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. They are not.

Research’ is defined as “A continued and diligent investigation or study.’ Most name gen and candidate sourcing efforts fail to meet that basic standard.”

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. Few target candidate lists are the product of “continued or diligent investigation or study”. 

Moreover, what’s up with this obsession with prospective candidate names? Names are everywhere. Names have been easy to obtain since the days of massive white pages phone books — you know, the kind the phone company used to give away for free.

In fact, most people give away their 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 please explain why name generation is even a thing when there is no shortage of names and when a simple list provides no context, insight, or sign of intelligent life in the sourcer? With 500 million registered users on LinkedIn, the problem is not that we have too few names. It is that we have far too many.


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