It’s official. I’ve had the best recruitment experience of my life in a place I wasn’t expecting. I regret I cannot share the name of this company, as I want to promote them for their DEI commitment, the quality of their engagement, and the genuine way they connected with me and the work that I do, and the way I was able to contribute to their path forward with recommendations that they immediately took into consideration.
Today on LinkedIn I’m connected and I dare say I’m friends with my prospective line manager for that role, and with his boss. There is deep mutual respect there no matter the outcome. He’s even connected me with others who he thinks I’d get on well with, and he was right!
After this experience, I know something for certain, the best recruiters aren’t recruiting, they are networking.
Sometimes you hit it off, like 2 peas in a pod.
Hitting it off doesn’t happen by accident though. There’s something authentic in that energy, that just works well for both parties.
Even when the job itself isn’t for you.
Yes I didn’t get the job. And I’m sad about it because I would have loved working with both my line manager and his line manager. The human connection would have been everything for me, even if I may have struggled a bit to adjust to loving the job itself.
I would have done it though.
At this stage of my life, a good working environment with good people, trumps a great job for the wrong company or people. It’s not even a contest.
But when I got the call they didn’t choose me, although I was disappointed, I understood it.
Let me tell you how it went down.
In early September someone I didn’t know reached out to me to tell me about a job on offer that they were currently in the recruitment process to fill. When I first saw the role, I wasn’t sure. I had questions, so I asked those first, before even considering submitting my CV to them.
From the first interview to the last, I felt as if this was a process where both the company and me would be willing to make adjustments to accommodate each other’s interests. The DEI effort was huge. I was interviewed by 2 males of different ethnicities and sexual preferences, and they apologised to me that there were no women, and reaffirmed their commitment to improving on DEI.
Who does that?
Answer? Great companies.
He then explained what was about to happen in the interview, and all the while I was thinking – are they for real? I had doubts because I’d simply never seen this before. Then we started to have a conversation. They asked me the traditional HR questions, but I felt comfortable, and opened up, shared my thoughts and questions with them, which they thought were very thought provoking.
I still wasn’t sure about the role, but I was definitely loving the company. 5 minutes after we ended the call, they called me back to say that I would go on to stage 2. 5 minutes!!!
To be absolutely clear, here’s what they did that made a difference.
- The process was handled end to end by the recruiting managers. Those additional touch points with the people I would potentially work with were in hindsight brilliant, because it gave me a chance to get to know how they like to work, even before assuming the role.
- They worked toward building rapport throughout the interview and process. Really personable, open, inclusively.
- They were genuinely curious about me. The line manager is now a regular listener of my podcast, and follower of my page on LinkedIn. He also read my book.
- The interview included a session with someone who would be a key customer of my work, which I thought was really interesting as an approach, and totally appropriate to do. I also built rapport with him.
- The second phase of the process was a case study. I like case studies, as they do help to see the thinking processes of the candidate, and allow for a great discussion. I didn’t ace the case study, and in the end i think that was a good thing, it helped them to make the right decision.
- They operate remotely first and were keen to share that early on.
- They were genuinely willing to make accommodations for me to pursue my social projects.
- I absolutely loved that I received a call and a conversation with the line manager to tell me why I wasn’t successful. And the main reason, beyond an answer that they felt could be better in the case study, was that they were not sure I’d be happy for long with what was actually required for the role, and that I might feel constrained by it. I genuinely think they were right on both counts.
- They decided that neither them nor me should settle, even though we built such a great relationship.
- At the end of the conversation where he told me I wasn’t successful, he gave me 2 referrals, and the option to work together in a freelance capacity on a project in the future.
What did I learn? Show up for the job you really want. Go through the process, even when you have doubts, so you can either gather enough evidence to dispel your doubts, or determine that the opportunity wasn’t right for you.
Genuinely connect. Be authentically you, as the outcome is positive, even if it’s a no for the moment.
Next Friday, I’ll move on to talk about my absolute dream job, and the role that I think I would most thrive in, considering my experiences and my passion, at another global multinational.
Stay Tuned for Career Journal 9 up next.