Some days this job is tougher than others. Some tough days are pain in the ass hiring managers, candidates that do ws, or just overwhelming volumes of works. But the toughest days for me are the candidates that are desperate. Not just a little, but a lot.
I had one week about 6 months ago that was heart-wrenching. I was recruiting for a Shipping role. Not my normal recruitment activities but was helping out a busy colleague. Little did I know what was in store for me...
I called up my first candidate to screen. Her resume was quite messy but the skills appeared to be there. So we start going through everything and I am making some suggestions for changes to her resume so my manager will consider her. She thanks me and then starts telling me about her life and why she works the jobs she has... her husband left her after 25 years of marriage and years of being a homemaker. She is suddenly thrown into the need to work with little or no skills and limited support as they move through a legal mess. She really needs to get a permanent full time role as the two or three part time jobs are getting tough to manage. My heart goes out to her. I was going to forward her anyway but now I have my fingers crossed for her.
I called up my second candidate. Spotty work record for the past 3 years but has been focused in Shipping and the market is slim so figure it’s worth the call. So I start asking about work history and he tells me about how he was diagnosed with the same disease that his mother died of, something that won't kill him immediately but will eventually destroy his liver and he will die the same painful death. He went into a deep depression for a couple of years and has mostly worked for his Dad's company when he could. But he is now on the path to recovery and is looking for permanent employment to be able to move on with his life. Again, my heart goes out to him and now I am torn because I want to help them both. In this case, neither was considered and I hated to decline them. I wanted to help them move on with their life.
A had another one a couple of years ago that I will never forget. I contacted a candidate for a role and went through the standard questions. He was pretty good so I had forwarded him on. Alas, the hiring manager did not want to move forward. I called the candidate and left a message letting him know. He called me back and started crying - he and his family were desperate, they were being evicted at the end of the month, they would be homeless and he wanted to kill himself. I stayed on the line and tried my best to calm him down, give him hope and I gave him a ton of suggestions for his job search including the names of some companies that I knew were hiring. I still wonder and worry about that on.
I admit I am a big softy. I consider my role to be a unique one in that I get to help both my company but also everyday people and have a great impact on both. But times like these, I worry that I am in the wrong business because I want to help them all but just can't do anything more than recommend them to the manager. These people stay with me long after my contact with them is over.