The last few weeks have made me question my age. Not just how old I am but the way I have been doing business, I suppose you could call it my personal and professional values.
When Real Estate Career Developers was born in 2002, a client would start the recruitment process and we would interview a number of candidates. We would have the luxury of seeing 5-10 qualified candidates and a client would probably meet all before making a decision. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t always in the client’s or the candidate’s best interest. Nevertheless, it was my job as a trusted advisor to make recommendations and it gave me the ability to build a lasting, fulfilling relationship with the candidates and client. Many of whom I still value as clients and many of my candidates have now developed into clients.
That was my hardest call to make. The one to a candidate that was qualified, well presented, and professional, telling them they didn’t get the role they had patiently been waiting for an answer on.
Today, the tables have turned. No longer is a candidate waiting for an answer. They are frantically negotiating the multiple offers put before them within a 24 hour period. Often the roles are so similar that what separates one offer from the other is difficult to detect. This makes it challenging to make lasting relationships and contribute to the personal professional growth of my candidates, and in some cases my clients as well.
What changed? Supply and demand has changed and effectively altered the delivery of service in what is a people based service industry.
So each day I listen to the outrageous remarks being made about an industry that I built a career, a business and a solid foundation in something I love. The behaviour I see and hear day to day from both clients and candidates is frustrating. It frustrates me that clients and candidates feel it necessary to accept the level of poor service they receive from some recruiters!
The daily tales of candidates not being interviewed, having their resume broadcast to clients without permission are increasing. There is also no surprise that most of them do not check references either. You might say what is the point, anyone can manage a reasonable reference. But if you aren’t even meeting a candidate sitting eye to eye and getting an understanding of their motivation and desire, dreams and obstacles, how can you confidently call a client and be the candidate’s “Champion”. It is this ‘spray and pray’ approach that sees high volume fall overs and increased costs surrounding employment.
As an employer, I want people to come and sit across from me knowing if I employ them I will be committed to them with the same expectation as I have of them to me. We can only truly ‘win’ together if we can sit across a table and communicate openly and walk away with that great gut feeling knowing we are all in it for the long haul. It won’t always be easy but the good times will outweigh the hard times. I don’t want to be a number on a schedule of interviews and I certainly don’t want to interview someone who feels pressured and bullied to come to see me for fear of never ‘working in this town again’. Yes, it has been insinuated, on more than one occasion.
So as I sit and ponder the placements I have missed or the candidate who never calls back I have decided although I’m not a good loser sometimes what goes around comes around. Eventually those people with dreams, desires and aspirations to be the best they can, come back to take advantage of my years of wisdom and experience. The clients remember the honesty and the care I took with placing someone in their business… and that is what matters to me.