It was September of 2006, and I was in my fourth search in my recruiting career.
While interviewing Sharon, a candidate for a senior accountant search, I carefully used my script/outline for questions.
Sharon delivered her answers.
At the end of my questions, I asked if she had any.
I got the usual stuff like, “What’s a typical day like?”
And I guess the tone of my voice changed.
Sharon said, “Mark, thanks, but I don’t think I have interest.”
With a disappointed voice, I asked, “Sharon, why?”
She said it was not about the job, the company, or the responsibilities.
So, I asked again, saying, “I promise you will not hurt my feelings.
”She said, “OK. To be transparent, I feel like a piece of inventory. I understand your questions, but I was turned off by the tone and what I perceived as a lack of respect.”
I thanked her for her feedback. I felt horrible. I knew I had to adjust in a big way. This was not how I treated people interviewing when I grew the sales team from thirty to one hundred thirty in the wholesale business.
I reflected on the conversation and realized that my mindset had to change.
From that day forward, I treated every candidate as a peer, trying to help them in any way possible, even if they were interested in a search I was not working on.
As a constant reminder, I wrote R E S P E CT on a Post-it note and put it on the bezel of my monitor.
And several great things happened:
People were more open to sharing what excited them and what would make them happy with a new role.
Candidates performed better in their interviews as I took the time that they needed to prepare for an interview.
Candidates would ask me if I could represent them in a search even if I was not engaged.
Candidates would refer me to their friends.
When I transitioned my business to more senior-level roles, candidates became clients. They knew the level of care I would take representing their company brand when they needed talent for their teams.
A change in mindset made a big difference.
Thanks for reading.
Dedicated to your success,
Mark DiamondFounder, Executive Coaching Solutions and PRSTO
p.s. I help business owners in the recruiting and staffing business achieve their goals.
Coaching * System * CRM Automaton
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