Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Nature of the Job and of Humans...

Well, it's Friday tomorrow. It's been a strange week. I've been at my new job three weeks,almost. My past two weeks flew by. This week has gone more slowly. The process we have at work is that the two account managers try to get clients to ask us to fulfill their IT personnel needs. In turn, me and the other recruiter in the office get job descriptions and we're in charge of finding people to fill the jobs.

The process we follow is to try to locate people. We then phone screen them. We try to bring them in for an interview. When we're confident they're a good fit, we submit the person's resume to the account manager who decides at that point if they can 'sell' the job candidate to the client. If so, they forward the resume. With luck, the client likes the candidate and they get a job.

If they get a job, we call it a 'start.' As recruiters, we're required to get 3 starts a month, if possible. If not, we don't get in trouble but we do have to make up for it and keep working.

It's harder than it sounds. This week I had my first couple of 'bad' days. I had managed to get a candidate an interview at the jobsite. This is good because he's jumped most of the hurdles. At that point, it's up to him why he can prove that he can do the job.

Except then my candidate got another job offer so he backed out of the interview. He'd told me he wasn't that close to getting a job.

I then had to scramble to find another candidate. I found one who had called only two days before desperate for a job. I'd told him I'd see what I could do and so the minute an interview slot opened up, I fast tracked him and he got an interview with the client.

Guess what? He got another job too and cancelled on his interview. I felt hoodwinked. I'd fallen for his desperate story and sold him to my boss without feeling completely comfortable that he was the absolute best match. I think he could have done the job. I think he would have done it well but I bypassed other resumes in order to help him out.

I learned a couple of lessons this week. Mostly, that candidates lie. They need a job. I understand that. They don't want me to think that they don't need an interview even if they think they might have a job offer. So they tell me they're still looking and then, boom, I'm left holding their resume while they're about to start another job.

Secondly, I learned not to take it personally. That's a big thing. I have to look at it from their point of view. They need a job. They're going to say anything so that I help them get a job. If they find a job, they no longer need my help. It's that simple.

It was a tough lesson to learn. I'm a creature that likes to suceed. I also like to control things. I've been working with software. It has a strict pattern that it follows to get the job done. If the software breaks, I generated a bug report and someone fixed it. It's an A to B type of process.

Working with people is different. It's been a while since I worked with people. People are not A to B creatures, for the most part. Even the most organized humans aren't that simple.

That's what I've had to remember this week. Humans are not software. They can get other job offers, they may answer the phone but not be able to talk because they're in the middle of making meatloaf and their hands are covered with hamburger. They may come into the office and drink a can of Mountain Dew in less than one minute and in one drag and then ask for another please. They may walk up and down stairs while reading a book and not even look to see where they're going.

Yes, these things all happened this week. The point is, humans aren't predictable. I need to remember that. I love my job but I need to start remembering that I'm dealing with real live people with real live...lives. If they don't show up for an interview, I can't file a bug report with my boss and have him fix it. It doesn't work like that.

It's going to take me a while to get used to it. I admit, I love it, even when things don't go quite the way I planned. It's different every day. Sometimes, it's different from hour to hour.

It's a different change of pace but it's exactly what I needed. Now, if I can just get stop candidates from lying to me....

Happy Friday!

No comments: