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Friday, May 22, 2009

Swing and a Miss

This lesson from the recession goes out to all of those recruiters and hiring managers out there. Listen up, this is important.

Never forget that the job you are hiring for may be a project on your list, a check mark on your task list, I get it, you are busy. But to us, it's the means to pay the mortgage, can we afford the 11 yr old to be in band, can we afford a date night in the midst of this storm. For you a task......for us .....our life.

After months of networking two great opportunities finally started to progress. Both of them THE job not just a job. One with a large speaker manufacturer and another with a reputable company starting a green certification. These were two of the industries on my guy's hit list. Score! Two leads working in the right direction.

Both opportunities came from networking. First phone interview scheduled, check. Resume reviewed again, check.

First phone interview - done - went well.

Wait for response, wait, wait, wait.

The phone rings. We look at each other before answering. Every.... time.

Second phone interview scheduled. Exhale. Progress. Thank you God.

The day of the interview, even a phone interview, the energy in the house is palatable. Up early, on the treadmill, shower, have a good breakfast, be upbeat, be pleasant, bring your best self. You've studied the company, we've drilled on the possible questions. Ready, bring it.

Hang up the phone from interview. Call me at work to report. It went well. Exhale.

They schedule a face to face interview. Two weeks later. Two weeks feels like forever. It's been 3 weeks since the opportunity came in already. Two more weeks. It's still progress. Thank you God.

Face to face interview. Polish shoes. Should we buy new shoes? Are you going to wear that tie? Go buy a new shirt. And get a new tie while you're there. Do you want me to come with you. Call and get in for a quick haircut.

Honestly, is this an interview or prom!

We go over crazy interview stories. Make sure your car is clean in case he wants you to drive to lunch. Some people do that to see if you are neat and orderly.

Don't walk on the grass on the way in the door, one of my clients doesn't hire people that walk on the grass. (True statement, frightening)

We go over directions, at least 15 times. He leaves ridiculously early.

I call 3 times in the 3 hour ride to the interview to tell him he's great and I love him and not to forget what a rockstar he is. Who's more nervous? That's debatable.

He calls before he leaves the parking lot. Thank God because I've looked at my watch 100 times in the last 90 minutes.

He sounds great. Conversation went well. Really well. The job is way bigger than he thought but he's excited about this new division and really wants to be a part of it.

Three hour drive home. We rest easy tonight. Progress feels good.

He comes home and writes quality thank you notes that we pour over line by line.

Then we wait.

Luckily interview number two comes along quickly and provides a welcome distraction from the waiting.

Here we go again. This time my guy has been recommended from a previous client to this company. Wow! That's way better then submitting a resume on a job board.

Phone interview. Goes really well. I've not seen him this excited in awhile. He's more of a practical realist so to see him excited is really cool.

Another interview with HR. Again, we prep, plan, prioritize, pour over data, practice the answers, pray like crazy. Eight hours of prep for a 20 minute interview from a sheet of questions from a worksheet I'm guessing. Regardless, he does well. Next step.

VP of the division. Phone interview. Again, we go through the pain staking planning and prep. He calls me 10 minutes after the scheduled time for interview. I panic when I see his name come up on my phone. Did he miss it! Did they stand him up!

No, it was a 10 minute interview. The guy asks 2 questions, hears what he wants to hear and asks him to come in for the final face to face interview. The fourth interview for this position.

We're elated and a little miffed. The emotions of this roller coaster ride are exhausting and this guy only has 10 minutes to spend with someone he's bringing for a final interview?

Meanwhile, opportunity #1 hasn't responded to any follow up messages. Now you sit and guess and wonder how often you should check in to balance the "I'm interested", with "I'm a stalker" continuim. We review the interview together looking for clues of what is or isn't. Exhausted.

Opportunity #2, still progressing. All the prep, all the practice, this time with new shoes and a new tie.

Another 3 hour drive. He interviews, he calls. It went great. Now let me clarify what it means when my guy says it went great. This is a guy that can be sitting down for a fine meal in a five star restaurant and you can say, "how's your meal, honey." and he'll say, "It's ok. The steak isn't quite rare enough, and the potato would be better with some bacon, but it's good." Meanwhile I'm salivating over every bite. So, when my guy says it went great. We're talking KISS in the 70's great. The real deal.

I start dreaming of walking through Target with a Venti latte and buying something just because it's on sale, not because I need it. The good ole days. Maybe I'll get a pedicure, or a massage! What will it be like on that great day when the call comes and the smile spreads across his face in that little smirk and I hear him say, "I got it." We were this sure.

All the thank you's written, the appropriate follow up.

Two days, Five days, One week. He wakes up, it's been a week! He's frustrated. I remind him of the whirlwind of work in the life of the employed. I tell him I've had two clients have to call me twice this week because I'm so behind. I remind him that hiring this position is one of a hundred things these people need to get done. I remind him that most people are doing two people's job. I say, maybe they went on vacation right after the interview. Maybe they got hit by a bus. He's down. I'm down. Roller coaster. Exhausted.

Two weeks, almost three. Time for an intervention. Tough times call for tough measures. Not one follow up call from either place!

He sends out a message to Opportunity #2 offering to work on contract to prove himself and begin to research the territory and prepare a sales strategy. I read the email, it's good, really good. With this email he gets a response. They've put a hiring freeze on until the start of their new fiscal year.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! Could someone have called and let this guy.... this family know! Do you know how many calls from family and friends this guy has taken, did you hear yet, did you hear yet, did you hear yet?

He sends a similar message to Opportunity #1 offering to do research for the new division on a project contract basis. This one gets a response too. THE SAME THING, hiring freeze!

Now, opportunity #1 has their fiscal year ending in less than a month. We hold out hope. And we wait another month and a half. No word.

He reaches out again. They've hired the other candidate who had a little bit of stereo experience.

(hear the sound effect of air being let out of a balloon and spinning around the room)

Now, here's the lesson for you recruiters and hiring managers. Please remember that we are waiting by the phone like a 16 year old with a crush. We know you are busy. Please call us and keep us updated. If the person you interview isn't the right fit. Tell them. Tell them quickly. Tell them honestly. If the position is on hold, send an email, a text, smoke signals, keep us in the loop.