13 Songs From the 80s That Any Recruiter Can Relate to

Guest post by Paul Petrone

The 1980s might be the perfect metaphor for the job of a recruiter.

It’s wild. It’s colorful. It’s fun. And both require dealing with a seemingly endless stream of compelling characters, whether it be George Michael or George, the…unique engineering candidate.

So we decided to marry the two, and find the songs of the 80s that speak directly to the ups-and-downs recruiters face throughout their career. The artists range from U2 to Cher to Michael Jackson, and cover a recruiter’s highest highs and lowest lows.

We have songs for:

1. When you start sourcing a job and are hoping for that purple squirrel.

Whenever you start recruiting for a job, there’s always a mix of enthusiasm and worry. You are hoping for someone great, but there’s always that fear they won’t apply or respond to your InMail.

Whitney Houston captures this feeling perfectly with this 1987 single, particularly if you switch the word “dance” to “hire.”

2. When a candidate is on the fence about joining your company.

It’s tough when you have a fickle candidate who isn’t sure if they want to join you or not, and you are under a deadline to fill the role. All you can do is ask and plead, and hope they choose you.

3. When you really need to nail a hire, fast. 

Hiring manager breathing down your neck? Critical position to fill? Company in desperate need of someone great? This is for when you’re feeling the pressure.

4. When another company poaches one of your hires. 

It hurts when you put the time into recruiting someone, you close them (you think) and then they are poached by another company. That can be tough to get over, and often leaves you searching for someone who was just like them.

5. When you go to extreme lengths to close a candidate.

What’s the furthest you went to close a candidate? Hopefully, you didn’t chase them through the woods. But, Duran Duran does a nice job here of illustrating the thrill of the pursuit when going after that truly outstanding prospect.

6. When you pursue a candidate really hard, and they take another job at the last minute.

Always a devastating experience. Don’t worry, turn up the Air Supply, and just let the tears flow.

7. When someone is rude in the interview and then is wondering why they didn’t get the job.

Ever interview someone that was too arrogant or just downright rude? And then they are baffled when they don’t get the job?

Well, two words for them: beat it.

8. When you interview someone you thought was great…but then they aren’t.

You have a prospect who has a great LinkedIn profile, meets all the qualifications and seems like a rockstar…. and then you interview them. And they aren’t terrible, but they just aren’t what you were looking for.

Bono feels you so much, he wrote a song about it.

9. When it feels like you are trying your best, but just can’t find the perfect person you want.

Maybe your expectations are too high, but you want a great person to fill a certain role, and you just aren’t finding them. So you keep waiting for that hero.

10. When you interview someone, and they are everything you ever wanted in a candidate.

Sometimes, you interview someone who is just perfect, a true top gun. Those are special moments.

11. When you blew it with a strong candidate, and now they are going elsewhere.

It’s happened to everybody: You drop the ball and lose out on a great person. Maybe you forgot to call them back or said something dumb, and now they are taking a position at another company. And all you want is a time machine.

12. When you are just crushing it at work.

You just filled that one job everyone said couldn’t be filled. You have a great candidate interested in another one of your positions. And you just gave a killer presentation to the rest of your team. Bottom line, you’re a maniac (in the best way possible).

13. When you close the absolute perfect candidate.

Just like Patrick Swayze was the absolute perfect person to play Johnny Castle, sometimes you find the absolute perfect person for a job. And close them. And there’s nothing left to do but bust out the single greatest dance in the history of cinema.

*Image from Dirty Dancing


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