Three things Karate Kid teaches us about recruitment

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Recruiter armed with a good mentor and a set of chopsticks can achieve anything. Here are  three things Karate Kid teaches us about recruitment;

 1. Mentor ‘yes’ or mentor ‘no’. Never mentor ‘guess so’

If karate kid teaches us two things about life it is this;

Firstly, never try and hook up with the ex-girlfriend of the leader of a motorbike riding, black belt  wielding gang of rich 80's in-kids, and secondly, find a good mentor. 

 It’s a scary world out there when you’re doing things for the first time. It’s easy to feel terrified when facing it on your own - like a simple New Jersey kid in the bewildering world of sun soaked California. But it’s a hell of a lot less daunting if you have someone at hand who has been there before.

 If The Karate Kid is one of the most iconic movies of the 80's then the phrase "wax on, wax off" is probably one of the most well known of the decade.  This famous scene is remembered largely for this line, yet it contains one of the most powerful lessons in the movie.

 If a mentor relationship is going to work then it needs to be acknowledged, and it needs to be committed to by both parties.  Each party needs to know that one will lead and the other will follow, that advice will given in good faith, and will be listened to, and taken on board, in the same spirit. 

 The foundation of the relationship needs to be one of mutual trust, and for this to occur there must be a time in which the 'rules of engagement' and nature of the relationship are acknowledged.   Both parties need to be committed to the process with a clear idea of what they can expect from each other.  It needs to be stated. “I will help you achieve amazing things but you need to trust my judgement and be fully committed to this relationship.”

 In recruitment, having a good mentor, be it a sales manager, a team leader, or even a senior consultant who is willing to establish this kind of relationship, is a recipe for big billings.

 2. Paint the house side to side - master the basics

Recruitment is about the basics.  Practicing them so that they become second nature is the key to making money.  Whether its wax on wax off, paint house side to side, or taking a proper job order, the more you practice the better you become.

Everybody likes the big ticket stuff (the recruitment equivalent of the crane kick) but it’s the less glamorous basics practiced over and over and over so that they become muscle memory, that bring home the bacon.

 3. Whole life is balance

Recruitment is a tough gig. Its long hours, its mentally draining and it can eat away at you emotionally.  But it pays well and it can be a buzz when it’s going well.  In the daily roller coaster that is recruitment it’s easy to lose yourself and burn the candle at both ends.

But recruitment, like life and (apparently) like karate is about balance.  Respect yourself enough to look at your processes, your systems and take time to get them set up right.  A bit of work upfront to get the systems right, then the discipline to use them right, can save you time and give you breathing space to find that balance.  Working smarter, rather than harder ,can mean that you can have success AND a life.

 4. No get hit

Sometimes you just have to push yourself into the ring and fight.  Procrastination, hesitation and time consuming activities such as ‘research’  and 'social media' can pull you away from what makes you money – hitting the phone. Of course those things are vitally important in today’s recruitment landscape, and everything has its place, but you know when you’re putting off picking up the phone, you’re avoiding the fight. Sometimes you just need to push yourself into the ring, mutter “no get hit” and hope for the best. 


Karate Kid is a must see for any recruiter or manager of recruiters. It also makes for a pretty good karate movie.

If you like the way we think, and are keen to see what we're up to at The Recruitment Company, visit us here we're always up for a chat with recruitment ninjas.