Today’s guest blogger is Meri Laird Jones of Davidson Laird, Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky with a remote office in northern Michigan. Meri is a current member of NPA’s board of directors. Davidson, Laird Inc. places technical, operations, sales and manufacturing professionals, primarily in the renewable energy, automotive, paint, plastics, chemical and processing industries.
Anyone in the recruiting business has probably heard: One thing for sure, candidates lie and clients lie.
We recently lost a placement due to a little of both. I admittedly lamented, complained to my colleagues (and husband and dog…) and heard suggestions on how to be tougher, more mercenary to survive “this industry.” It got me thinking. Isn’t it what we do that counts? I’ve always been a big believer in karma and The Golden Rule (do unto others…) and work to practice that in my business and personal life.
It seems simple and often those things we do in business with karma in mind are the same guidelines most follow working with clients and with other recruiters. The really tough decisions lie in the gray areas. Your heart and your head collide. Our recent fall off triggered a memory I hadn’t thought about in years as the candidates’ circumstances were so similar.
A company we had been targeting finally gave us the opportunity to work on a search that just happened to be perfect for a candidate we’d had on file. When we called him he said he was approached by another recruiter on this same exact search a couple of months prior, but at the time he wasn’t ready to move. He emphasized they had not presented him. But now his circumstances have changed so that he is interested and he gave us the go ahead to present him.
My first thought was “Yea – mine!” Then that recruitment karma thing kicked in and I asked him some questions about the other recruiter (who was not in my network and who I didn’t know), how it came about, etc. Turns out she recruited him specifically for this job and sounded like she did a great job working to qualify him and pique his interest. So, I had the right to present this guy but the other recruiter had earned the right to present this guy. Ugg.
I sent him back to the original recruiter. He was surprised, even made a comment about how recruiters are supposed to be mercenary. I quietly wondered if I were an idiot.
They hired him. I lost that fee, but gained a client we placed people with for years. We demonstrated our professionalism to a company that meant something to and gained their loyalty. I didn’t know it until much later, but the other recruiter was going through a really bad patch and that placement fee had been a lifeline. So even if we didn’t get the client, it would have been worth it.
So this week I lost a deal. It triggered a wonderful memory. It reminded me that while candidates lie and clients lie, not all of them do all of the time. It’s how we operate consistently that really matters. What’s your favorite recruitment karma story?