Please indulge me while I tell three stories to clarify words I stated a couple weeks ago.
My first real job with a real paycheck was at a McDonald’s in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, when I was 15 years old. The Manager is one of the most serious people I had encountered by that age. Before allowing me to work in the kitchen, I was handed a plastic bag and told to go outside and clean the property. It was mandatory to call it “trash” as we were not allowed to use the word “garbage”. The next day I was mopping floors and wiping down the bathrooms. Within a week, I was allowed into the kitchen to stock the refrigerators and hydrate the burger condiments. Within the first month, I had moved from the French fryer to the burger grille. This was a summer job and by the end of month two, the Manager greeted me one day and handed me a pin to put on my uniform. I had earned the “Silver Spatula” award as I had consistently exceeded the standard metrics. Sometimes a couple buses would show up at 10:50PM which was 10 minutes before closing time. This Manager would keep the kitchen running and we would crank out hundreds of burgers to hungry kids returning from trips to amusement parks. We would clean and close late. I’d call my folks so they could pick me up at 12:30AM. Occasionally I drive by that place and remember the pride, respect, and organization that Manager had put into his restaurant. There was never any question otherwise.
About a year ago in a very rural place in the Midwest, a man entered his boss’s office and gave a two week notice. This man was well respected at the plant as he had worked there for 15 years and was moving on. After a few months, I got a call and was asked if I could help find a replacement. The company has an ATS system and I started doing what I do (which you can hear on the Recruiting Animal Show and in my other blogs) and started trickling in candidates. After many weeks, I received an e-mail regarding a candidate I had entered and the internal recruiter was inquiring on the candidate’s status. I contacted the candidate who was cross country and we got the process moving. It took two weeks to schedule a 30 minute phone discussion. My calls and e-mails inquiring with the internal recruiter went unanswered. Finally, four weeks after the phone interview, the candidate took a flight to the facility and stayed there two days. In the meantime, none of my calls or e-mails were responded to. A job offer was generated three weeks following the candidate’s trip was mailed using standard US Postal service mail. I called the internal recruiter and caught him! I requested if we could e-mail an offer or at least verbally outline an offer and was instructed by the internal recruiter that it wasn’t necessary. After all, as it was explained to me, the candidate had two weeks to respond to the offer. Needless to say, on the final response date at around 5PM, an e-mail arrived from the candidate that he was declining the offer. I had never gotten a call or e-mail from the internal recruiter since the original inquiry on the candidate and the position and the requisition remain open to this day.
There is a company here in Detroit with an internal recruiter who is one of the nicest sounding people I know. My recruiting style here in Detroit is to be as respectful to my contacts as possible and keep my interaction “to the facts” and sprinkle in some pleasantries. Talking shop seems to work best here and being concise will get you brownie points. This internal recruiter never, ever misleads me. It’s almost like she’s a robot. If I ask why they passed on a candidate, I get an honest answer. If I asked how a candidate came across in an interview, she will quickly outline some positives or failures. I once sent her a candidate’s resume and she shot back in 10 minutes time that she was ready to see him as early as tomorrow if it was possible. It was close but he didn’t get the job and she told me why. I’ve occasionally asked her what’s most important on her “radar screen” and she told me that if I could “really” come up with a couple candidates for X, she would be most grateful. Because of her, I’m now working with three of their locations. I’ve asked her recently if she was satisfied with what we’re doing and if there’s room for improvement and, guess what, she offered some suggestions. Last week, off the cuff, as we were trying to coordinate some interviews over the next week, I asked her where she worked before being at that company. She said she was a “third party contingent recruiter”.
I want those reading this to know that I meant no disrespect to anyone by combining the words “fat” and “complacent”. I don’t really mean that the person is overweight. I used the word “fat” for effect to emphasize the word “complacent”.
One tidbit. I detest shopping for average stuff. And the reason why is that I don’t like being around people that hate their jobs.
Maybe this is why I do what I do. Maybe this is why I get a little adrenalin rush when my candidate tells me that “YES!”, he or she IS “taking the job".
Peace to my peers!