Recruiters: Do not be Afraid to Fail


“It is failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Modern society can be rather unforgiving to people who do not fit into contemporary models of success and this nonconformity can be viewed as a stigma.
However, Shannon Pritchett, Global Social Media and Sourcing Manager at ManpowerGroup, thinks otherwise.
She believes that failure should be seen as key to future successes and modern recruiters need to embrace failure before they can learn how to succeed. Throughout her career as a recruiter, Shannon has overcome her fair share of adversity and she credits her success to hard work and the guidance she has received from her mentors.
Funny and outgoing, she is unafraid to push the boundaries of the industry and explore new frontiers for recruitment.
We speak to Shannon to find out more about her experiences and thoughts on today’s recruitment industry.
[bctt tweet=”Shannon Pritchett discusses the importance of failure”]

You have had some amazing jobs, as Manager, Global Sourcing & Social Media for Manpower and prior to this AIRS – how did you get these amazing jobs?
I am a lifelong student of our industry. I worked very hard for both jobs. AIRS challenged me more than any other job I’ve had in the past. I had great mentors and leadership at AIRS and it helped prepare me for where I am today. AIRS opened the door for me to speak at many events and meet many fascinating people in our industry.
My current job at ManpowerGroup has accelerated my career even further. I have an amazing, experienced and intelligent boss that has moulded and polished me into a leader. ManpowerGroup has given me the opportunity to travel the world and learn our industry in many different cultures.
Both jobs have been experiences of a lifetime.

Over your career what was the most interesting recruitment job that you have ever had and why?

T-Mobile. I worked as a recruiter in their call centre. When handling high volume recruitment in a call centre environment, you really do hear and see it all.


I have admired how you have stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation. Where do you get your ideas? What would you advise aspiring recruitment leaders do if they want to innovate with creativity?                                                                                           

I’ve been very fortunate to surround myself with extremely innovative people in our industry.

Every great idea hails from great conversations. I’ve always had to stay ahead of the curve to survive in our industry. If you are doing the same thing as every other recruiter, you will never see progress.

I’m also ok with failing. You learn through experiences and I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded.


Part of your success is understanding ManpowerGroup’s client’s business drivers and translating these into viable business solutions. What is the most creative and successful solution you have designed and implemented?                                                                                           

Every client, every position and every country is different. Companies hire us to be creative and to provide value where there wasn’t any before. The most creative solutions have been untraditional.

For many of our clients, we perform extensive market analysis to better understand the positions that we are trying to fill. We then run very targeted searches or campaigns to drive new applicants into their hiring process. Many of our recruiters don’t spend time on job boards and popular sites like LinkedIn. They search in areas that haven’t been heavily explored in the past.


Who have been the most inspirational people in your career and why?

My current boss Kate Donovan has been my biggest mentor. She has taken me from a Recruiter/Trainer and turned me into a Global Manager. Kate knows how to motivate and challenge me. She gives me the responsibility to run a project and execute my ideas. Kate has improved my communication and polished my personality. She has also taught me how to interact with executives and important stakeholders.

Gerry Crispin has also been a great mentor. He challenges me to think differently and is always there when I have a question. Gerry is a wealth of knowledge and it’s been an honour to learn from him.

Jim Stroud has also been very influential in my career. Jim is very humble and has a way of fostering ideas in me. His passion and his experience are inspiring.


Shannon, you have a great brand and are one of the best social people out there. What tactical advice would you offer to a budding recruiter if they want to emulate what you have done?                                                                                          

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and meet new people. We have a very friendly and personable industry. You will never learn unless you point yourself out there.


Shannon, what you do think delegates will gain from your talk “A Blank Canvas: Creative Sourcing Experiments”?

I am hoping to spark creative ideas and meaningful conversation in each delegate.

My presentation will cover both innovation and strategy and the powerful impact great ideas can foster. Each delegate will understand a holistic picture of the variables needed to deliver an effective and inventive sourcing strategy while maintaining the important experience of the wonderful people that we recruit. When you combine your own creativity with another thought or idea, good things can happen.


Lastly, I am sure you have had many jokes about the name ManpowerGroup – what’s your funniest story and response?        

People always ask if I’m offended it’s not “Womenpower.” We have many executives in our company that are women. When you learn the history of our brand, we have provided more Women-Power than man.


Shannon will be distilling the art and science of modern day recruitment at this year’s Sourcing Social Talent #SST15  event in November. Join her and other global leaders in talent sourcing to learn more. Register now for the event in Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland.


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