Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Peril of People...

There are some days when I think it's best to not be around too many people. For me, today was one of those days.

This is actually somewhat ironic since one of the many reasons I left my last job was because I missed working with people and found interacting with my computer and our software to be soul-sucking and dull.

So, I found a job where I could work with people. Most of the time, I enjoy working with them. People are fun. I like nice people. I've met quite a few nice ones in my short time in this job. I have a new buddy down in Kentucky who is just the sweetest lady ever and I'd love to find her a job but unfortunately, the market isn't cooperating. There are other nice ones too. The ones I like most are the ones who take job searching seriously. They know I can help them and they're willing to cooperate with me.

Unfortunately, they're still people. People lie. It's a sad fact but it's probably one of the truest statements ever. I think Dr. House would agree since that's his personal motto.

Everybody lies.

It's true. I'm learning it on a daily basis. I don't think there's any malicious intent in them. They don't lie because they're mean people. They lie because they don't want to tell the truth for whatever reason. The reason can be as simple as not wanting me to know they're working with other recruiters in case I take it personally or as complex as them wanting a new job that fulfills them but, when it comes down to it, it's all about the money.

It's often about the money. I find that fascinating. As a recruiter, it's my job to find out why someone sent me their resume or they're on the great wide interweb looking for a new position. They all want to be more fulfilled by their jobs. It's common sense. We, as humans, are looking for happiness and soul-satisfaction.

Yet, it very often comes down to the money.

I try to match people up with jobs. I take into consideration the commute, the amount of hours required off-the-clock, the salary and their background. I like to get to know them, find out if they have young children which might prevent them from wanting to work too far from home or if they've been out of work for a while, what they've been doing to pay the bills.

It all helps. I like getting to know my candidates personally. It's fun.

It's just that they lie. What they don't tell me is it's not really about job satisfaction as it is about that big paycheck. I try to get them the highest salary possible but more often than not, they hear a high number and they start to wonder if they can go higher so they look elsewhere as well.

Then they tell me they're not close to getting another job or they're not really looking. Thus, I do what I can to make sure I find them something. I have a soft spot for the desperate. It sucks to not have a job, especially this time of year. I work harder for those candidates than the ones who have a job but want to do something else.

So, often, my candidates get submitted to positions. They get interviews. They get second interviews. Then, just when I know they're going to get the job, they phone me to say they've accepted another position.

It's happened more than once. It's very, very frustrating because, all along, I asked them to let me know where else they were interviewing. Not only does it let me know where our company stands in their job search but it makes sure we don't submit them somewhere where they've already been submitted. I don't take offense if they're working with other companies. It's sensible. I just hate when they lie about it.

It always makes me feel cheated. I've worked hard to get them to the point where they're going to get a job and boom! They no longer want it.

I understand the knee-jerk reaction, particularly for the unemployed. A job is a job. Yet when you have a candidate who quit his last position in protest of them laying off half his staff, you don't expect him to take another position where the same thing is going to happen.

How do I know the same thing is going to happen? It's my business to know. We know which companies are in the process of outsourcing to India and which ones are going to be cutting jobs. As cutthroat as it sounds, we have to know this because we can help the people getting cut find new jobs. You have to be quick.

I sound bitter. I'm not. I'm just a little tired of getting my hopes up that I've succeeded in getting someone a job. It's not about the small commission I earn on each placement, it's about me feeling like I'm a success. I've had three candidates in the last week get close enough to be offered a job but before we can get final confirmation, they've taken another position.

It makes sense. Panic sets in, the automatic response is to accept whatever comes your way. It's a bad economy. Jobs are scarce.

I just wish it wouldn't come as a shock each time because my candidates have told me they weren't close to getting another position so, therefore, I don't expect it.

It's not all like that. When I do work with a candidate and he gets a job and he's happy, it makes everything worthwhile. It makes me happy that I work with people.

Overall, I love my job. I love the idea of helping people find satisfaction in life. It's just that sometimes I wish it wasn't so much about the money as finding the right job for the right person. Still, there is enough of that on somedays to make up for days like this when I feel a little like a failure because I've lost a good candidate to another job.

It's all a learning curve. As I said before, it's the side-effect of working with people. They're not automated software that can be rebooted if it crashes. They're walking, talking living creatures with their own minds and opinions.

It's what makes the job fun.


Now, about those lies...

Happy Wednesday!

No comments: