The popular website describes William Shakespeare as an English poet and playwright widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.  Here is an example from Hamlet:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.

Obviously this is brilliant writing but within the context of today’s complicated world of recruitment and career search, Shakespeare would have probably been clueless.  

In addition, he would have been completely lost as an employer in today’s modern world sifting through countless resumes and conducting countless interviews attempting to find the very best candidate to fill a critical opening.

“To be or not to be?”

Obviously, he never had to go through the recruitment process or to put together a first rate resume, seach for opportunities, go on multible job interviews, and wait sometimes excruciatingly long for a job offer.

So let’s examine this wonderful passage from Hamlet and apply it’s message to today’s employment and recruitment world.  Let’s start with “to be or not to be: as it relates to employment.” 

Most of us do not have the luxury to ponder this option (“to be or not to be employed”) because of obligations both personally and professionaly.  Except in very rare cases, one must earn a living.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:  With regard to employment-there is no question-most of us need to BE employed.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer:  To look for great candidates or to look for work is to suffer-plain and simple and there is nothing noble about it.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,  We should all be slinged and arrowed and have an outrageous fortune.
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles The employment world is a constant sea of troubles.
And by opposing end them.  We would all like to oppose and end our sea of employment troubles, but who’s kidding who? The human dynamic is complicated and there will always be change whether or not one opposes this fact!

In conclusion, translating a Shakespeare quote in the context of  today’s world of sophisticated and complex recruitment and career advancement is tricky business at best.

However if “all the world is a stage” then employers must direct a Tony winning performance in recruiting and managing a world class staff.  If you are a candidate than you need to give an Oscar winning performance during an interview.

Oh, and one more great Shakespeare quote for all of us: “Be not afraid of greatness.

Any questions or comments? I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at