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Meet The Lions Editorial: Adam Hyman





Guest Post: I Didn’t Want to be a Recruiter

This post is guest-written by Executive Recruiter Adam Hyman as part of our Meet The Lions series.




Adam Hyman, AC Lion Recruiter


I had no intention of becoming a recruiter.

The first time I stepped into what is now my current office at AC Lion, it was as a candidate for other roles.  When someone I’m very close to floated the idea of recruiting by me (not the first time), I had plenty of reasons at the ready to demur. 

First off, aside from taking my career in almost an entirely new direction, I would be starting from virtual scratch…square one.  Secondly, there were so many! How would I ever manage to differentiate myself from the countless others vying for the attention of candidates whose inboxes are inundated on the regular with streams of outreach touting, with favored superlatives – the latest, fantastic, amazing, exciting, unique, new opportunity of the moment?  It seemed to me that the attempt to set oneself apart in that arena would be a fool’s errand, an exercise in futility.  The notion of being “just another recruiter” filled me with visceral unpleasantness. Thirdly, I would be referred to as a Headhunter. Full disclosure: applying the term “hunting” to occupations predicated on building mutually beneficial relationships with others in an exchange of value always struck a discordant note with me – perhaps I’m in the minority here, but when asked myself by recruiters or interviewers if I liked to hunt, or how much hunting I did in a particular role, it would instantly evoke a mental image of myself suddenly transformed into a half girded, inadequately bathed, eagle eyed Cro-magnon – spear in hand – surveying the landscape for my next hapless, unsuspecting prey.  And probably the biggest reservation of all – compensation structure.

Upon post-knee jerk-response-reflection, some obvious facts struck me -countering my own objections: 

Recruiting is sales.  Albeit, of a dichotomous kind – with two mutually dependent branches that must be cultivated for thriving: clients and candidates.

And does the world not also teem with accountants, nurses, restaurateurs, teachers, writers, musicians, chefs, law enforcement, financial planners, real estate agents, therapists… cracks about the glut of lawyers are commonplace.  Clearly, quantity abounds across the occupational landscape – varying by degree according to barrier or entry.  Quality though, is something I can control.  Daily, I could do the things necessary to build a reputation. After all, didn’t I find myself in the same predicament throughout my career in sales.

With respect to the rather unendearing term that starts with an H, it was just that – a term – one that I was not obligated to perpetuate myself.

Then the pros began to make their case.

The prospect of helping others advance their careers certainly appealed.  Recalling how appreciative I’d been toward the recruiters who were instrumental throughout my career, I knew that would be a genuinely gratifying experience. 

It would also be an opportunity to fully immerse myself in the dynamic, ever-evolving epicenter of innovation that is the province of digital technology; I could learn a ton and become intimately acquainted with lots of companies from start-ups to well-established and prominent players.  I could contribute, however modestly, to the growth of who-knows-how-many companies and future powerhouses across the NY tech ecosystem.

Knowing that AC Lion had built a strong reputation over a two decade existence was a critical factor that would influence my decision.  I figured I could ride the coattails of the firm’s hard won reputation at the outset as I began to establish my bona-fides in the industry and build my network.  Equally, if not more significant to me was that ACL had an area of specialization.  And living in an era of specialization as we do, this seemed of no little consequence.

social-recruitingAnother factor in the plus column was that my concentration would be on sales opportunities; having a background in digital sales myself, I knew first hand of the obstacles, competition, pressures, pitfalls, and responsibility that go along with sales. 

I knew equally of the potential rewards, recognition, and critical impact that those in sales have on the success of their companies. 

My back has been patted but my butt has on plenty of occasions felt the heat of the hot seat; I’ve received the stripes and scars; experienced the ecstasy and the agony.  

Daily then, I would be conversing with members of a club, of which I was a quota carrying member for many years, professionals I could identify with from the get-go. 

And the final pro that got me over the hump of my hesitation was the portability of recruiting.  I could feasibly do it anywhere and would not be restricted to a particular geography should I feel the pull of another locale or life necessitate a relocation for whatever reason.

There you have it. I didn’t want to become a recruiter, but I’m all kinds of glad I did!


In my next post, I’ll share some important lessons learned about companies, candidates, and making matches since my momentous career change.


To chat about entrepreneurship, opportunities in tech, or ice cream, reach out to Adam Hyman today:





Alan Cutter

Alan Cutter founded New York City's premier digital recruiting agency, AC Lion International, and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO. For over 20 years, AC Lion has been the trusted provider of revenue generating talent in the digital and technology landscape. Our reach spans from innovative venture-backed startups to enterprise level organizations. AC Lion is a proud member of the Lionseye Group, a collective of brands furthering talent acquisition through Venture Capital, HR Technology and Thought Leadership.