Recruitment is a detail intensive process. It takes time, dedication, concentration and an acute attention to detail. In this business, the small mistakes can mean the difference between closing a deal and closing a client. If you’re not committed to doing the best job every day something has got to give. But what happens if you’re bringing the “A” game every day…only to deal with a B level supporting cast?
Recently I passed a candidate on to one of my clients. It was a candidate that I spoke to briefly after he had been vetted and qualified by my Recruiting team and he seemed like a good match. Within ten minutes I heard back from my client…they had already interviewed the candidate. Twice. (sigh) In these instances I automatically assume the candidate was dishonest with us and hid the fact that he had been submitted to the client previously. But alas, such is not the case. Turns out, he told the Recruiter. The Recruiter simply didn’t tell me. After my migraine inducing meltdown I started thinking…it was easy to assign the blame to my Recruiter, but where did this break down and what could I to prevent it in the future?
Taking Responsibility: In many Agency models, there is a line drawn between employees who interact heavily with clients and employees who interact heavily with candidates. In my world, I’ve been a hands-on Recruiter for years and still take part in all of my own searches. But as my time is focused more and more heavily in the client world, I’ve had to start relying on my recruiting team to help augment my own recruiting efforts. So where does responsibility lay for such a blatant error? Should my Recruiter have told me that the candidate had been submitted? Yes, of course. Should I have gone back over the basics with the candidate before submitting him? Yes, of course. At the end of the day if I’m passing a candidate on to my client, then I had better do my homework and cover my own bases. Whether or not my recruiting machine is working at top form, I still have a responsibility to both my client and myself as a professional. If your coworkers aren’t cutting the mustard you’ll have to start taking steps to correct the situation. But in the meantime, every level of the life cycle is your responsibility.
Training, Training, Training….and more Training: Doctors go to conferences and consistently go through training. Realtors have to maintain licenses and take continuing credits regularly. Teachers have to continually recertify and train. But what about Recruiters? Once we’re out in the business and making money we have a tendency to just put our heads down and keep going. But even great recruiters need a refresher. It’s not necessarily about learning new skills (though some training in social recruiting and new recruiting technology is always great) but it is about getting back to basics. Once you’ve spent a good deal of time developing your crucial skills of perception, intuition and speed you can sometimes lose sight of the basics. Quick reminders and training surrounding the basics is always a good tact to take. Recruiters can sometimes resent it, but at the end of the day, it’s the stupid little stuff that kills deals.
Communication: So, after you have your migraine and stop spluttering in rage over the lost deal, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath. Is it a one time mistake or is this a repeat issue? In either case, the right thing to do is communicate. You need to talk to your teammate and let them know what a small mistake has cost. This isn’t a venting session, it’s not a chance to make yourself feel better. Instead, it’s a chance to prevent the same mistake occurring in the future. Keeping the lines open with your team and making sure that everyone knows what has occurred and how to prevent it in the future is key to your success. So as much as you’d like to go box someone’s ears or have a temper tantrum in the middle of the office, resist. Your job now is to protect your future business…and you do that by fixing the problem, not screaming about it.
If you work with a team you’re going to run into a number of issues over time. Whether it’s personality issues, office politics or a lack of professionalism you’re going to have to deal with it. Why? Because it’s your business and we always stay professional when it comes to recruiting and when it comes to business. So keep your head up, your frustration down and try to address the problem. Good hunting!