Recruiters, which Star Wars character is your boss? Part 1: The Motivator

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This is the first in a six part blog series. 

I think its fair to say that our industry attracts its fair share of sociopaths.  Most of us are nice folk; even tempered and well adjusted.  But then there are those amongst us who, to put it kindly, aren’t quite as balanced.  And sometimes those individuals are actually quite good at recruitment.  And one of the interesting traits of recruitment is that, regardless of which side of the sociopath line people sit, if they are good at recruiting they often get promoted into management roles. 

So how do we categorise them?  Star Wars of course.  Although we like to think of ourselves as cheeky smugglers, starry-eyed farm boys or quick witted princesses, we also have to accept that many who hold positions of authority within our industry are in fact Sith Lords, Hutt Gangsters or riddle talking small green things (metaphorically speaking).  So which of these Star Wars characters most resembles your recruitment manager?

 The motivator

 “Maybe I can find new ways to motivate them” quipped Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. And although it would be nice to think that he was talking about implementing casual Fridays, an employee share scheme and spot prizes for living the Empire’s values, I think we all know that this wasn’t quite what he meant.

Using fear to motivate is a common trait of The Motivator.  This type of manager will hold your 457 visa over you at every opportunity, she will threaten you with losing clients, reduced commission.  She’ll create a sales floor on which everyone is in fear of humiliation and being berated in front of others.

The Motivator loves to humiliate and crush dissent.  Like the iconic Sith Lord she loves to choke people around the boardroom table.

It is her modus operandi to pick holes in everything, to hover over you as you make calls, telling you what to say as you struggle to hear the other person, taking over processes at the end and claiming credit and may the force be with you if you dare to make a mistake. 

If you make a mistake there is no “opportunity to learn” there is just the heavy breathing and “you have failed me for the last time”

Goalposts are changed constantly and when you question her The Motivator will threaten “prey I don’t change them any further”

 The Motivator creates a tense, stressful and ultimately unproductive environment. They sometimes get results because everyone does exactly what they’re told, but they have a high turnover and can only retain B players.

 What to do

Get out, get out now.  Stand up, tell someone you are going out to buy a packet of cigarettes and never come back.  The Motivator will never change.  Unlike the Dark Lord of the Sith they will never have a moment of catharsis when they finally see what a badass they’ve been. 

The Motivator motivates through fear because they are pathologically wired that way. They are motivated by fear of their own inadequacies, they believe that everyone else is stupid and incapable and their leadership style becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as those under them are crippled by fear.

Maybe you could be the one to turn them away from the dark side but lets be honest, can you be bothered? 

So go on, leave now, get out while you can before you get stuck on an exploding death star, go on, it is your destiny.

Next week – The Manipulator

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