The names have been changed to protect the innocent!!!!
Meeting an established client and taking a brief for a National Accounts vacancy at a trade show is nothing new or out of the ordinary; Job spec discussed and worked through together rather than just given, salary level agreed and this client also has an ideal start date in mind. A great company, fantastic products and a great ethos. I’ve worked with them before so I know they are a solid, ethical business with a very good reputation with their customers and within their sector. In short a great vacancy to work on.
Working with the MD we invite 8 to first interview, and they go well; he saw 7 people and 6 of those he felt were more than capable of doing a job. However, the numbers don’t add up… one of the candidates did not turn up to interview! For some recruiters this is common and accepted; for me this is neither. I do not put pressure on candidates to go to interview – doesn’t do anyone any favours, they won’t accept the role if offered, I am not about pushing people for KPI’s (that is a reason why people use me, they know I am NOT going to throw mud at the wall). This candidate got really excited about the opportunity, and the products, and called pre-interview. So when I get the call “Hi Amanda, Beryl is late can you find out where she is?” I am on the phone to Beryl like a shot; I hope she is alright I spoke to her yesterday. See, my first thought is not that a candidate cannot be bothered, or that they have made me look like an idiot, its bloody hell it’s a 2 hour drive for Beryl and it’s been raining all morning, I hope she is ok!!! Well you know what I hope Beryl is ok – given that she has never returned my calls or emails I will never know! If you don’t want to go for interview just say I won’t turn to dust, and I will still contact you for future projects and you won’t be letting anyone down including yourself… I know she is alive at least as I contacted her current company to see if she was working that day and she was. So… Bye Bye Beryl, I don’t not allow people to let me or my clients down a second time!!!
2 candidates are invited back second interview – a presentation and sit an EXCEL test; nothing unusual. Bloody Easter!!! We have 2 weeks between first and second interview which equals frustration (for me… time kills deals). However it gives the candidates time to prepare. I work with them mentoring and supporting through this process… I never do someone’s preparation for them but I offer myself as a resource; bouncing ideas, making sure the presentation works when emailed, spell checking… and yes of course a few tips too. I speak to Malcolm and Mavis just before their interviews and both sound like a child on Christmas Eve – both candidates really want the job, perfect! I speak to the client pre interview he is of the same mindset although in a much less obvious way (we can’t have MD’s skipping about the place it just isn’t done); he knows he will have recruited by the end of the day. For me it is great news, two candidates at second interview that have come out both wanting the role. I speak to the client deliver all of my feedback both positive and negative on both candidates… Initial decision comes quick. We would love to work with Mavis and we want to offer her a job… and they all lived happily ever after, The End!
Oh if only!! I am instructed to verbally offer the candidate a role with my client explaining this is subject to the CEO in a head office Far, Far Away as he may decide to interview the candidate before formal off. So we have the usual to and fro with the package and the start date etc and everything is lovely. Apart from a quiet CEO! I am advised that this is normal and nothing to be concerned about – we wait a week! MD is travelling to Far, Far Away to have a big meeting on Tuesday of this week so he will speak to him then no problems. I am not concerned, I have recruited for this company before and know that in Far, Far Away they like to go at their own pace, I am keeping the candidate updated and holding her hand through this sticky bit! MD calls me yesterday… “Hi MD how are you? How was Far, Far, Away?”. “Amanda, I have good news and bad news…” (Oh shit!!!). I am bracing myself, don’t have time to speculate which is a good thing. “Essentially the CEO does not need to meet Mavis so we can move straight to written offer” (fantastic, what’s the bad news) “but, they have told me that it must be offered as a temporary contract in the first instance which will then become permanent after 6 months” (W..T…F…). “OK, and how you feeling about that MD?” as I try to stop myself spinning out totally “Honestly Amanda? Fucking Livid!! How about you?” Well let’s be honest here it is not often I am stuck for words is it!! MD is talking and I am listening and thinking about Mavis too. I am stunned by this late change by CEO and the MD really is both angry and embarrassed by this situation, for now I push Mavis out of my head space. MD needs my support and it is given 100%. It is not his fault. Neither of us could have seen this coming. We organise our plan of action and I make it very clear that I will only be telling the candidate the whole truth of this situation and MD is both pleased and relieved on this point. It is vital to show this point of difference – some recruiters would be very ‘clever’ about this and spin things in all sorts of directions for their fee and nothing more. I know what they would do but I will not lie for anyone and MD feels the same. Mavis is gutted, she is not angry she is upset, actually stunned is more accurate in this instance… what does this mean? Is this still the job for me? I’ve got her… gently stop her spinning and show her the full picture, MD fully believes this will go permanent he would not invest the time if he felt it was only a short term thing, I share all of MD’s feelings with Mavis she is fully in the picture. I advise I don’t want Mavis to make a decision now, she has to process this information, and she has to discuss this with the important people in her life, it is important to sleep on it to allow her brain to process it all properly. This is where I have left her… its Friday morning and I have a conference call with MD and SD at 9 followed by me speaking to Mavis followed by Mavis speaking to them (if she still wants to).
Recruitment doesn’t end at offer stage, in many ways this is where it all begins… right now I am holding everyone’s hand this is a delicate situation, it needs time, space and support to settle… how will this pan out, who knows? All I know is that the candidate and client are a great match and Mavis would be a fantastic asset to the company, MD knows that and runs the risk of losing her due to a matter out of his control. The important thing here is that the company has ultimately been honest; they could have offered it as a permanent role with a 6 month probation period and no one would have been any the wiser… and that is what many (not all) other recruiters would have done…
For me it cannot be about the fee, it is only about doing what is right. It’s my inner fight, I deal with it often and I deal with it well, money over ethics? Ethics every time. That is why people recommend me to others and that is why my clients work with me again and again, they know I am not a one hit wonder after their cash I am working with them on developing their business and I support in ANY area that’s needed.
It’s now 1007am on Friday morning and it is sorted, candidate is going to go for it and is feeling challenged in a positive way, she will make this work…now all we have to do is wait for the start date in June to come around, and watch the situation closely for the next 6 months and beyond… I will keep you posted!!!