For everyone out in the huge Internet universe who reads our TxMQ blogs; I have an announcement. I am taking a brief leave from my weekly responsibilities as a blogger. Why? Well truth be told, I’m getting married.
And of course, one thing always reminds me of another and another. It’s how my brain works. My constant thought stream can somehow link an elephant with macaroni and cheese if I want it to… I’ll have to think on that one later.
But seriously, what my wedding makes me think about is everything that came before. The initial meet, the courtship, learning about each other, falling in love, and making the ultimate commitment to get married.
(YES – I am going to use love and marriage as a metaphor for the hiring process in honor of my big day. Yes. It must be done.)
Aside from the actual marriage part, it all fits quite well. In one’s career they will go through either a few or many relationships with companies; making commitment after commitment. I would liken our careers more to a lifetime of dating relationships. Very few individuals these days actually become MARRIED to their jobs for life – barring entrepreneurs.
So anyway – I read an article that prompted the idea for this blog. From HR Magazine (www.hrmagazine.co.uk) Mr. Jeffrey, head of Talent Acquisition for Autodesk, made some pretty strong statements about the recruitment industry and how it needs to change.
“There is a global war for talent and we are competing to hire the best.”
“Lazy recruiters are damaging the standard of the profession and are just ticking boxes.”
“Recruiters need to have a relationship with people to give them an idea of company culture because passive candidates become active at the touch of a button.”
“We need to celebrate the candidate in the recruitment process.”
“The candidate experience can genuinely be very poor.”
In my opinion, Mr. Jeffrey is correct on all counts. There has been a paradigm shift over the last 8 months or so that has given candidates the upper hand in hiring relationships. This article sites that 90% of the best candidates are not actively on the job hunt. They’re your neighbor, your vendor, your supplier, your client.
I think the number one item I took away from the article was the simple fact that the interviewing/hiring process is the beginning of courtship with and end goal of establishing long-term relationship.
The art of courting a candidate has been completely lost over the past four years because employers have enjoyed the upper hand with so many displaced workers seeking jobs. Employers – you were allowed to be callous, treat your candidates like a number, show disinterest in the interview process, lowball them on salary and benefits, and pile them with a workload built for two F/T employees BECAUSE YOU COULD. No one can blame you. No one did. They needed work, and it was work you provided.
But what do you do now that the best candidates have CHOICES.
What’s the old saying? “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
This is how candidates are viewing their job search – they now have OPTIONS.
So this art of courting a candidate; establishing a relationship with them that transcends money needs to be resurrected.
Without a doubt my experience tells me that every personal story a candidate tells me, every chuckle I get out of them over the phone, every time they brag about their kids’ soccer games, the closer I get to earning their trust. AND THAT is when they will actually listen to me about a job opportunity with one of my client companies. They will trust what I tell them. They will CONSIDER what I’m telling them – and THAT means I’ve successfully established a tentative trusting relationship. At that point I have become their confidante. At that point they prefer to work with me over another recruiter. I become their partner.
I can only hope that when I hand a candidate off to my client company that they take care to do the same. The courtship – that initial impression you leave on a high profile candidate is THE MOST important to establishing a relationship that will encourage them to say yes when you’ve presented them with an offer. This world is not so black and white as a dollar amount. Candidates need to feel needed, and wanted, and accepted. They need to feel as though you’re excited to meet them. Hmm, sounds a lot like something I call…. Dating.
It’s what we at TxMQ call “rolling out the red carpet”. Think of it in these terms: You’re on a first date (first interview) and you want to showcase the best possible version of yourself. You want to (at least pretend) to listen attentively and sing some of your own accolades. Because in this game you want to WIN that person over, and that person could end up being the best thing that ever happened to you(re business).