I happen to love my job. It is not an easy job, it not a simple job and I can see why some people just do not have the stomach for it. It is sales but not sales. Moreover, I have to sell to the client and to the product! Imagine I have to convince someone to buy my broom and then convince the broom to join this family.
In a job like mine, you have to wear many hats. There is the recruiter, the salesperson, the career counselor, the negotiator, the travel agent … and the therapist. There are probably more but the Therapist is the one that sometimes is the hardest to deal with, for me. The truth is that I want to help everyone that comes into my inbox. I want to get the job for the guy who has been out of work for 5 years for no understandable reason. I want to help the kid right out of college. I WANT to help the person that was retired and now wants to go back to work because retirement is not for him. For the most part I CAN NOT HELP THESE PEOPLE. I am a recruiter; someone has to pay for my services. Companies do not pay for fresh faced kids, unless they did something amazing in school that put them on the map. Companies do not pay for the chronically unemployed, and usually the chronically unemployed have applied everywhere anyway and I have no one to whom I can market you. Companies largely do not pay for people that may retire at any moment. If they are going to pay a fee, at minimum, they want 3 years from this person, and really, they want closer to eight. So you don’t send these people out, you reply politely to their inquiries and express that if you get something that fits their experience you will be in touch.
Then there are the wild cards, those people that are looking; have a good background and are all go-go-go on the job market. Something is off about them but you just are not sure what. Why did you leave the last position? Better opportunities. All sounds right. Then You get a call after the send out that this person bitch slapped the receptionist or drooled throughout the interview and you are left with that “ I knew it , I just didn’t know what IT was” feeling. So what can you do when you have put your reputation on the line and someone did a Hadouken to it? Do your best to laugh about and learn from your mistake.
Mine went this way.
- Person calls me and I feel that he is a little arrogant, a bit full of himself ( red flag!) but I like his background and I decide , what the hell , meet him . Not everyone conveys well over the phone.
- I meet him and he seems perfectly lovely, except for getting lost on an almost impossible to get lost road ( red flag!) and acting as if we had somehow hidden the building on purpose. Once inside he was amiable and interesting.
- I get him an interview, on the day of the interview he gets lost( OMG REALLY!), and ends up late to the interview.
- I get my prerequisite call after the interview and he tells me “ everything went so great, I hope they can wait for me to wrap up my current contract”
- The client calls and asks me, basically, what the hell I was doing sending them a Looney tunes!
(1) He got an attitude about getting lost as if it was their fault (where did I hear that before?)
(2) He was completely arrogant and acted like his questions were more important than the interviewers ( damn)
(3) He asked the person he would be replacing how much more he would be making at his new job (ok, what?!)
(4) He asked the owner of the company how much he had paid for the company ( nope , I’m not taking a hit on this one) .
- I called my candidate and asked him, for the love of god ,WHY?
What I did was apologize. I apologized to the client, to the owner, to my company and I learned to listen to my gut feelings and not the little therapist in your head that wants to believe that everyone deep down, is good. Yes, I would get everyone a job if I could. The college kid, the old man, the man who can’t stay off the internet ,or whatever it is that keeps getting him fired from every job. Everyone. But I can’t. If I could I would. What I can do is find the best people, with the occasional snafu that I can use as an object lesson. Sometimes you also have to give yourself a pass. Because … let’s face it. Crazy people are sometime interesting, intelligent , funny people . Right up until they bitch-slap the receptionist.