Today’s guest blogger is Laura Schmieder of Premier Placement Inc., specializing in manufacturing especially engineering, operations, supply chain, sales and marketing roles globally. She currently serves on the NPAworldwide board of directors.
I recently read an article in Network Magazine titled Why Best Practices – Aren’t by Mike Myatt. An interesting premise, his thesis was: don’t copy, create. He felt to evolve and be successful, one needed to think outside the box – beyond accepted methodologies, processes, rules, concepts and theories. It was an excellent read and thought-provoking for both recruiters and other business professionals.
As I read it, I thought well that’s all fine and good; however, recruiters still need to work within a framework of standards and policies. He did say that he did NOT recommend a blatant disregard for rules and methodologies but fostered the belief that one needs to challenge the status quo.
Long ago I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s a philosophy/travel book that mixes discourses on Eastern and Western culture with the blessings/burdens modern technology bestows on us. It’s a quirky book but I often go back and think about the lessons I learned reading it. Repeated throughout is the conviction that you must live a life of quality but also give quality to life around you.
There are many precepts about life throughout the book. Things about not allowing technology to take over your life but using it to your advantage – to produce good work. To instill patience, care and attentiveness in my work, are to achieve peace of mind. Peace of mind produces right values that produce right thoughts (stay with me on this!). Right thoughts produce right actions that produce quality work.
Examine Your Equipment
What is emphasized is the need to examine oneself and the equipment that carries you through your life journey – where have you been and where are you going in the road of life? Is your motorcycle capable of taking you the 200 miles you want to go the next day? Do you have the tools to make the fine adjustments necessary for a smooth and efficient ride? Have you checked your tire pressure, oil level lately? How efficient is the engine that moves you? Computer and telephone systems, wireless headsets, smart phones, resume databases, social networking sites – all great technology but in the end, they are only tools…tools to help you reach out and communicate with prospective candidates, clients or split trading partners – back to basic conversation, picking up the phone.
If you don’t periodically take the time to educate yourself, stretch your mind, share your experiences and expertise, meet new people—you will find yourself in a rut with at least a flat tire (no one to send in for interviews) or worst, a blown engine (offer turned down and NO BACKUP!) Think about it…ALL major professions require continuing education credits. Where are you getting yours? ALL motor vehicles need yearly or bi-yearly inspections – when was the last time YOU inspected your placement machinery and systems?
Networking and training meetings or nowadays, the many webinars or conference calls available…are like the preventative maintenance necessary to run all systems. If you don’t tend to them, then you will be constantly fixing, as oppose to preventing, breakdowns.
Learning new technology, fine-tuning existing systems, reiterating the basics of how to develop candidates and new clients – sometimes it takes getting off the desk and phone, even out of the office completely to gain the full benefit of training and education. Find out how other recruiters are succeeding in this economy (don’t be jealous, LEARN what they are doing that YOU aren’t!). Come back to your own desk with a fresh attitude, with enthusiasm to try that new technique.
Another example is how lack of communication affects the process. Look at what happens when candidates don’t tell the recruiter or the prospective employer what they really need to make a change OR when the resume is not well-thought-out or the presentation complete. When employers don’t give recruiters feedback throughout the process—for that matter when split trading partners don’t communicate—the process fragments and ultimately can break down. It leads to the breakdown of quality work: negative action instead of positive, forward-moving action.
The lack of honesty, truth and integrity corrupts the process and leads to breakdowns. When you lie about a career opportunity to a prospective candidate or hiring authority and they learn the truth, their trust in you and the entire industry is broken. When candidates pad their resumes with false accomplishments or dates of employment and are found out, the process breaks down. When a client or split partner receives a candidate’s resume from a recruiter but chooses to see if they can find them in a candidate database on their own using that original referral, the process is corrupted. When a hiring authority expects a bribe before sharing job orders —and certain recruiters provide them—the process is corrupted. Negative action instead of positive, forward moving action.
Back to that precept of quality: the conviction that you must live a life of quality, but also give quality to life around you. Are you someone that clients, candidates, your peers turn to because they respect your opinion, your knowledge, your abilities to give sage advice? Do you take the time to share your knowledge and wisdom with new recruiters or students just out of college or outplacement organizations? Sometimes the best way to learn, is to teach a lesson…we are reminded of the adage, “Do as I say, not as I do!” Teaching, or being a mentor, is one way to reinforce what we should always be doing. Have you volunteered in your professional associations or business networks? I think we can all look back in our careers to someone that took the time to teach us. Have we returned the favor and passed on the knowledge and perspectives to be successful in our profession?
Last but not least, do you have peace of mind…have you striven to be the best person you can be? What have you done to improve your mind, your physical body, your soul AND do you avoid actions, people, or situations that are detrimental? In this age of information overload, it’s easy to stray off the path. We have many distractions and it’s up to us to disregard the negative messages and focus on truth, sincerity and integrity. In the end, you only have one life to live. You will have a lot less to worry about if you try to live each day striving to be the best person you can be. It should lead to success in your profession as well. We all want to do business with someone who is not only knowledgeable, but who we respect and trust.
Remember: peace of mind produces right values that produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions that produce quality work…and ultimately a life of quality.