I'm a no excuses kind of guy, I really am. I love sports (die-hard Celtics fan, born and raised in So Cal), and I'm just not the kind of fan to blame losses on officiating or injuries as some fans do. Bad call at the end of the game cost you the W? Maybe you should've built up a bigger lead before the end of the 4th quarter. Your starting center goes down with a knee injury in Game 6 of the Finals (a la Kendrick Perkins vs. LA in 2010)? We should've won Game 7 anyway, even with Rasheed Wallace's messed up back trying to carry the 5 spot.
But before I lose any of you non-basketball loving recruiters out there, let me bring this back to relevance for what we do. I've had possibly my crummiest month of recruiting in my short 2 year career in it thus far. And while I hate to give excuses, it reminded me of how much we place our reputations as recruiters in other people's hands, to an extent at least.
I'll spare you the details of the beginning of this month, when I submitted a candidate who was interviewed and extended an offer by my client all on the same day, only to not return my calls for two days and then tell me he's turning it down. Or the woman in Seattle who I've been working relentlessly for in the past few months as she's all but begged me to help her out, only to turn down the interview I was finally able to land for her. Nope, the real meat of my awful month was letting down the same manager, twice.
First, I submitted a Business Analyst to a manager up in Seattle. As usual, my client needed a U.S. person for the position, so I politely asked all my candidates for that job what kind of document they have to prove that they are authorized to work here. He told me he has his permanent resident card, no problem. So after 2 weeks of fumbling through my candidate's and hiring manager's busy schedules to finally get them together, my candidate scores a home run on both a phone and in-person interview. It's a Boston Celtics slam dunk, good money for me, and through all the scheduling and communication over the interview issues, I've built a great rapport with the hiring manager, who's happened to put out a req for a Project Manager for the same team he's putting together. Double play on this one? I think so! I've got just the right candidate for him, an in-demand IT/PM I've been in communication with for awhile, who I know would nail the interview and happens to live right across the street from my client. Win-win-win!
And then it all fell out from under me. My Business Analyst, who’s been a nightmare calling me every hour since after the final interview, finally gets the offer, gladly accepts, and proceeds to tell me he's on a H1-Visa. Awesome. The manager is upset about the lack of communication on that, and understandably. But what am I to do? The guy lied to me! Am I supposed to grill him over the phone repeatedly about his citizenship because his accent is different than mine? Sorry, can't do that.
At this point, I'm pretty sure the manager hates me. But then, the olive branch. He wants to interview my all star PM. Perfect! I know this guy will nail the interview, and I know he's one of the best at what he does. After one quick interview, he lands the job. Gets the offer. Calls me up and rejects it, claiming the contract is too short, after I had been reminding him of the contract length from day one. No double play, more like a Double Whammy. I let the manager know, as apologetically as I can, and I whimper off into the sunset. I feel like we broke up this beautiful thing we had going. My visions of me placing his entire team for this project were crushed. "I'm sorry Hiring Manager! It's not you, it's... well actually, it's not me either! It's my deceptively lying/flakey candidates!"
I'm sure we've all been there, but man oh man is it frustrating. To think that I have this great relationship with a manager, only to have it damaged not once, but twice. To be convinced now that he's thinking, "Does this guy even screen his candidates or just forward me resumes?" I take pride in talking to and building some kind of relationship with each of my candidates, spelling out all that I can for them, learning about what they really do and what they really want to/are able to do. Sticking my neck out for them, selling them to my client because I know they're worth it. But in the end, I can't control what my candidates are gonna do, any more than my Celtics can control the ref's whistle or the structure of a star player's knee. My only solution to keep my reputation as the good recruiter that I am is to keep on grinding. To keep on finding the best talent out there, convincing them that they should work with me and convincing my clients that I've got the talent they need. At a certain point, there's no amount of practice or adjusting your method that is going to make things right. There's just "get back up, dust off and get moving again”, hopefully fast enough to make up for lost time.
Needless to say, this job has given me trust issues.