Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bill Radin -- Learnings from Warren Buffet

From the link:

Go narrow or go wide?

  • Narrow is like pin-point focus -- investing all money in few stocks -- how Buffet made his money
  • Wide is like investing in mutual funds 

So where can a recruiter make his money?

  • Even one single account can make you money, if it gives you good business -- going narrow.
  • Some business from multiple accounts can make you money -- going wide.
Few more gems from the Warren Buffett playbook that directly apply to recruiting:

1. Focus on what you understand. It's not necessary for you to be able to perform your candidates' work, but if you can't visualize or explain in plain English what their job entails, it'll be difficult for you to match up jobs and people.

2. Make decisions with your head, not your heart. We sometimes maintain relationships that are no longer (or were never) useful. By breaking dysfunctional attachments, you'll do yourself a favor.

3. Sidestep problems that are beyond your control. As recruiters, it's our job to fill positions. And by so doing, we solve personnel problems. But if the company is unwilling to pay a competitive wage, or can't put together a realistic set of requirements, or make decisions in a timely manner, it's no longer a personnel problem. Rather, it's a structural problem.

Buffett learned an important lesson from the failure of the textile mills (BH), which he summed up this way:
"After 25 years of buying and supervising a great variety of businesses, I have not learned how to solve difficult business problems. "What I have learned is how to avoid them."

In other words:
Sometimes, it is important to AVOID difficult, unnecessary problems, rather than waste time in trying to solve it. It is like divorcing a difficult problem, rather than fixing it. 

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