Defining Greatness

Learn about the characteristics great recruiting professionals possess from talent-acquisition expert, Tim Sackett.
By: | November 30, 2017 • 2 min read

Greatness is a trait that may be simple to define on paper but is often difficult to spot on the street.

That’s according to Tim Sackett, who delivered the opening keynote Wednesday morning to a full ballroom at the Recruiting Trends and Talent Tech event at the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.


In a presentation titled “The DNA of Great Recruiting Pros: Transforming Yourself and your TA Shop to World-Class Levels,” Sackett began by projecting well-known action shots of Muhammed Ali and Michael Jordan on the ballroom’s screens, followed by a photo of a seemingly unremarkable man crouching over some menial task in a parking lot. The latter photo’s subject? Art world darling and street artist Banksy, whose graffiti-style pieces often sell for millions.

“He’s considered great,” said Sackett, “but how many of us consider graffiti artists to be great?”

From there, Sackett, a popular speaker, blogger and president of HRU Technical Services, laid out the traits that are attributable to great recruiting professionals, including strong presentation and marketing skills, the ability to speak truth to power when necessary, and possessing personal political savviness.

“Are you a purist, a team player, a street fighter or a maneuverer?” he asked rhetorically. “If you work for a super-conservative organization and you’re a street fighter, there’s some misalignment there, and that is not going to work, because you’re going to pound your head against the wall and they’re going to hate your guts.”

Sackett also advised the audience to “constantly try new stuff” at work and to “do things that make us uncomfortable,” such as defending a work colleague when necessary. He acknowledged that it’s a difficult to do because of concerns for one’s own career, but “to be able to go out and stand up for someone else gives you so much courage, and people will look up to you for that.”