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Top 10 Ways to Balance Heartspace and Business Success

By Jeff Bloch, Chief Growth Officer
And Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Part 1: Recruitment: A Game of Thrones

In recruitment, like most careers, you are constantly faced with the tough balancing act of how much time to spend helping others with their success versus your own.  Time is finite. If you’re highly compassionate AND driven for success, the two often seem at odds.

“So, You’re a Headhunter?”

It’s the most common question I’ve gotten in the past twenty years.  So common, I decided to look it up in the dictionary:

head·hunt·ing [hed-huhn-ting] noun

1. the practice of hunting down and decapitating victims and preserving their heads as trophies.

2. the act or practice of actively searching for new employees, especially for professionals or executives

3. the act or practice of firing without cause, especially someone disliked

4. the act or practice of trying to destroy the power, position, or influence of one’s competitors or foes

Yikes! No wonder no one returns my calls! How did our profession get clumped in with such a surly crowd? Part of the answer lies in “the early days.” Way back before the Internet, candidates were found by using some very deceptive tactics. The “hunt” was much more aggressive and there were some zombies created along the way.

But wait a minute! We’re dealing with people’s lives here, people! The most rewarding part of a Recruiters’ day is the gratitude of a candidate whom the Recruiter just helped land a dream job. Recruiters have huge hearts, and should be lumped in with nurses, veterinarians and crossing-guards on the naughty or nice list.

No Swords, Please

This balancing act reminds me a little of Game of Thrones. The characters in George R. R. Martin’s stories are trying to balance a strong sense of honor with a keenly honed survival instinct. In Recruitment the balancing act doesn’t involve swords, but we face a lot of pressure to work efficiently and meet performance goals. There are days when it feels we can’t spare an extra minute on the phone with a candidate — even though that extra minute may prove valuable to the candidate.

So here’s the first tactic: stay on top of your own work / life balance. This ebbs and flows for all of us, but in order to have the time and emotional resources to give to others, you need to have the world around your own heartspace managed effectively.

It’s Called Human Resources for a Reason

Most HR professionals naturally want to help candidates and employees achieve their goals. Yet every time we screen a candidate in or out, we impact the candidate as well as the candidate’s spouse and children, and possibly others. For every candidate hired, there are many more who are not. If we spent too much time thinking about the consequences of our efforts, we might overwhelm our heartspace.

Tactic 2: Align yourself with an employer who shares your values,who cares as much about how they get a hire as they do about getting the hire. For example, at Decision Toolbox we remind ourselves of our values by saying we promote the “heart and soul of recruitment.” Decision Toolbox’s CEO Kim Shepherd recently posted a blog series on the importance of culture, and heart and soul are recurring themes.

Tactic 3 can help recharge the batteries for your heart and soul: stay creative. I like to watch videos on (the people who present conferences devoted to “ideas worth spreading”). For me the trick is to choose one that is on a topic very different from what I’m focusing on. They’re almost always inspiring, and by stepping out of the “hamster wheel,” I often get new perspectives on my own challenges.

Each of us CAN find the balance between honor and survival, between heartspace and business success. Next post: seven more ways to do it.

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4 Responses to “Top 10 Ways to Balance Heartspace and Business Success”

  1. July 30, 2013 at 6:03 am, The Tin Man and The Scarecrow | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] part 1 of this blog, I wrote about a challenge that’s present in all professions, and particularly […]


  2. October 02, 2013 at 4:37 pm, Picture Me Managementless | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] Of course you need to care about margins and other business concerns, but to be effective in this model, a leader needs to care about people. Decision Toolbox’s Chief Growth Officer, Jeff Bloch, calls this “heartspace” and wrote about balancing business success with compassion in a recent blog. […]


  3. October 17, 2013 at 6:17 am, MORE on Leaders’ Responsibilities in a Management-less Model | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] out of their comfort zone. Jeff Bloch, DT’s Chief Growth Officer, wrote about this in his recent blog on cultivating one’s “heartspace.” A leader who can inspire people to stretch, to […]


  4. November 19, 2013 at 5:55 am, Business Growth: Rebuilding Your Business’ Engine for Tomorrow’s Race | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] growth fuel is often discounted but it’s essential. As I wrote in a blog series recently, you need to nurture your “heartspace,” that part of your soul and spirit that […]


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