Relationship advice from a recruiter…
When I first started recruiting my boss at the time would always compare the situations we were working through to relationships. Leaving your company is like breaking up with a significant other, and how attentive a candidate is during an interview process shows how interested they are in the job, or a relationship.
At first, I thought it was a bit out there, “how could a business transaction be like a relationship?”. But the more examples they gave, and the more time I recruited and worked through those deals, I started to realize just how accurate that comparison is.
One of the best lessons that I learned, which turned into a question that loomed over my head every day with every candidate and client that I talked to was, “How badly do they really want it?”
Whether that question was directed toward if a candidate really wanted the job or the employer really wanted to hire the candidate, I thought about it constantly. Once a candidate was officially in the process I would constantly be looking out for warning signs, or any sign that would tell me if the candidate wanted the job or the client wanted to make the hire.
This was really important for me to understand because that would determine whether or not I would make a sale. Since recruiting is a two-sided sale, and they have to both like each other in order for the deal to go through. Because of that, this is a super important question that I had to constantly question and find answers throughout the interview process. Luckily, if you are looking for the answer, there are ALWAYS signs pointing you in the right direction. As a recruiter, I got really good at looking for those signs and then finding them.
When I first started out those signs weren’t always super clear. I would ask different questions to help me get a better gauge, but often times I was still unsure. As my career progressed, I finally started to work on better jobs that people actually wanted and then recruited better candidates for jobs that managers actually wanted to hire. At that point, I started to fully understand and saw how someone acts when they REALLY want something.
How people act when they REALLY want something may be obvious to some of you, but personally I never fully understood it until I witnessed it as a recruiter. When it finally clicked, it dawned on me that this same reality is true in SO many more areas of our lives. People will ALWAYS act differently when they REALLY want something to happen.
This is a huge LIFE lesson for all of us that can carry over to getting a new job, dating, or going after a goal. This is a life lesson that I wish I could go back and tell my high school self about love, goals, and dreams, but since I can’t do that, I am sharing it with you. =]
In writing this blog, I wanted to share with you how to find the clues and signs that determine how badly you or someone else really wants something.
Below are the top traits that I have noticed in candidates and clients on how they start to act when they really want a job or really want to hire a candidate. You will quickly see how these can be applied in many other areas of your life.
This is the first thing I notice in a candidate and client when they are interested. They actually respond to me and they do it in a timely manner. Instead of the typical 1-2 days of waiting before you get feedback or a response, it’s more immediate. If they stay interested, this responsiveness continues throughout the whole interviewing process. I don’t have to nag or hunt them down for an answer. They freely and quickly give me the answers to my questions.
This is the same in relationships. If someone is taking days to text you back or is playing the game and they won’t reach out for a couple of days. They probably aren’t THAT interested at the time. That could change, but if they really wanted to talk to you, they would respond or reach out.
This reality made me wince because I would remember all of the times I made up stories in my head of why someone WASN’T texting me back or reaching out. I would make up the most ridiculous stories to make myself feel better when in reality, they simply weren’t interested.
Whenever a candidate is interested in a job, they will reach out a lot, asking the status of the job, how they are doing in the interview process, they ask for advice on how to stand out and what they can do to keep moving forward. The same holds true for the client side. When a client really wants a candidate, they will ask me the candidates status throughout the interview process to gauge how interested the candidate is and what we will have to do to get them to take the job. They both follow-up with ME to check in and see what the other is thinking.
This holds true in relationships in two ways, maybe you meet someone through a friend and then you are constantly following up with the friend who set you up to check in to see what the other person thinks of you and if you really have a chance. Or very simply, if someone is interested in you, they will follow up after a date and ask you to meet up again.
You start to notice this trait later on in the interviewing process. At the beginning of the recruiting process, typically, you need the first date/interview or two to happen before the sparks start flying. But once that fire gets going there is this magical thing called flexibility that starts to grow. At this point, the candidate and client want to woo each other. They want to make each other happy, so they loosen up their strict standards and checklists and even their calendars. The times they couldn’t make an interview before they are now magically wide open. Salary ranges are now “open to discussion”. Commutes and travel requirements that were a hard no, are now a maybe.
In relationships, when you really start to like someone, the flexibility grows. It grows in ways like realizing she really loves sushi, and even though you hate it you take her to out to sushi to make her happy. Or the times you know he loves to watch baseball so you take him to a game, but you really despise the sport and are legitimately upset there isn’t halftime so you can take a break from it, but you do it because you like him.
Those small ways new found flexibilities, and the ways we will bend to make something work, they are indications that they care and want you.
This makes me think of a puppy. When you first come home from work and you have a puppy they are just so freaking excited to see you. They run, they jump, they go get their toys to show you. You can almost see their brains working, working out their next move to show their excitement. People act the same way when they are excited, except they aren’t quite as cute.
When people are excited about an opportunity their energy level’s spike up. You can hear the excitement in their voice through the phone and through their emails. You can feel it from the managers when they are talking about how an interview went with a candidate they really liked. It’s like everyone is on an interview high, just happy and excited about what’s happening and next steps. The energy level for the entire search lifted up like a cloud and we are all floating up there waiting for the final decision.
This is the same with relationships. Think about when a new couple is in that “honeymoon stage”. They talk about each other at nauseam and think that every little thing the other one does is the cutest thing in the world. They are always smiling, excited and happy. That high that they are riding, the excited energy that is buzzing through the relationship, that only happens when you really like someone.
So there you have it! The top traits that I have picked up on, to help me fully understand how badly someone really wants something.
There are a lot more signs and details that I could share with you. More signs that show whether a candidate really wants the job, a manager really wants to make the hire, or someone is really interested in starting in a relationship. BUT we would be here for a very long time and these are the basics that will still point you in the right direction.
On your next interview or date, look for these traits and follow these signs to really gauge how interested they are. It might even lead you to realize he or she is THE one…