It's 4th of July, a national holiday in the US, NOT in Argentina. As I am sitting in our office, I take my own 4th of July break to think about a LinkedIn post that was brought to my attention by Maureen Sharib - to whom I am very thankful for so openly sharing her ideas and insights about sourcing/recruiting.
The LinkedIn question was "Which of these 10 hiring/interviewing mistakes is the most important one to your eyes?" Click here
to see the list.
# 8. "You Cut It Short" got me thinking about why and when recruiters choose to do so.
Time is my most valuable resource, and hence, getting better at managing my time is very important to me. However, I think that time management is not all about setting up the schedule and going through it to get things done. It's also about knowing when to cancel or what to run late to because I found out (and hopefully you did, too) you don't always get it your way. Your client runs late for a meeting, a loved one needs your help and it has to be you, the line at the bank was much longer that you thought it would be, you have 3 driving apprentices right in front of you... yes, it's your lucky day. I then have to cut short (or cut all together) the things in my schedule that are less important than the unexpected.
When I first plunged into the recruiting industry, I quickly learned the "unexpected" that became more important to me than a lot of other things in my working schedule. At the time, I was recruiting executive IT sales people for the bay area with experience selling to higher-ed. I identified a guy that was with one of the target companies, and I gave him a call. In the first two minutes, I knew he was not the guy. He had solid experience selling to large corporations, but not to higher-ed, which meant that he was not qualified. For many reasons, I really liked this guy. He was open, honest, funny... he sold me. So, I stayed on the phone and talked to him for over an hour. And what happened in that hour? He taught me about the industry and his company, who his competitors were, how many people were in his group, who I should talk to... I was willing to learn what he did and he taught me a bit about how the industry worked. Did I waste my time in not cutting it short because he was not a match? I don't think so. This guy showed me the value of spending time with an unqualified candidate. I saw an opportunity for learning, and I took it. Yes, I had to stay late that evening to talk, prepare, and send my submits, but so what? I traded my time for learning from someone that was willing to teach me.
The lesson? Time spent on the phone with an unqualified candidate is as valuable as time spent with the qualified candidate. The value of spending time with a candidate that is not qualified is investing for learning and relationship building. It turns out that the following week, my client asked me to search for executive IT sales people for the bay area with experience selling to large corporations.
Think about why you are cutting short a conversation, and hope that you did for the right reasons.