Why did you ask?
My husband has a love / hate relationship with my career choice. Always has. I’ve been a recruiter longer than I’ve been Mrs. Ala, so this is not new to him. In fact, at one point early in our relationship I was THE go to recruiter in his field. People would slip him resumes on job sites and ask for my phone number after meetings. It’s not easy being married to me, and that was before all this social recruiting / LinkedIn / Facebook / blogging stardom. Poor Mr. Ala.
One would think that he would know by now not to ask my advice. So when work came up over dinner recently, I told him what I thought. I gave him some specific points to share with his fellow employees as well as his bosses. Naturally, he didn’t like it. He had an argument for everything I suggested. Reasons why this wouldn’t work, or that would be shot down. I finally just threw my hands up and asked him why he even bothered talking to me about it. See, Mr. Ala is in construction, and when I can get him to do a project at home I’m certainly not in the kitchen telling him what kind of thin set to use to set the tile.
This happens more often than you might expect. I get hit up all the time by friends, family, and acquaintances asking questions about the recruiting process. I’ve reviewed countless resumes, re-written cover letters, advised on a hundred different ways to approach recruiters or hiring managers. I’ve suggested follow up emails, thank you notes, and employing the good old Strike Sheet method of figuring out target companies to go after. If you talk to me about career / recruiting / HR related stuff, I’m going to tell you what I think. You’ll then ignore my advice, still do what you want, and be pissed off when it doesn’t work.
So what’s a recruiter to do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do – not get emotionally invested. That’s it. I know, easier said than done. We are, after all, in a people business. And people make logical (or illogical, I suppose) decisions based on emotions. All. The. Time. How do I feel about this? And… GO! How many of us have had our recruiting hearts broken by a candidate gone wild or a client gone silent? It stings. That feeling is only amplified when people you’re close to disregard your professional opinions.
I’m not talking about strangers and professional acquaintances. I’m used to those guys ignoring my advice. But my friends? My FAMILY? The very ones who have had a front row seat to my recruiting success? Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about as far as they’re concerned. So from now on, I’m going to have a little fun with my responses:
Q: I don’t like my boss. What should I do?
A: QUIT. But don’t just resign, quit in spectacular Jerry Maguire fashion. Steal something on your way out. Doesn't have to be a goldfish either.
Q: I’ve applied to 150 jobs this week but no one is calling me! What should I do?
A: Troll them on Twitter. See how many corporate handles you can get to block you.
Q: I’m hiring, and have interviewed a bunch of people. I don’t know who to hire. What should I do?
A: Cage fight – Mad Max style. Two candidates enter, one candidate leaves. There’s your new employee.
What epic advice do you have I can share?