time, I roll with a group of Medieval Entertainers. We dress up in armour and try to kill each other to the delight of crowds and families across the UK.
Everyone I meet finds this out, because I never shut up about it.
It meets my needs because I love attention, and it gives me space to live my boyhood dream for a few hours in the baking heat or sloshing rain.
There’s a big reason I love knights so much - they are elite warriors with a sense of honour!
The Knight’s Code of Chivalry.
So, is it possible to live these concepts in my day job, simply by following the same code? Sure, we can hold doors open for people. That stuff’s easy.
But what about when you work in one of the most problematic industries there is? Full of different people with different perspectives and different agendas.
Yep. I’m talking about Recruitment.
So what's the code, then? I’m glad you asked:
#1 “To fear God and maintain His Church”
Let’s uh…park those religious overtones shall we. But, we can certainly try to deliver the best for our stakeholders. Right?
#2 “To serve the liege lord in valour and faith”
This is similar to number one, but who is our “liege lord”?
This one’s about quality, or “good recruiting practice”. In other words, don’t compromise your integrity for the sake of your bottom line or an easy fill.
People remember that stuff, and ultimately, you’ll lose.
#3 “To protect the weak and defenceless. To give succour to widows and orphans”
This means we don’t put all our energy into the client relationship and neglect the candidate.
It means saying no to ghosting, lowball offers and anything else that insults people’s time and intelligence.
#4 “To refrain from the wanton giving of offence”
I mean, this might as well say “don’t be a dick.”
#5 “To live by honour, and for glory”
Ring that deals bell. Brag about it on LinkedIn.
Nah, I’m kidding. Fortunately, that stuff’s gone firmly out of fashion. But, do take heart in the good work you do. Use it to motivate yourself.
#6 “To despise pecuniary reward”
This is very counter-recruitment, isn’t it?
Don’t do things solely for money. It’s OK to like money, but if you find yourself constantly in that chase with no other meaning in life, you’ll probably never be satisfied.
There’s a reason they call it ‘cold hard cash’.
#7 “To fight for the welfare of all”
This doesn’t mean taking selfies with people in need for LinkedIn likes. It means making sure your process is fair and balanced.
#8 “To obey those placed in authority”
Maybe, but don’t follow people to the point of no return. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo if your critical thinking skills tell you it’s the right thing to do.
#9 “To guard the honour of fellow knights”
Don’t bring down other recruiters by how you speak or act. The industry has a bad enough reputation already.
#10 “To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit”
There’s never a good reason to tell lies. Not to win a role, nor to place a candidate. Lies always come back around.
So don’t be that recruiter, and while you’re at it - don’t be afraid to call out bad practice when you see it.
#11 “To keep faith”
Recruitment is a funny old game, an emotional rollercoaster of sorts. Don’t let it keep you down.
#12 “At all times to speak the truth”
This one’s cryptic. If you’re struggling to decipher it, see #10.
#13 “To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun”
Don’t start something you do not intend to finish. That means being critical of terms before you agree to work them. I actually think it’s OK to admit defeat.
But, to do so without really trying brings your credibility into question.
#14 “To respect the honour of women”
Absolutely! Wolf of Wall Street style offices are falling out of favour, and in my opinion, not a moment too soon.
While we’re at it, could we extend this to respect everyone else as well, including ourselves?
#15 “Never to refuse a challenge from an equal”
Don’t back away from a challenge. Rise to it, because regardless of the outcome, you'll learn from the experience.
#16 “Never to turn the back upon a foe”
Don’t be afraid of recruiters on the “other side”. Internal vs External.
Different markets, geography, business models, whatever. Deep down, we have the same needs. We all just want to get by and make a living.
So, as you can see, chivalry isn’t dead. And your recruitment doesn’t have to be either. Follow this code and you can’t go far wrong.
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This article originally appeared on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tenuous-link-between-recruitment-chivalry-me-tim-wood-/