I’ve always felt a bit as though a New Year’s resolution was contradictory to my practice of setting progressive goals throughout the year, but looking back over the last few months – and the way that those goals have morphed – makes me wonder if a strong resolve at the beginning of the year isn’t a bad thing after all.
As I began 2008, I had as many openings to work on as I could want, which is the way I like it. I’ve always been most productive when my plate is near overflowing and I’m being pulled in a million different directions. As the year progressed and the economic news grew more and more disheartening, I began to hear from more and more people who were going through tough times. At this point I realized that in the midst of being so very busy, I wasn’t paying as much attention to the experience my candidates were having as I should. The more stories I heard of folks who were “actively under-employed” (check out this post from one of my Twitter peeps on the benefits of Twitter for the imminently employable) and going through painstaking interview processes with companies who did not set upfront expectations and offered egregious lack of feedback, the more I wanted to be sure that I was different. Not just so that I could be set apart, so that I could be considered an honest and compassionate recruiter – but to actually BE one and make some sort of difference.
So when things slowed as the end of the year approached, I took the time - which I have always considered too valuable to be spent on much else than being on the phone or doing intense internet research to find the candidates to get on the phone - to reflect on how to improve on this important aspect of my job. I’ve made many adjustments to the way that I work, added a lot to my personal and professional brand – particularly in efforts to be highly visible, approachable and as transparent as possible. Of course, these things have a positive effect on my ability to recruit, but they’re doing double duty. In addition they are also improving candidate experience, when the mysterious corporate recruiter becomes more human, the situation suddenly becomes less traumatic.
When a candidate receives clear expectations about what is coming next, when the enigma is removed and they have someone they can rely on to be upfront with them – the game changes.
So this year I’m not knocking New Year’s Resolutions… I think I’ll be working towards the same progressive goals, but perhaps with a broader view. I resolve to keep a “big picture” mentality when it comes to recruiting, improving on the different facets of my role before the need for change smacks me straight in the face.
Oh… and maybe I’ll try to cut down on the caffeine….