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A recruitment process vs the marathon, what's the difference?

By David Crossley, managing partner at Antal International


When I thought of this article I wanted to use a reference to a current event in my life, there is nothing more prominent for me at the moment than the London Marathon.


The London marathon for anyone is a challenge, I don’t care who you are, how fit you are or how many times you have run it in the past. Whether, however, you are seasoned marathon runner, someone participating for the first time, like me, or someone who has decided to wear a ridiculous costume that by the tenth mile you are spectacularly regretting, everyone has the same traits: Commitment, perseverance, determination and the willingness to prepare to name just a few.


So what is the point of this article?


The point is that these traits are more common and more essential in everyday life than just running the marathon and I see them every day.


As a head-hunter and owner of a niche recruitment business I come across a variety of different types of people, characters and skills but when I started to think about whether I could do the marathon I realised these traits are very prominent in what I do.


Commitment, perseverance, determination, preparation are all attributes that are essential for anyone to have when considering whether to change their job or not. Of course it is essential to possess the skills required for any particular job, but the personality and character traits you need to have for the recruitment process are just as important as those the clients seeks.


Some may say the recruitment market is buoyant, which is wonderful news for those who are looking for a new challenge, but what has happened over the last few years as a result is clients extending their recruitment processes to ensure they feel they are making the right decision. Recruitment processes now for mid -to senior-level assignments can be as challenging and as brutal as the London marathon in their own way.


OK that maybe a little exaggeration from a physical perspective but I would truly urge whoever is considering changing their job to really sit down and decide, do they really have the commitment, perseverance, determination and go through the preparation required to get the job you so desire?


Commitment: Do you have the commitment to both the position you are seeking and the person you are working with to get this job? (Both are just as key)


Perseverance: Do you have the perseverance required? It is often the case now that recruitment processes for mid- to senior-level will take weeks/months so perseverance is key.


Determination: Do you have the determination required? Not all recruitment processes go smoothly, whether they do or not, determination is key to put yourself in the right mind frame to be successful.


Preparation: Are you willing to do the preparation required? If you do not prepare yourself for what you are going into you will NOT perform to your highest ability. Again, this can be said for a lot of things in life.


Over the last 18 years I have been in the recruitment industry I have spoken to many new candidates who bemoan why they have not been successful in previous processes when they are “PERFECT” for the role. Whilst in some circumstances the reasons have come down to them really not having the “PERFECT” skills for the role, most have come down to the fact they really didn’t have the commitment to the process, did not persevere, were not determined enough throughout the process and as a result did not prepare well enough to present themselves the best they could.


Getting a new job in today’s market is NOT easy, some people find it easier than others for sure, but if you have the skills required and demonstrate all of the above traits your chances of securing that dream job will increase significantly.


Two days left until the London marathon, to participate in this has been a dream of mine for some time, let’s see whether I have what it takes. I have a time in mind but I am raising money for Downs Syndrome Association so I really just want to make sure I get round in one piece so Good Luck to all those who are participating and see you at the end and if anyone wishes to donate to this good cause my fundraising page is


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