They need to be personable, approachable, and comforting when delivering bad news. They need a solid network of connections. They need to never give up. They need to be good at using all the tools available to them. And they need to deliver results.
By “they,” I of course mean wrestlers. Who did you think I was talking about?
Because we at Staffing Talk obviously take everything with utmost sincerity and seriousness – if we’re going to assess which WWF wrestler would make the best staffing recruiter, we need a rubric. So each of the aforementioned recruitment/wrestling qualities will be assigned a point. Here’s the results:
12) Vince McMahon
As owner/boss of the WWF, Vince has recruited nearly every name in the biz since 1980. And in the late 90s, he proved that he’s also willing to get his hands dirty by actually entering the ring … and winning the Royal Rumble and championship belt. If you’re not bothered by his enthusiasm to fake results, then he’s your man. But I don’t care who you are, it’s hard to overlook the miserable failure that was the XFL.
11) The Ultimate Warrior
Known for entering the ring at full speed, covered in wild face paint and arm bands, and hailing from “Parts Unknown,” The Ultimate Warrior seems an ambitious, if slightly risky, recruiter. That said, he clearly saw results with two championship belt wins (both against Hulk Hogan) and, in later life, established Warrior University wrestling school and a career as a motivational speaker. But does that make up for getting caught doping and subsequently getting fired? Probably not.
10) Macho Man Randy Savage
While his tag team partners (Hulk and Ultimate Warrior) typically stole all the glory, this cheetah print-wearing hall of famer did just fine on his own. Impressively winning the 60-man, three-ring Battle Royale and two championship belts, Savage has resilience and a proven track record. He was also one of the first to choose a hot female manager (Miss Elizabeth), who’d probably be great for marketing, had he not cancelled that out with the 2003 rap album Be a Man. Not to mention his gruff voice, leathery tan skin, and scary “Oooh Yeah” phrase for Slim Jims will probably scare away some recruits.
9) Andre the Giant
With his iconic stature and reputation as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” there’s no question Andre would get your staffing company noticed. That’s great for marketing, but his size, complete disregard for the English language, and known reputation as a villain will work against him in recruiting. That said, he never backed down from Hulk despite loads of losses and that led to a one-time championship belt, the title of highest-paid wrestler in 1974, and the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s results.
It’s said that a man is best judged by his peers, and in Hulk’s case his industry peers have dubbed him “The Immortal.” This hall of famer could be arguably the greatest of all time, with six championships, a Royal Rumble win, and a tag team belt. At his prime, Hulk’s stage antics like tearing off his shirts started “Hulkamania” and his iconic yellow-and-red branding spread like wildfire. If it ended there, you’d be sold … but it doesn’t. We have to consider his abandonment of the hero persona for the villainous Hollywood Hogan, parading around in the reality show Hogan Knows Best, and his friendship with Mr. T, a bankrupted man known nowadays for his Cash For Gold ads.
7) Stone Cold Steve Austin
This bald, beer-drinking, Harley-riding anti-hero ain’t gonna do well in the approachable/comforting arena, but he makes up for it with pure results. He won six championships, four tag team belts, and three Royal Rumbles. On the downside, he once performed his Stone Cold Stunner finishing move on Donald Trump, which proves he’s not good at playing nice when faced with any sort of authority figure like the company CEO.
6) The Big Show
The Big Show comes with the same drawbacks of Andre the Giant (size and reputation as a villain), but has the same knack for not giving up. He has twice the championship belts and experienced success in all three major wrestling organizations. (So he’d be coming from competitors with all the skills!) The other upside is a staggering history as a team player with 11 tag-team titles, which means he probably has some good connections out there.
5) Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Between his pink spandex singlet and shades/leather jacket combo, Bret Hart would be a charismatic favorite with both his guy and lady recruits. He won the championship belt five times and the Royal Rumble once, but more importantly he’s largely considered one of the best technical wrestlers in history. So he’s probably good at things like spelling and finances. And as an added marketing bonus, Bret is rarely without his promoter/manager Jimmy Hart, who never goes anywhere without an obnoxious bullhorn.
4) The Rock
Considering his nickname “The People’s Champion” and the fact that he was the first black champ (seven times over), The Rock is the Barack Obama of wrestling. And I don’t know if that’s good for recruiting, but between his five tag-team belt and crossover success in Hollywood, we do know that he has connections with some serious pull. Other than his elbow, he doesn’t have much experience with tools, but his charisma and sideburns are unparalleled. Even if calling himself the “Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” bordered on the annoyingly cocky, he’d probably be greatly personable/approachable. Unless your clients happened to see The Tooth Fairy …
3) Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Hacksaw always carried an American flag and chanted “USA!” He’s a true patriot, and who doesn’t love them? He came to wrestling after a stint with the Atlanta Falcons, so he’s got some good connections, and surviving kidney cancer proves he’ll never give up. His only major title was the first Royal Rumble, so he lacks a bit in “results,” but as he always carries a signature two-by-four he’s the only person known to have knocked out Yokozuna and Andre the Giant. So he clearly has skills with recruiting tools.
2) Ted Dibiase
If you’re the kind of CEO/owner who simply looks at the bottom line, you’re probably looking no further than “The Million Dollar Man.” Despite never winning the championship belt, Dibiase got into the Hall of Fame for being in a league of his own. Mostly because he created a league of his own: the Million Dollar Championship (which he, of course, won). But that’s not to say this narcissist plays only by his own rules. In fact, his three tag-team belts show he’s also a team player.
1) Mick Foley aka Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love, etc.
He’s missing teeth and wears a costume resembling a demented lumberjack or prison-breaking serial killer, but Mick Foley is Exhibit A in not judging a book by its cover. He’s a team player with connections that produces results (nine tag-team championships and three solo championships), not to mention author of eight books and highly active in charity work. But Mick’s real legacy is that he’s widely considered the most hardcore (violent) wrestler in history, who has used everything from tables, boards, chairs, nails, tacks, cages, and even dirty socks to get the job done. So it goes without saying he’d be good at LinkedIn.