Navy SEAL Training Will Teach You to Be Successful in Recruitment

In 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven (Ninth Commander of US, Special Operations Command) addressed a crowd of graduates at the University of Texas. In his inspiring speech, he spoke about how military training taught him to live his life to the fullest. We want to share his wisdom, Navy SEAL training will teach you how to be successful in recruitment. Disclaimer: you don’t have to run an obstacle course to make top biller.

RULE 1: Make Your Bed

At the start of every day, all students had a bed inspection. Many wondered why it was so important for a bed to be perfectly made every morning. The truth is, if you can get up and make your bed, you’ve completed the first task of the day. The first accomplished task always leads onto the second and then the third.

To be successful in recruitment, you first need to make your bed.

RULE 2: Find People to Paddle with You

Everyday throughout training, small teams of students were required to paddle through the choppy surf off San Diego. This isn’t an easy task, we’re talking waves of 8/10 feet high. To succeed, every paddle must be synchronised and every individual must exert the same level of effort.

To be a successful recruiter, you need to work with your team and manager. Lone wolves don’t cut it anymore.

RULE 3: Never Judge on First Impressions

During training, the smaller students would be separated into their own team. Obviously the butt of a few jokes, none were over 5’5” – they were called ‘the munchkin crew’. In this crew everyone was a different race, religion, education or orientation. They were the most successful crew in the entire class.

With so much being spoken about recruitment discrimination in the news – this is more important than ever. The very best recruiters look at every candidate equally.

RULE 4: Failure is Inevitable

Every day a thorough and relentless uniform inspection took place. No matter how perfect yours was, there was always something wrong. The punishment? Walk fully clothed into the sea and roll around on wet sand till you were entirely covered. You weren’t permitted to change for the rest of the day. Many couldn’t accept how unfair this was – they were the ones who didn’t succeed.

Recruiters suffer rejection and failure on a daily basis, often by no fault of their own. Those who are successful just deal with it.

RULE 5: Don’t Be Afraid of Pain

Even Navy SEALs have KPIs to meet. If you weren’t fast or strong enough, you were given an extra two hours of physical training. This was designed to grind you down physically and mentally. Those who found themselves punished day after day eventually changed. They were faster, stronger and fitter than the others. They had built inner strength and resiliency.

Don’t worry about having a crappy day in recruitment. Feel the pain and build resiliency. Learn from the rejections.

RULE 6: Be Daring

Obstacle courses are a regular part of training. Gruelling and tough, the hardest obstacle was a 30 foot tower with a 200 foot long rope leading to a smaller tower. Students had to grab the rope, swing underneath and pull themselves one hand at a time to the other side.

The record time of the course had stood for years until one brave student stepped up. They got above the rope and slid head first to the other side. Failure would mean severe injury. Fortune favours the brave.

If you want to be successful in recruitment, you need to take the risks.

RULE 7: Don’t Back Down

A daunting challenge completed by all Navy SEALs was a long distance night swim through shark infested waters. Students were taught, how to handle a hungry shark circling them. They couldn’t swim away and must not be afraid. Instead, they were to stand their ground and punch the shark on the snout – it will turn and swim away.

Sales is a competitive industry, stand your ground.

RULE 8: Be At Your Very Best During the Darkest Moments

Navy SEALs were trained to complete a mock ship attack. This involved swimming two miles to a huge shipping vessel chained to a pier. They must go deep below and find the keel (the deepest part). Under the ship there is absolutely no light and you can’t see your hand in front of your face. This was made more disorienting by the deafening ship engines. It requires skill, physical endurance, mental will and inner strength. Above all it took a calm mind.

If you want to succeed in recruitment, you must be at your very best in the darkest moments.

RULE 9: Find Hope in the Lowest Moments

In the ninth week students visit the mud flats. This is fifteen hours in freezing cold mud, bitter howling wind and constant pressure to quit. Ordered into the mud with over eight hours left, the students are consumed till only their head is showing. With teeth chattering, moaning and constant pain, students are assured they could all leave if five people quit.

While everyone considered walking away, a voice began to sing. This is joined by another and then a third till the whole class is singing.

If you want to make it in recruitment, you need to learn how to sing when you’re at your lowest.

RULE 10: Never, Ever Give Up

Throughout Navy SEAL training, there is a bell hanging in the centre of the compound. If you want to end the suffering, end the pain and go back to an easy life you have to do one thing – ring the bell.

Recruitment is tough, unfair and bitterly demoralising at times. Whatever you do, never ring the bell. Never, ever give up!

Watch the full commencement speech from Admiral H. McRaven here:

If you have what it takes to take the step up in your recruitment career, browse through the latest vacancies on our job board here.

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