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Category Archives: Human Resources

As a Corporate Recruiter my job is to make sure that I assist in finding the best candidate for our open positions, simple right?  It really, truly is – simple that is.  But that doesn’t mean that little ol’ me isn’t going to do my absolute best to make it complicated.  No doubt I pride myself on understanding my hiring manager’s needs, asking tough questions and pushing them just a bit harder than they would probably like, but the simple fact is that sometimes they are going to see candidates that they are going to take a pass on.  In fact, some managers NEED to see a longer list of candidates to choose from than I would like.

What this means for me is that once I’ve invested myself in a candidate, qualified them well and presented them to my hiring manager, I really and truly care about the outcome.  Not because it looks good against my numbers to have a position filled quickly, or because it shows off my marvelous sourcing and pipelining skills, but because I feel a great deal of sympathy for my candidates.  I know when they talk to me it’s a big decision to consider a new position.  It’s my job to get them excited.  To help them to understand the facets of the decision to consider joining us.  And, unfortunately, sometimes it’s my job to knock over the house of cards after I’ve carefully set it up.

I suppose I could take a page out of Simon Cowell’s book (sorry for the Idol reference!) and just be blunt, “it’s a no”.  Even with a direct approach, which I discovered very early on is the only way, it’s difficult not to feel for candidates when I make that call.  I imagine this is something that isn’t going to change for me, that I’m never going to get used to it, and in fact I really hope it doesn’t.  I really just makes me human, right?

In any case, if I had to choose a part of my job that was my least favorite, making the “we’re passing” call would have to be it.

I wonder how the candidates perceive this…?  Am I helping or hurting in my carefully executed delivery of bad news?  Has anyone ever asked them?

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MCU035I’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 (Twitter, LinkedIn, RBC, etc).  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…. 

I’ve been talking with people in various stages of panic over the past few weeks (ummm, months..?), from those beginning to hear the rumblings of imminent layoffs, to those just having felt the axe drop, to those having found themselves on the market for longer than they expected or are comfortable with. 

 

The bad news is that I’m going to continue getting those panicky calls, there is no swift end to the concerns that folks are having about their current or impending unemployment. 

 

The good news is that there has been an unbelievable outpouring of positive and productive support, in many unexpected places.  As a collective group I’ve been seeing the members of so many communities turning stereotypes upside down and I am loving it!  Not just out to make a buck (but who are we kidding, we are all still hoping to get paid here) our minds have turned to helping each other and the candidates we deal with daily. 

 

Maybe it’s in the spirit of this holiday filled time of year, but I tend to think not.  It is so much bigger than that.  The fact that the economy is taking a profound hit and individual’s lives are being hugely impacted seems to have brought us all together.

 

 Grinch

 

I’m reminded of the scene in The Grinch Stole Christmas where he realizes that the Whos have begun singing on Christmas morning, presents or not – and his heart swells.  Because when it comes down to it, what is happening to us is happening collectively is being felt across the board, and what has me singing is the good that is showing through.  We’ve all at times been misunderstood and perhaps a positive attitude and a helping hand have their place after all…