Thursday, June 9, 2011

Up and Down Sort of Days

Some days are harder to blog than others. I can’t explain why but it just happens. It’s not that I can’t find anything to ramble about, it’s just that every time I start to ramble, I suddenly feel like it’s an asinine topic and no one will want to read it.

Today is one of those days. It’s been a weird day. It has been an up-and-down day at work. In our morning meeting, our boss, away in Chicago at the moment, attended via phone. We have a couple of new jobs to fill and so, during our morning meeting, I got to select which ones I’d work on while my fellow recruiter, who was out of the office, would get his assignments later. My boss is a little worried we’re not getting many candidates to fill jobs lately so he was in his most extreme, “work hard, get candidates” mood.

This would have been fine except what we’re working on at the moment is very hard. They’re the type of jobs where there’s maybe 5 or 6 people in a city who can do the job. I spent all morning trying to fill a job because my boss said I needed to have at least one candidate by tomorrow. Taking him seriously, I did absolutely everything I could to find someone…and still had no luck.

Then, my fellow recruiter comes into the office, gets his assignments and…manages to find a candidate for the job I’ve been trying to fill all morning. This is annoying by itself but given that he wasn’t even supposed to be working on it, I was a little frustrated. Our office is generally not competitive so I don’t begrudge him filling the job and not me. It’s just that he has this horrible habit of pretty much doing what he wants despite what he’s supposed to be working on and this happens quite a lot.

My boss doesn’t mind who gets the candidates, as long as someone does. Thus, I can work on my fellow recruiters’ jobs too and fill those. It’s just that…I don’t. I think it goes back to the fact that I have a touch of the Hermione Granger in me. I always worried about breaking school rules as a child and I always saw the teachers as points of authority. As I got older, even if I didn’t like my boss, I’ve always respected that they were, in fact, my boss and even if I thought them the worlds’ biggest idiot, I still did what I was told because that was my job.

This job is no different. It’s just that in this case, I like my boss and, again, like Hermione Granger, I want to be top of the class to prove that I’m good at my job.

It just doesn’t always happen that way. My fellow recruiter is not a rule-follower. He doesn’t have to be because he’s been working as a recruiter for 17 years. I, on the other hand, am now approaching my 8-month mark and I still feel as though I’m learning.

On the plus side, I did manage to find out that one of my favourite current candidates was offered a position for which I submitted her. This is a good thing on many levels. Mostly, I’m just happy because I really like her and she’s been a pleasure to work with. Also, she really, really wanted the job and even postponed another offer to see if this one would pan out. I like it when someone gets a job when they really want it. As an added bonus for me, it’s a new company which means I get a little boost in my commission at the end of the year. I really do count that as a bonus because as corny and altruistic as it sounds, I really do like my job because I get to help people more than I like it for the money.

I don’t think all recruiters have this approach. It’s probably not a good thing I do have that approach because it means I’ll never be as successful as some of the other recruiters in the field. I met one of them the other day. He’s just been hired by one of our branch offices and he was in town to do some training with my boss. All of the staff of our office had to meet with him and talk about how we did our jobs.

It became quite apparent about five minutes after meeting with him that I did not like this man. For one thing, every time I started to talk, he’d bulldoze over me with a story of how successful he’d been in his past job and how fabulous he’d be working for us. He really is quite fabulous according to himself. Also, it sounds rather rude but he was just…creepy. He had a bit of an air of “hey, little girl…do you want some candy?” if you know what I mean. By the time he left my office, I was very relieved and also quite glad he wasn’t going to be working in our office permanently.

It turns out that all my coworkers had the same impression. The younger account manager even got the same pediophilic vibe from him that I’d had so it wasn’t just me. He was just unpleasant. It didn’t help that he told me lots of stories about as a recruiter, you have to show your candidates who’s boss and if they didn’t like it then tough, he didn’t want to work with them.

That is not the attitude I have. To me, being a recruiter is a partnership. There is no boss. Sure, the candidate will end up working for our company in due time if they’re successful but as far as the job interview process goes, there are no absolutes. If they hear the description of a job during an interview and it turns out to be double the amount of work that we were originally told, they have every right to think they should probably get paid a little more than we’d initially agreed. It doesn’t mean they will get paid more but it’s not unreasonable to try. According to Mr. Slimeball’s philosophy, “They’ll get paid what I want to pay them and that’s all there is to it.”

So, you can see why he rubbed me the wrong way. That’s not my approach. While I’m not a doormat who does whatever my candidates want, I do try to listen to their needs and try and approach them in a way that works out best for all. I don’t like to bully them. I’m a firm believer in the fact that when working with humans, for better or for worse, it’s best to let them act like a human. It comes back to haunt you later on if you don’t. It’s best to build a relationship with someone rather than treat them like a commission check. That’s my philosophy, anyway.

It might be a childish, inexperienced philosophy but, for now, it’s working for me. It means I can be excited to call my candidate and be happy to hear the joy in her voice when I tell her she got the job. She earned it and I’m glad that she was rewarded for her efforts. So, even on days when things don’t go quite my way in other areas, there are these moments that make it worthwhile.

It’s nice to have a job where no two days are the same even when the days don’t always go completely your way.

Best of all, even if you have a string of days like that, there’s always a weekend at the end of the tunnel. I, for one, am looking forward to the weekend even if it does involve tiling a floor and most likely very little else.

Thanks, as always for reading and I hope your weekend is a good one!

Happy Friday.

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