10,000 Hours = 50,000 cold calls

I just got back from a short vacation. My wife and I went to Puerto Rico for 4 nights – without the kids. It was awesome. And, now I have a bad case of the post vacation blues.

While sitting poolside, I read the book, Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. I liked it just as much as I liked reading The Tipping Point, his first book. One thing that really stood out to me in this book was the notion that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Musicians, Computer Programmers, Professional Thieves, all require 10,000 hours of practice to reach mastery in their trade. This made me think about things that I have spent 10,000 hours doing. A few things came to mind. I’m definitely an expert at watching TV and reading email. By this definition, then I’m also an expert at writing software, although I haven’t done it in almost a year and I’m getting rusty. And, by this definition, after spending 60 hours a week for 10 years, I’ve become an expert in the ins and outs of the staffing and recruiting industry. Since I’ve never actually been a recruiter, I’m not an expert at the job of recruiting and staffing itself – which is kind of odd. So, I’m an expert at creating software that helps recruiters, sales people and managers run their desks.

So, I was wondering, does the 10,000 hour rule hold to the job of placing people? Does it take 5 years, logging hours from 9 to 5 every day, to become an expert recruiter or sales person? At 50 calls per day, this amounts to about 50,000 cold calls. And, if you were to move from one discipline to another (say IT recruiting to Office Clerical), does it require 10,000 hours again? Or, is it far less, e.g., 1000 hours to move from one discipline to another?

Subscribe to the Recruitment Blog

Subscribe for trends, tips, and insights delivered straight to your inbox.