Nature or Nurture?

Posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by Venn GroupNo comments

Homosexuality, I hear you cry? No, not this time. Sorry to disappoint. But now that I have your attention… humour me. I would like to apply the frequently visited concept of nature vs nurture in the realms of Psychology and behaviour, including the debate on homosexuality, to a world of contrasting and vibrant personalities.


A world where no two backgrounds are likely to be the same. A world where there are thousands of unique characters performing the same duties in offices all over the globe…


I am of course (debatable?) referring to the world of recruitment.


Without pretending to have conducted any real, ground-breaking research deemed scientifically sound on the matter, I am going to rather freely and unashamedly rely on the observations I have made since becoming part of this world.


A bit of history on the subject. Bear with me, but I cannot possibly write on without explaining the theory and justly call myself a Bachelor of Science. When we consider nature vs nurture, we are generally debating whether a particular behaviour is the result of a genetic predisposition – written like an immortal script, directing our development – or the result of environmental factors that have in turn affected the way we develop.


Without swaying too far into the scientific stories which have marched into the public eye, giving this concept seemingly endless scope for investigation, I hope to have kept your busy minds interested enough to get to the point I am (I promise) going to reach.


Within my team at Venn Group, we have a former Estate Agent, a Sports Science Graduate, a Dance graduate and a Zoology graduate. Looking at a wider cross section of the office, we have a former Teacher, former Technical Support Advisor and previous member of the Armed Forces. From a sample of seven employees you can probably see a trend… well actually, no, you probably can’t. Other than the pesky “graduates” there is frankly no similarity in anything we have done. Or is there?


It is genuinely one of the most diverse offices I have ever worked in. Should I mention I used to work outdoors? Besides the point. The key in recruiting for a recruiter, although I am certainly no expert, is to find that personality that will have the confidence, resilience and drive to do what it takes to succeed and draw in business.


As such, on the ‘Nature’ side of this argument we might say that there is a specific type of person with these built in, ready-to-go, give me a ‘phone and a computer “I’m your guy” prerequisites. I would say we would all like to think that’s us, but why then do we see so many different approaches, personalities and methods of getting results in recruitment?


Oh hello, nurture. Yes, this is where I personally, and you might disagree, think that nurture joins the party. So you have managed to impress your interviewer enough to bag a job as a consultant – does this mean you are ready to do the job relying on all your fantastic people skills?


I disagree. In my experience, through training, guidance, a lot of constructive feedback and a HELL of a lot of practice (‘environmental factors’) we develop our own unique ways of finding success in building our client and candidate relationships and ensuring we have business coming our way.


This may mean you are a magician with words and find ways to connect with almost anyone because you are a walking, talking recruitment machine. It might mean you write a bloody good email. Or maybe you are not going to be the ‘big bucks’ highest biller, wolf of wall street eat-your-heart-out, big dog. But you are fantastic at developing new business or maintaining your candidate relationships, reaching results that satisfy you (and your manager).


As I digress and think of multiple tangents I would love to go on, I will attempt to draw my observational and scientifically weak discussion to a close. Although we might all fundamentally share a certain ‘personality fit’ for working in recruitment, we most certainly do not all go about it in the same way.


With regards to nature vs nurture I, like many who have addressed it on different topics, find it impossible to categorise employees of Venn Group into one or the other. There is a sliding scale of importance for each individual on how far their personality alone can get them, and how much ‘environmental’ development will compliment and affect this innate ability.


I am sure this concept is applicable to a wide range of industries, I am selfishly using it to speak about the one I am a part of and welcome anyone with a similar opinion to voice it.    


Milly Jones, Venn Group

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