By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR
A recruiter recently contacted me online. She texted that I had an interesting background then suggested we connect. I welcome new contacts and industry networking opportunities so I readily agreed to a video teleconference. That hour-long conversation morphed from the typical recruitment exchange into something different, a life lesson.
In a world now veiled with the most stringent political correctness, some topics are usually considered taboo during routine business conversations. Ours ventured off- grid to several off limits topics such as religion, spirituality, morals, ethics, and world travels. Although a departure, I found this recruiting approach refreshing from the more conventional “what region and salary range are you seeking”. This individual jockeyed into a “life coach” role rather than a recruiter.
After I expressed my delight about her happiness-consulting methodology to clients, she taught me a thing or two about life. I soon discovered this recruiter had completed a video conference two weeks prior with a candidate that had been devastated by life’s circumstance. “You visually could see the weight of the world on this candidate’s back. Her posture and presentation all but radiated defeat,” she said. “I took over an hour to slowly begin nursing back her confidence. All that the candidate needed was a little TLC and someone to believe in her.”
I could not believe what I was hearing, especially in this age. A sales professional who really cares about saving the world one person at a time. Amazing. A happy ending for the candidate for she is now in process of being placed with a firm due to this “life coach” tactic to recruiting. The candidate was so ecstatic about the personal attention she received that she sent a thank you letter to the agency referring to the recruiter as a “unicorn.” In my 17 years of handling recruiting, training, and onboarding, I have never received a thank you letter from a candidate calling me a unicorn. Most of the thank you letters I receive appear “canned” or plagiarized templates off Monster.com.
My take is this, just because you have done something for years, does not mean you have been doing it right. Or if you’re doing it right, be more open to being the finest professional your customer has on his or her team. This recruiter did nothing short of the same for me. After an hour of speaking with her, you know what I did? I went for a jog. Why? Because somehow during an interview, she convinced me that eating right and working out was important. Did you catch that? After an interview, the recruiter convinced me to take a jog. Now, that is some fine recruiting.
I had to strategically bring the interview to a close, because I was pretty sure if I had not, I would be joining the peace corps, traveling abroad then immersing myself in a third world country to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. We all need to be so effective on the job that our stakeholders will not only be satisfied with your service, that they will be delighted. To all recruiters out there that put this level of total quality service into your work, thank you. I will be borrowing from your tools and adding them to my own toolbox.
One person cannot save the world, but one person can save another’s world. If we keep reciprocating this ideology to each other, it will lead to positive change.