"What about me". Recruiters: the forgotten victims of Resignations

Hands up if you've ever been punched in the stomach?

Hands up if you're a Recruiter who's had someone leave a job really quickly after joining, that you placed.

Similar feeling right. The anger, the breathlessness, the nausea, the feeling of bewilderment and fear of further reprisals.

It's a horrible feeling. A person you've nurtured through a process, handling expectations, scheduling meetings, consoling, encouraging, talking up to managers, negotiated salary and future growth. Someone you know will excel, someone who will fit into the team, a great cultural fit, a good technical fit, well, just a damn good fit. You're invested! You believe in this person, you believe in the company, you believe in their compatibility. And the BAM! In your inbox is that resignation letter, or you get that phone call "Sorry to bother you, but do you have time to catch up today?"

You've made a mistake haven't you? You didn't qualify properly? You pushed too hard? You didn't push hard enough. There will be explanations that have to be made, inquisitions will be made, names will be called and frustrations will be vented. It will be the fault of the Recruiter in the eyes of the business, no matter how many stake holders were involved in the final decision.

It sucks as far as feelings go. The polar opposite to when you make that phone call to that unknown candidate you found on LinkedIn or really special Boolean string, to gauge interest and eventually hire. Karma's an ill tempered friend, she'll get you coming and going.

So Recruiters, before you pick up that phone, write that string, drop that email. Stop and think of the repercussions that call will have on your fellow Recruiters out there somewhere. Do you really want to cause them to go through this stomach punching purgatory?

Then of course what you'll do is smile, maybe even giggle and do it none the less. It's the game isn't it. He who has the best talent wins! Game on :)

Views: 154

Comment by Lisa Howarth on May 30, 2010 at 10:02pm
Interesting take on the emotional roller coaster that recruiters go through. If you're a good recruiter, you do become emotionally invested both in the success of the client's hire as well as in the candidate's career. Those that don't become invested are truly only in this game for the money; and guaranteed they won't find that gold at the end of the rainbow.

That said, don't you think it's a little selfish to cry over a resignation? Why do we get upset over the lost fill? Maybe it's the ego-blow, maybe it's the fact that your client/account manager/supervisor will be upset and blame you for not doing your due diligence with your follow-ups.

At the end of the day, what we do is place people .. we help people out of their perception of a bad situation into a better one. We help people realize their career potential in incremental steps. We're kind of like real estate agents finding families their homes.

If we look at this from a selfish perspective, yes the fall-off sucks. But in the larger karmic way, if you care about the people you're placing, then your personal success will follow.
Comment by Will Branning on June 1, 2010 at 11:59am
Interesting and thought-provoking article - thanks for writing it! Thankfully I have not had very many of these quick fall-outs, but I have had several leave in less than a year and those cause some of the same feelings. In the end, I have reminded myself that recruiting & hiring are not science. I do my due diligence in understanding what my clients want and need and find candidate's who have aspirations and backgrounds that seem to match. Most of the time it becomes a long time relationship (over 1 year) and sometimes it does not...it goes with the territory.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on June 1, 2010 at 10:06pm
I am in the bag with you Dan. When a new hire falls out within the first 90 to 120 days it sends me into a swivet of "What did i miss", what did i not discuss, what did i not see that i should have seen."

I have an emotional investment in making every placement a good one that will last. I think that's my job. I have only had one or two in decades that blew up early in the game. Each time after a period of self assessment under the critical microscope of my own critical self i have had to admit to me that there was some little sign, some little comment or something that i didn't check out deep enough or ignored.


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