Men I love... Anthony Bourdain...

Anthony Bourdain.jpg

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these.

Yes I know that having spent a chunk of time making this website much more focused on work this post isn’t very ‘work’ at all. But despite that, for me, it makes sense to post it here in amongst the blogs on hiring, process and technology.

This post now forms part of a series of posts about the men I love and the tenuous link to recruitment  In the past I’ve talked about George Clooney in Up in the Air, John Cusack in Pushing Tin and off course fictional character Don Draper.

Today is different.

This is no fictional character but a real person and personal hero.

Anthony Bourdain had a life I thought we all wanted.  Certainly it looked like the one I wanted.  He was loud, he was bold and said things about what he thought, appearing not to care, yet not going out of his way to offend.  He sadly took his life on 8th June this year

Passionate about what he did, he made travel look exciting, he made the food he discovered look exotic even if it wasn’t and I watched him in awe.   It helped that he swore a bit, was good looking and getting better looking with age and had found comfort in his skin.  

I hope to do the same.  

He provided an authenticity so many people I admire lack.  The hook for me was his need to explore, the need to travel and the need to sit and talk to people.  Find out something about them, their culture and their thoughts.

"If I'm an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody.”

You know me.  I talk about recruitment endlessly and need to make that link to the real world and the recruitment industry.  

My tenuous link between a man I love a and my recruitment life…  

If I summarised what Bourdain taught me about recruitment.

It is to be authentic.  

He wasn’t perfect, he was fallible, but to be your own person and accept that is important We need some of that when we hire both as a recruiter and a an organisation. There needs to be an acknowledgement that not everyone will love you, not every client will pay for you to help them, not every candidate will appreciate your story, your approach or why you are talking to them.  

He taught me that we all need to travel,  epic journeys or just to the end of the street, we need to meet people and talk.   

Bourdain was a storyteller and I love a story.  Importantly, I loved the way he told the story. 

If I look at how we recruit, it appears that we put speed ahead of a whole bunch of other things, that we are always rushing through the process, forgetting that there is a story to tell, that sitting down for a real conversation, listening to our story is often missed.  That story,  that mutual sharing of thoughts could be everything.  

Only… well… I love a process as much as the next person.  It’s what I think I ‘do’ now, look at an organisation, look at the process around how they hire, tweak it (or replace it) and make it better for everyone.  Mostly, make it better for the candidate.  But maybe we can include that conversation, make more of it, bring our stories together and still make good use of our time here.

I wish I had met the man.  I’m sure he would have dismissed me for the starstruck fan I am and mocked me for it (never meet your heroes Douglas Coupland) but I hope it would have given me a story to tell… you know the one where I was in a bar…and… 

Martin Dangerfield is founder of the cunningly named Consulting business DANGERFIELD, bringing together recruitment specialists on a global basis to enable organisations to speed up hiring, optimise process and hire on a global basis.

Working with a group of leading recruitment and recruitment marketing professionals, he is keen to talk to high growth organisations about how the hire.