Why Name Gen is So Not Recruiting Research

The recruiting industry, as a whole,  uses the terms “recruitment research” and “name generation” interchangeably, as if they were synonyms.  Yet it appears the industry has not bothered to look up the word “research” in its Funk & Wagnalls. The dictionary’s definition of research is as follows:

A continued and diligent investigation or study.

Few target candidates lists are the product of “continued or diligent investigation or study”. Sadly, most of the prospective candidate lists are incredibly random. I say this in the true meaning of the word “random”. The name gen lists are frequently without order as if they were created by chance.

Moreover, what’s up with this obsession with prospective candidate names? Names are everywhere. They have been since the days of  big fat yellow phones books —  you know, the kind the phone company gives away for free. In fact, they’re still giving away names, titles, and contact information on tiny little rectangular things called business cards. Yep, people in business suits have been giving those away for free for centuries.

How is a random list of names . . .special?

Will somebody explain to me why name generation is even a thing when there is no shortage of names and when the list provides no context, insight, or sign of intelligent life existing between the ears of the person who drew up said list?  With 100 million registered users on LinkedIn, names aren’t the answer. They’re the problem.  Recruiters are drowning in TMI.  Too Much Information.

So the next time someone uses research and name generation interchangeably, do me a favor.  Do what Cher did in the movie “Moonstruck”.


Give that person a whack upside the head and tell him to snap out of it.