#5 Learn From The Mistake's Of Others
I once called a candidate who had applied for a training fundraiser role. When he answered the phone I greeted him and told him why I was calling. I mentioned the company and told him that I was responding to an application for a fundraising role. Maybe it was the phone lines, or maybe it was my over-enthusiastic first phone screen of the day energy, but this particular candidate got confused and thought I was a tele-fundraiser, calling him to ask him to donate to a charity. He immediately got angry, raising his voice and stated that 'He hated charity and wished I would f*** off'.
Awkwardly, and desperately, before he hung up, I blurted out, "I'm calling about a job, you sent in an application to be a charity fundraiser". He immediately backtracked, I could feel his cringe through the phone, I was annoyed, but also, at the time, I was enjoying the irony. In my arrogance, I continued the conversation, after all, he had applied to be a fundraiser, despite initially tearing me apart when he thought I was one. I questioned him, "So, you've applied to be a fundraiser, can you tell me about a time you have done something for charity. What qualities do you have that you feel would make you good at this role?". In the end, the awkwardness became too much and I eventually ended the call.
I didn't gain anything from this phone conversation, in fact, I ended it feeling like an idiot, I'd wasted time, and it was time I couldn't afford to waste.
I'm a firm believer that the way recruiter's handle negative interactions are what separates the strong recruiters from the rest, having the restraint to abstain from responding to negative public comments about your advertised position, or having the ability to remain friendly and cheerful on the phone to the applicant who sounds offended that you dared to contact them about a job that THEY applied for, is hard work, but it's important.
I recently saw a fundraising advert on Facebook posted to an Australian job page, it was fairly generic, nothing out of the ordinary, until a member of the group commented, warning other people not to apply as it was a job to be a ..... "Chugger". Now in most instances, I would have expected a recruiter to be monitoring this post, to have seen the comment and removed it, however, the next part was a mess. The recruiter then made the biggest mistake, they got personally defensive and they retaliated.
I watched uncomfortably as the exchange continued, a member of the public stirring and baiting the recruiter and the recruiter continue to return late into the night taking the bait. What started as a job advertisement ended in being the total destruction of the fundraising agencies recruitment identity and their reputation on a popular job site. What started as one negative commentator turned into 2, 3, 4, and 5 people attacking fundraising and subsequently the charity that was being promoted.
I'm not recommending that recruiters sit by and allow people to criticize the amazing work that fundraisers do, but I do recommend making wise choices, especially when it comes to being the public face of your organization, simply removing the comment would have been the end to the interaction. We all make mistakes, and it's important that we learn from them, or in this instance, those of others.
According to a survey completed by Hirewell - "69% of active candidates are more likely to apply for a job at a company which manages its employer brand".
As recruiters we plan out recruitment strategies months in advance, we spend hours writing adverts, creating brands, building our social media to reflect our companies visions and values, constructing positive phone screenings to acquire the best talent, can we really afford to let our arrogance destroy all of this in a matter of seconds?
By having a professional presence on social media and having positive interactions on the phone, candidates will be more trusting of our brands. Make sure that you are only ever posting, or communicating in a way that reflects your companies visions and values because in recruitment, brand identity matters.
Our role as recruiters is to find the passionate, the charity focussed and the driven and make them want to apply for our roles, our time and our image are our most valuable resources, let's make sure, we make them count.