Meet the Headhunter: Adrian Robinson, Toronto Marketing Recruiter

June 5th, 2014

Adrian Robinson Recruiter
10 Questions & Answers by Adrian Robinson, Toronto Marketing Recruiter

IQ PARTNERS would like you to get to know some of our recruiters.  Each month we ask one of them the same 10 questions about their lives, the headhunting business, and what you should know as a talent seeker or candidate in the current job market.  This month, meet Toronto-based Marketing Recruiter, Adrian Robinson.

1. What’s the first job or “oddest” job you ever had?

My first job was early in high school working as a cashier at the Circle K, a convenience store attached to a local Shell gas station.  Dealing with the public is always interesting, and I had a few drivers who would pump and run, so I dealt with the cops occasionally.  The biggest perk there was the snacks.

2. Who are your heroes in business?

Richard Branson and one of my best friends, Dan Torjman, who is the Captain/Creative Director at 18Waits.  They are both prime examples for me because they created incredible brands, and they truly live and breathe those brands.  They’re both highly successful and diverse businessmen, are doing something they’re personally passionate about, and they stand behind their products.

Richard-Branson-own-your-brDan Torjman own your brand

3. How do you think the recruiting business could be improved?

This industry attracts sales people, and unfortunately they’re not always the ones who are focused on integrity and delivering the best results that add value for both candidates and clients.

In the recruitment business you often find people who are really looking at the numbers and the sales as their primary objective instead of focusing on becoming a trusted partner in the client’s business and a career consultant for the people they work with.  Ultimately I think integrity, professionalism and putting the needs of those that they work with ahead of their own is something that should be improved in this business.

4. What’s your secret in connecting smart people and great companies?

I suppose my successes have come from having a passion and genuine interest in everyone I connect with, meeting A LOT of people, and being highly effective at assessing good talent.  I made it my mission to connect with as many of the best and brightest in marketing and advertising as possible, so I can genuinely say I know the market inside out.  I network constantly, and because I have a real passion for people, I truly enjoy it, which I think is important in recruitment.

I also work hard to get really deep understanding of a client’s business.  If I truly understand their business from the ground up, where their struggles and triumphs have been, where their pain points are, and get a real grasp of their culture, then I ensure I align people who will truly add value to their business.

5. If you could only ask clients one question when getting a recruiting brief, what would it be?

“What are the 5 best things about working for your company?”  Once they start to sell you on why they’re great, you can tell very quickly whether it’s scripted, or if they genuinely believe in the business and the culture.  It also provides a really good impression of who they are as an employment brand, which makes us more effective as ambassadors for them in the marketplace.

6. What question should every candidate ask when a headhunter calls?

“Why are you calling me specifically?” The candidate should try to get a read on what role they’re being considered for (if there is one in particular), what it is about their profile or experience that makes them an interesting candidate, and/or how they initially came across their name and information (via research/referral, etc.).

If the first thing the headhunter says is, “I’ve got a perfect job for you”, how can they assume that if they don’t know you?  A good recruiter will tell you what criteria you seem to have met from various sources, referral or otherwise, and have an interest in getting to know you.  You can understand fairly quickly what their intentions are and decide whether or not that’s somebody you’d want to work with.

7. What trait do you most like to see in a job-seeker?

There are several that come to mind, but the one that trumps all the others is grit.  By this I mean a certain level of determination, ambition, drive and a willingness to learn.

8. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in an interview or on a resume (no names please)?

I once saw a resume where in the ‘personal/other’ category he mentioned that he had successfully negotiated his way out of a hostage situation in Columbia.  I had to interview him just to hear the story.  It wasn’t a joke and the story was pretty impressive.  He was considering going in to sales, and after hearing a story like that, I completely agreed with him.  Clearly, he was an incredibly effective negotiator.

9. What’s the one quality companies should look for when hiring a headhunter?

In an ideal scenario companies should look for a headhunter who they enjoy working with, who has a successful track record, and is highly recommended by other companies and candidates alike.

Look for a headhunter who’s respected in the marketplace, who has a lot of reach, and knows your category of business well.  In addition, don’t work with a recruiter you wouldn’t want to work with outside of that relationship.  If you wouldn’t hire that person for your company, don’t hire them to recruit people for your company.

10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

It would be a perfect storm of eating a delicious meal with a great bottle of red wine, listening to awesome music (live or on vinyl of course), surrounded by a person or people you love.

Get to know more of our recruiters by checking out our Meet the Headhunter blog category.  Also, learn more about Toronto Marketing Recruiter, Adrian Robinson, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

IQ PARTNERS is a Recruitment Agency with offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, & Halifax. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Energy, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Adrian Robinson

Adrian is a Partner and team lead within IQ PARTNERS’ Marketing Services group. He has an innate ability to create strong, trust-based relationships, combined with deep industry knowledge and experience, and respect for the clients and candidates he works with. Adrian treats people well… and he has the track record of strong results and repeat business to prove it.