This seventh and final recruiting myth that I will be debunking is so important that I’m going to use three blog posts to do so.  But before we get started, the entire myth is below:

All searches require the same work and are of the same difficulty.

There are two major factors that normally affect the difficulty of a search: the amount of effort it takes to identify potential candidates, and the personality type of the individuals who normally hold that type of job.  These are not written in stone, but they are good “rules of thumb.”

Let’s start with the first factor: the amount of effort it takes to identify potential candidates.

Some people are easy to identify.  These are public people.  These people are the faces of their employer.  Want to know who the VP of Sales is for a Fortune 500 Company?  It takes less than a minute.  I can prove it.  Selecting the 100th company on the Fortune 500 list (Rite Aid) and typing, “Who is the Vice President of Operations for Rite Aid?” into Google’s advanced search engine (allowing only pages from the past 12 months), brought up multiple pages with this information—including one within the past week containing a list of all the top executives for Rite Aid.

The company will even tell you who this person is.  You can call their switchboard and ask the name of the VP of Operations.  The operator will likely give you that person’s name and patch your call through to their direct line.  This same effort would be required to identify the top executives of large companies.  In addition, over 400 of the Fortune 500 Companies will have a Vice President of Operations who will have similar skills, and you can identify their current specialty quickly.

Some people are tougher to identify.  These are private people.  Call the switchboard again and ask them if they have an Oracle Database Administrator and ask for their name, and the call won’t go so quickly or so well.  Go ahead.  Try it!  Guaranteed.  Rite Ad has a DBA, and probably a handful of them.  What we can’t know immediately is what system they’re using to know if their DBAs are accustomed to Microsoft, IBM, or Oracle.  Companies seldom list their mid-level individual contributors on their websites or in their annual reports.  On average, it takes considerably longer to identify and reach private people than public people.

In my next blog post, I’ll tackle the second major factor that affects the difficulty of a search: the personality type of the individuals who normally hold that type of job. Make sure you continue to read so you aren’t tricked into believing a recruiting myth.

(For more information about maximizing the benefits of working with a recruiter,download a copy of Dan Simmons’s e-Book, Hunting the Headhunter: Your Guide to Debunking Myths, Cutting Costs, and Changing the Way You Play the Recruitment Game.)