Few activities can be as exciting as being a candidate yourself after dealing with candidates and their experiences as applicants on a daily basis.
It’s no big secret that nowadays people change jobs every 1,5-2 years and recruiters make no exception here. Personally it was such an experience to be in the shoes of the candidate and see the experience from the other side of the table.
Being so familiar yet so new to the selection process, knowing what kind of questions they will ask you and yet it’s about you and your way of answering this time, thinking it through before the interviews and trying to assimilate all the vision-mission-values-purpose story of the company, being relaxed (you did zillions of interviews before) and still nervous about it, keeping a critic eye and a “we do it better” kind of evaluation thought, learning about how other peers do their job and becoming that painful-always-with-tons-of-questions candidate (I’m guilty here, I always have many questions).
4 lessons this experience reminded me about
Lesson no. 1: Speed is the answer
I have to admit that time passes way slower when you are excited about a job you applied for and even though they are constantly updating you, still you feel it could have been faster. Though I am aware that the agenda of a recruiter is always full, when on the other side, timing is essential.
Lesson no. 2: Personal approach can’t go wrong
A candidate’s experience is simply better when you feel on the other side is another human being who cares about you individually, who is keeping the communication simple yet respectful and friendly and who is genuine. No rocket science here, you can easily feel it.
I appreciate a recruiter who is honest rather than having a fantastic one who only sells me fairytales and at the end I only get disappointed. Here I guess it makes a lot of a difference if the person is enjoying the job he/she does and how he/she gets to engage with you. Anything can be expressed in a positive and friendly way, be it that 20-pages form you need to fill in or the ton of scan copies you need to send asap. Put a smile and some good vibes and the pages get almost less.
Lesson no. 3: Resignation isn’t the easiest thing to do
I publicly apologize for all the harsh negotiations I had with my beloved candidates on presenting faster their resignation! It is such a difficult task, especially if you enjoy your job and you never thought of leaving until that perfect opportunity came your way. Except the fact that it really takes a serious thought process to decide whether you are ok with making the change, it also takes time and effort to prepare speaking with your boss about leaving. Add to this a good relationship with the boss and his/her negotiations on trying to keep you and then the intensity only grows. I have to admit that presenting my resignation was one of the most intense experiences I lately lived, professionally speaking.
Lesson no. 4: You need time in between the jobs
Sounds like a time we are quite afraid of, isn’t it? Sounds like being jobless but in case of job change is a blessing. Deciding to immediately join the new company without any break is just something I would seriously reconsider next time (not planning to go anywhere, just saying). On one hand, you need to keep the business going until you leave and start handing it over, while on the other hand the new employer is preparing you to join them, asks you documents and information, sends you welcome packages and needs inputs for your smooth on boarding. Add to this a change of city/country and your time in between jobs would have been such a good decision.
This experience was also a good reminder about why did I decide to have this profession, what it means to the people I interact with and how I can make a difference through our engagements. Do I follow this on a daily basis? Sometimes I do, something I try, sometimes I try harder.
Back to basics – this is how it feels when a recruiter puts him/herself in the shoes of the candidate.
Article initially published on LinkedIn at this link:.ttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-recruiter-becomes-candidate-ana-timofei?trk=mp-author-card.