Super cheesy title, right? I know. But hold on to your rotten tomato, okay? Don't pelt me with it just yet. I've been thinking about recruiting in general and my business in particular, and now more than even I understand that the business we do is a reflection of who we are. I often say, "All business - but recruiting in particular - is a contact sport." As I've gained experience, that phrase means different things. Sometimes a contact sport is bloody conquest, a war of egos and control issues. Sometimes it resembles an abusive relationship, overflowing with esteem problems and codependency. It is also possible for a contact sport to be positive interaction based on mutual respect and value.
We touch people all day long as recruiters, both candidates and clients, but the kind of contact depends on us.
It is easy to say those words, but what the heck am I talking about? I'm getting there, and I'll try to be concise, because we are all busy. Aren't the busyness, short attention spans and overwhelming amount of information all part of the game we are playing? Yes. Let me assure you our frenetic pace and information overload is the backdrop to my post. I, too, swim in these waters, and I get tired sometimes.
A brief anecdote to illustrate how crazy it is out there: I scheduled an interview with a candidate and a client for a Friday. On Thursday the client had to reschedule and wanted the following Wednesday. That didn't work for the candidate so I tried for his preferred day, the following Friday - a week from the initial interview. It worked for all and I sent the invite. The next morning I got an email from the hiring manager asking if the interview was for the day I sent it, next week, or for that same day. Are you lost yet? So was he. He is a sharp, together guy. But he lost the thread in his head and wasn't sure which direction was up. I reassured him that we had sent an invite for the day the interview was supposed to be. We all took a breath. I briefly contemplated a career change to tuckpointing.
What does all of this have to do with recruiting? Only everything. From our first reach out, whether to a prospective candidate or a hiring manager, we are playing a game where we vie for attention and must prove our value. The best way to do that is to find out what those with whom we are playing need or want and find a way to offer it and make it as easy a process as possible. This is Sales 101, I realize. But it is amazing how many business people would flunk a test given regarding Sales 101. We are all so busy trying to get stuff done that often we forget we are doing stuff with and to people. Our success depends on our uncovering and delivering other people's desires.
Read the rest after the jump.