Friday, 2 September 2011

Get a Life....

In her excellent blog a clearly frustrated Libby (a recent CF graduate based in the US) asks the following:

I’ve always been told that after receiving rejection letters, phone calls,etc… that I  should contact the company via email or a phone call and ask in a polite manner what I can do to improve my interview performance or what would make me more employable… I do this after every rejection. I have only received a reply once offering constructive criticism and advice. Why is this? Why only one reply?

Libby is absolutely right to be annoyed.  I always advise people – however senior – to thank the interviewers and ask for any feedback and strongly believe this is the right thing to do when you have invested time and energy in any interview process.  Frankly, I find it impossible to believe that anyone is really too busy to spend three minutes typing out a quick reply: do you?  Maybe the people ignorant enough not to reply are the same people who bore us to death on twitter about how there isn’t enough time in the day/week/month/year etc, etc...Perhaps a time management course could help although I guess they are much too busy/important for that so maybe just some basic manners could suffice?

In recruitment it is sometimes quite amusing observing how situations/people change.   Going back to the often used car salesroom analogy, I appreciate that most people want to just buy a new car, not become best mates with the salesperson at the showroom – and this clearly applies to the recruiter/jobseeker relationship.  

However for me it should be different!!!  For those who don't know me I am a great guy: incredibly charismatic, witty, intelligent, attractive and look great in a fake leopard skin thong 'posing' on the beach.  Therefore, naturally I am incredibly popular (if somewhat deluded) and so most people I know professionally want to be my friend (although not at the beach, surprisingly)....However, hard as it is to believe, some people I have dealt with on a professional basis can be just plain rude when they secure a role and never again have time to take my call.  Of course, when they are then looking for a new role again we are best pals in their eyes....But I don't forget.  Ok, I don't keep a little black book and a wide selection of voodoo dolls (well,  maybe just a few) but often for more experienced people I am asked about their personal characteristics and in discussions with Line Managers their inability to maintain a relationship is always noted.

It is no coincidence that the best and most successful people in my sectors - many of whom I have dealt with for years - make time for all their contacts.  I guess this is networking.  One Global Head of Investigations I have known for 10 years calls me maybe once a month just for five minutes to catch up on the industry gossip and I know he actively maintains other relationships not directly relevant to his daily job.  In terms of our relationship why wouldn't he stay in loose contact as he knows that as a recruiter in his area I often have access to information unavailable elsewhere.  It is human nature that whenever he has asked me (or anyone else in his network) a favour I don’t hesitate to make the time to help.

Going back to Libby, I look forward to the day when she is running a successful Team and treats all people – not just those who can help her short-term career - in the correct way.  By doing this she will reap all the professional benefits and, more importantly, do the right thing by treating people correctly.