Hire more drinkers!

Hire more drinkers!

Yes, you read that right. Hire more drinkers!

Oh, wait, slight typo…

I mean, you have got to hire more D.R.I.N.C.K.A.E’s

If I were building new recruitment company today, the only people I would hire, would be D.R.I.N.C.K.A.E’s. And I am pretty sure this is valid across all business in the modern age. Certainly those selling a service, or an idea.

This is what a D.R.I.N.C.K.A.E looks like;

Digital natives: People who ‘get digital’, are comfortable with social media, are great e-sourcers, can find people on the web, and can build relationships online.

Reach: And by ‘reach’, I mean a network. People who know people. People who are connected, and known in a niche. People who may not know all the answers, but they know the people who have the answers, or at least, they know where to find those people.

Intelligence: Hugely underestimated in recruitment, I have found. Intelligence that is. Everyone says recruitment is not ‘rocket science’. True, but it’s not easy either. And in the modern era, clients and candidates just will not deal with dummies. I am talking about intellectual prowess, which earns credibility, but also emotional intelligence. Knowing when to shut up, when to speak, what to say, what not to say.

No dickheads: Sure you can bill, but you are just not that nice to have around. I won’t hire you. Ever.

Content: Yes, the ability to write. Not emails so much, but that’s a bonus. I mean blogs, tweets, status updates, compelling profiles.

Knowledge and niche: Specialisation is the future of recruitment. A mile deep and an inch wide. Credibility through expertise. That’s the way.

Attitude over résumé:  Always. I can fill in the gaps in your experience and skills, if you have the right attitude. Hire attitude.

Empathy: I know, crazy word when talking about recruiters. But the days of the arrogant, showy, pushy, superficial recruiter are over. You want great candidates to work with you? You have got to feel their pain, and understand their hot buttons. That is the only way to build an off-line brand, and become a ‘talent magnet’.

So there it is. Throw away your old Job Descriptions. Only hire drinkers.

Sorry, I mean D.R.I.N.C.K.A.E’s


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About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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27 Responses to Hire more drinkers!

  1. Mike Walmsley July 23, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Great post Greg – “on the money”!


    • Plamen Ivanoff July 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Another brilliant article Greg! I particularly like the D, N and the E’s.

      “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care, about them” courtesy of the late Zig Ziglar

  2. I think you were right pre-typo Greg. Hire more drinkers (hic)

  3. Adrian Coysh July 23, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Don’t trust D.R.I.N.C.K.A.E’s who don’t drink. Without Empathy, you’ll never be a great recruiter – you might be a good biller, but not a great recruiter.

  4. Jeremy Sanderson. CEO Icon Partners KK July 23, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Good post Greg. This is exactly what we’re doing now. The days of cowboy recruitment are dissappearing in the rear-view mirrow fast, thank God. It’s about specialization, being net savvy and networked and being cerebral these days. As for dinkers (not D.R.I.N.C.K.A.E’s), no thanks, I don’t need ’em. I’ve had it with the days of wide-boy recruiters and wannabe “traders” getting wrecked mid-week because they were “networking” and showing up late and hung over the next day. Social drinking is fine, but only if you’re controlled and mature enough to show up on time, clear headed and suited and booted ready for work the next morning!

  5. Balasubramaniam July 23, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    These attributes filter out the better recruiters from the rest. Getting a feel of attitude comes with Candidate Engagement, which I think is covered in your points.Good writeup as usual!

  6. Daniel X James July 23, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Nice one Greg. To further the A for Attitude, some gold I was once given: “All you can personally control is your attitude and effort”.

  7. Frank Sommerville July 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Greg,

    I think you’ve just perfectly described the recruiter who once they realise they possess all of the above attributes, then leave to set up their own business as they know their own personal brand has just become stronger than the corporate one they were working under.

  8. Alan Allebone July 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    The problem is Greg, sometimes it takes longer to identify these dickheads!

    Boy have I seen some dickheads and in the UK hired a couple much to my bad judgement. Thought I knew it all!!

    It is a good theory to put into practice and yes it will work for many a company.

    Thank you again Greg!

    Kind regards


  9. Chris Heswall July 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Excellent brew receipe Greg! I sense the difficulty is finding “digital natives” who also have “street-smarts”, genuine “offline” relationships & specialist knowledge. These skills come from a different people generation and it may take more time to merge them together into one package!

  10. robyn turner July 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Good stuff as always Greg!

  11. Mark Pearce July 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Great article Greg. All relevant key areas and the one that stands out for me personally is attitude. Hiring people with good previous results above the right attitude is the one area that’s bitten me on the bum a couple of times over the years. Never again.

  12. John Bennewith July 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm #


    You have nailed it again.

    All the best


  13. Kiran N Bhagt July 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Superb article Greg and at the right time … and as usual always in your blog … great one … 🙂

  14. Dave Bensted-Smith July 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    You’re right!
    Bad hires give you bad hangovers.

  15. Ray Khouri July 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Any Drinkers….. Care to join….

  16. Neil Freeman July 24, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Interesting re “dickheads” I’ve often thought that as long as people are billing then I don’t care what they are like personally. However I think you are right – the disruption they cause might well be costing money in the long run as well by distracting other recruiters.

  17. Charles Rogel July 24, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    I too feel the ability to write is crucial in an employee. Great article.

  18. Sophie Bowns July 24, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    This is a great article, hi-lighting lots of important points! Do you have any tips for boosting blog views?

  19. Brian Kevin Johnston July 24, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    Yep, and one more… No Douchebags!

  20. Ruben van den Boer July 24, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    I am a recruitment consultant myself. And yes, I agree with everythig you say Greg. But don’t you just describe the PERFECT candidate? Do they exist? What are the top requirements and what is preferred?

    I would add one more critical atribute for a recruiter: Fighting spirit! Fight for every client, for every candidate, never give up, be positive at all time. Doubt and negative energy will kill every single “amazing” recruitment consultant.

  21. Michael Silcox July 30, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    Good article Greg. We have one of those “D” in our office who also bills the most so he ain’t going anywhere. He is a line manager and it is interesting to see how this affect the rest of the office. I work remotely 4 days of the week so I am not exposed to much of his d-ness but it does affect the office.
    Also glad to see you use the E word, something I have always believed in. I have been in the recruiting world for 16 years and my lightbulb went off when someone told me that I treated them like a person and not a dollar sign. If more recruiters took the Empathy path vs the used car approach our clients would have more respect for us.

  22. Peter Forshaw August 17, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    There are a lot of d -heads in recruitment, but eventually in my experience they either get found out or sacked!

    No one and nothing lasts forever. But the wrong hire can ruin a business!

    Great, great blog.

    The work hard play hard mentality, still of course stands as long as you can take it. – Lightweights please go home! – don’t pretend!

    I’m with you Frank – it’s near impossible to get all the attributes in one. When you do they won’t stay long as they don’t need to.

    So what are you prepared to compromise on?

    The drinking, the d***h**dness, the education?

    But Ruben to quote the great –

    “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”



  23. Anne laure LE HEBEL September 23, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    Hi Greg,

    This article gives good advices, and I totally agree.
    I need to recruit someone and will remenber DRINCKAES !
    If you know any young potential willing to work in a great/ small/ cool headhunting boutique,
    based in Paris, please let me know.



  24. Natalie Lyall August 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    Never a truer work said! Real blog Greg, so good to see that finally the recruitment industry is recognizing the massive importance of hiring based on the emotional skills, intelligence and attitude.


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