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Guest Blog: Searching for new candidates ‚¬€œ they may not be like you

Written by Peter Cosgrove, this blog originally appeared here. If you’d like your blog to be featured on our site next Friday, like us on Facebook and post a link to your blog on our wall! We’ll pick a winner on Thursday December 1st.

As I was training some of our staff on some Boolean searching techniques I was explaining the importance of brackets and the problem if you omitted them, for example:

5 x 3 + 2, could equal either 17 or 25.

So I mentioned the arithmetic rule BOMDAS, which explains what to do first in an arithmetic sum


When they all looked at me blankly, I realised that maths may be taught differently now and given all in the room were younger than me, maybe I need to think about my audience. So I will need to explain OR vs AND searches in a different way.
I went home that evening and realised my 6 year old son Tom was getting interested in jokes so I told him the basic corny jokes starting with What is black and white and red all over, with the answer being a Nun falling down the stairs. Instead of laughing Tom asked me what a nun was. Now for anyone who grew up in Ireland in the 70s / 80s so many schools had nuns (often terrifying) but it seems they are dying out and once again I had missed my audience ‚¬€œ he had never seen one!
Finally, I had a pull-out this week from the Irish Times of the periodic table which I took home to my daughter but she had no interest in the elements but she did want me to scan the QR codes and see what came up. She is already more interested in the applications of technology than anything as last year as paper.

What’s my point: we need to know our audience, and we are very likely to hire people who look like us and seem like us, but we are also very likely never to engage with a younger audience if we don’t know what they learn, what they like, what their influencers are. But as good recruiters we need to know this otherwise we will very quickly become the person who gets called words like curmudgeonly or cantankerous” – two words I am guessing the younger generation probably don’t use either as they take too long to text!

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