The recruiting profession places heavy responsibility on individuals to remain people focused while meeting the tough deadlines of Corporate America. We are constantly receiving feedback from the hiring managers on their choice of candidate, the clients’ feedback on budget management, the bosses’ feedback on harvesting the rock stars, and the teams’ feedback on the characteristics that fit within their department. Then, we receive several resumes and emails from candidates stating why they are the candidate of choice. The experience with each hire is very much like having a clone on one side of the seesaw with the client/company, while you are sitting on the other side with the candidate. Both of you want to provide each side with the things desired most and you know when this is accomplished because the seesaw balances in the middle. In order to find the middle, a successful recruiter must be a strong follower.
The Recruiter that Follows
A recruiter that is focused on being a follower vs. leader will have an interdependent relationship with both the candidate and the client/company. This interdependent relationship produces a magnificent result that builds strong organizations. The old saying, “It only takes one person.” We always take notice of the leader, but I say we should take a magnifying glass and look at the recruiter who remains focused on being a follower. Begin to really focus on the follower and what he or she is doing or not doing to impact the candidates and clients/company they serve.
Characteristics of a Follower
- Purpose Driven
- Risk Taker
The recruiter follower operates very much like a chameleon reptile. An interview for them is like sitting on a branch watching every move and sound the individual makes. If the sounds and movements are perceived a match of hard and soft skills the client/company seeks, they will move the candidate forward in the interviewing process. If the sounds and movements are perceived outside those parameters, they step backwards in the interviewing process. The last thing a recruiter follower wants is to push a candidate forward that will be absolutely miserable working within the organization. I have participated in many interviews over the years; the bad hire comes from the recruiter that did not balance the seesaw. A successful hire will be fluid from the very beginning. It is very much like sitting in the box seats of a horse-race watching the Secretariats win a race.
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Reasons a Follower-follows
If you are a recruiter who feels disengaged and can’t pinpoint why, please continue reading. A follower –follows- individuals that align with their core beliefs. The leaders that possess one of my strongest beliefs about being a leader, “One who is focused on the personal development of self and others.” Do you remember the children’s book by Watty Piper, “The Little Engine That Could?” This book teaches us about aligning with individuals that instill confidence and self-belief in order to achieve the goal at hand. If you are questioning the leaders that you follow, ask the following questions. If you answer with several no’s, it is time to find a new leader to follow.
Dive Deep – (leader = ceo-client-hiring manager-staff-etc.)
Answer yes or no to these questions quickly, do not hesitate.
Question #1: Does the leader make me feel challenged?
Question #2: Does the leader leave me feeling confident?
Question #3: Does the leader provide clear guidance and direction?
Question #4: Does the leader motivate me to do the right thing?
Question #5: Do I like the leader (gut instincts – listen to them)?
Question #6: Are the leaders core values aligned with mine?
Question #7: Does this leader care about my professional growth?
Question #8: Would I spend time with this leader outside working hours?
Question #9: How does this leader treat others? Kindly or Unkindly? Am I okay with how he treats other?
Question #10: Would I save him/her if they were drowning?
Example of a Strong Leader
One leader that I currently follow is a passionate leader who cares deeply about his people and the direction of the company. He is making strong headway in developing an organization that enriches the lives of the employees and patients within each program. Anytime someone comes to him with questions or concerns, he humbly listens and provides feedback that instills little engines that can throughout the organization. I have supported many leaders in twenty years and have learned that age has no bearing on whether one will fulfill the shoes or not. In the past two years, the kindness and concern he showers onto each employee continues to double the sizes of each program and attract the attention of future clients.
Example of a Strong Follower
A recruiter that follows successfully will balance the seesaw for every hire because he/she will be in tune with matching the needs on both sides. The recruiters are at their best when they align their core values with their leaders. One recruiter I had the privilege to work with several years back moved fluidly within the organization each day. She had a kind spirit that was passionate about connecting people with the right company. It was very difficult for her to work with someone that simply wanted a job or a hiring manager that wanted a hire. She strongly believed that the candidate was out there waiting for the job and the hiring manager knew exactly who the candidate was for the position. She had incredible instincts in matching the follower with the leader or the leader with the follower.
A Final Note
The next time you are struggling with placing a candidate for a position. Take a moment to think about whether or not you are following the needs of the client/company and candidate. The little engine that could was able to accomplish the goal because she gathered feedback from everyone. All the individuals close to Secretariat guided and pushed him forward in order to run the races at his absolute best. There is valuable information all around us when the hunt for the new job opening/s is received in our inbox. It is up to us as the recruiter to live by the followers characteristics. Then, and only then, are we afforded the opportunities to watch the little engines climb the mountains and the Secretariats win the races.