Tree-hugger, bleeding heart, me what you like, I just prefer to do the right thing.

I feel the need to start this post by stating the blatantly obvious. Times are tough. More people are unwillingly out of work than there have been in a long time. Houses aren't selling. Major corporations in numerous industries are laying off workers by the thousands. Some people find it easy to lose hope.

I would prefer not to.

I stated in an earlier post that recruiters need to think about the candidate experience, but I am driven to take that a step further today. How about keeping in mind the human experience? I'm not trying to sounds like a starry eyed college kid in a philosophy class talking about karma, but why do some people have a hard time doing the right thing without getting paid for it? I think our culture is partially to blame considering the 'take what you want' nature of how our country was born, but that is not entirely it. When the chips are down, some people will let their standards slip a notch or two in order to make a buck and others will go above and beyond doing more for others than ever before.

I think the latter is an attitude that recruiters need to adopt.

Just today I was faced with the task of calling three candidates who did not get the job to turn them down, not to mention telling every single candidate who cold calls in looking for a job that we have no other openings. This is what I like least about my job - delivering the bad news, letting people down, taking the wind out of their sails. The process was unpleasant today as it always is, until I called Jeff.

Jeff thanked me profusely for the work I did, the opportunity I gave him, and the honest feedback he was provided with. He then did something I would have never expected. He offered to keep in touch in case my company needs to hire somebody with a similar skill set in the event that he can refer some good people. Was this really coming from the guy who is out of work and didn't get the job?! Yes. Yes it was. I immediately reciprocated offering to keep my ear to the ground with my peers in the industry offering to throw his hat into the ring with a solid recommendation should I hear of a suitable opening. I instantly felt better about the call, the interaction, Jeff's future, and my profession.

I am in the position to truly help a person even if it is not by getting them a job at my company. Especially for somebody in the corporate seat why not pass a lead when we can't use the person at our company? I don't need a finder's fee, a referral bonus, or a kickback of any other sort. Just the promise that the person on the receiving end will do the same for the next outstanding candidate they can't place even if they won't get a split for it.

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Comment by Gino Conti on January 29, 2009 at 8:15am
Hi Debbie - I agree, if I stopped to help absolutely everybody who came my way the time spent being a do-gooder would definitely surpass the time I spend doing my job. That said, I still do my best to put in the extra effort to lend a helping hand whenever possible. Thanks for the response!
Comment by Meghan Mulhearn on January 28, 2010 at 2:42pm
Great post! I feel the same way. I had a guy do the same as Jeff today, even though I had nothing in his area for him. I know it's because a year ago I related to him in an honest and compassionate way about his job search. Yesterday I counseled someone on Google chat that I had to turn down for a position. I was astonished at his lack of knowledge about resume optimization, and sent him some links. When this guy is a hiring manager (and he will be because he has a great background, just a little inexperienced), you think he might give me a call if he needs someone? Yes, he will. Because we are all real people facing a tough time together, and so are our candidates, whether I place them or not.


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