Every position you will ever work in comes with problems and obstacles that need to be overcome and in every position, you will need to find ways to deal with these issues and try out ways that make the situation worse.
However, the problems and obstacles are way more unpredictable and numerous in an industry where you highly depend on the cooperation, attention and reliability of other people, especially if this regards people you do not know personally.
The recruitment industry is a prime example for this. However, I discovered after a while that there is a list of rules that you can follow in order to make your work life easier and the problems fewer.
1. Do NOT panic (most important)
The recruitment industry is a fast paced industry, with clients putting a lot of pressure on each search. There will be that moment where your key account manager, your boss and the client equally will terrorise you with their requests, expectations and needs. The preferred time for this is for some inexplicable reason mostly Friday afternoon when your mind is set on the upcoming weekend. The solution is fairly easy: just do not give in to the pressure. If someone expects you to present four perfect candidates in three days, they probably know beforehand how unrealistic this is. Do your best, but do not freak out.
People in recruitment sometimes tend to overdramatise a situation (“the client is furious”) when in fact nothing has happened at all. Do not go along with it.
2. Always be polite
There are moments when you want to start running around in circles and scream. You have worked on a project for months, finally found the perfect candidate and the person refuses the offer in the last process of the stage. You have presented ten good candidates and the client does not get back to you until eight of the ten have dropped out, only to request more candidates. There are a dozen more situations where the other people you depend on in this industry will drive you absolutely crazy. However, it will never ever help to show the people involved that you are frustrated or fed up with their behaviour.
Any form of rudeness, as slight as it may be, will make you look unprofessional. Take a step back, take a deep breath and be nice. It will go a long way.
3. Be Patient
You have a deadline tomorrow morning and the candidate who promised you his or her CV yesterday still has not sent it and does not respond to your emails. The client just does not get back to you with a confirmation for the interview dates.
Every day, there will be at least five situations in which you curse the human being on the other end of the communication for not replying, not sending, not reacting.
In these moments, just remember that each one of these people is a human being with busy working days and lots of other problems. Have you ever forgotten to send a not-so-important-at-the-moment email? Exactly. Plato once said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Being patient and understanding might be annoying and frustrating from time to time, but will work way better than bombarding people with emails and calls.
4. Remind yourself of the goal- and the reward
Recruitment processes can be lengthy, tough and end up in you restarting the whole process. In these moments, remind yourself of what your task is: it is not to throw the first candidate who meets the proposed salary at the client, but to find the best candidate possible for a specific position. Hiring someone new is an important development in the company and a new position is a big change in someone’s life. Therefore never forget that you are dealing with real people who are making real choices and whose careers you can give a completely different turn. Placing a candidate after working with that person and the client for months to achieve this goal is very rewarding. Keep this reward in mind when you are technically ready to punch both the client and the candidate in the face.
Lisa Endriss, Senior Research Associate at ExecutiveSurf