The hardest button to button

I recently read an article emphasising the importance of recruiters being more selfish with their time – candidates who give you the run around, clients who are a pain in the bum and colleagues who weigh you down.

It almost seems contradictory that while most recruiters are ruthless and money hungry, I feel that most of us genuinely care about the people we interact with. When you spend your day communicating and learning what makes people tick, you end up a bit attached to them.

This is why we sleep next to the blackberry and eat a soggy vegemite sandwich at our desk everyday – because you know the minute you’re not on guard, you might miss that all important phone call.

What is the see-saw perfection of recruiting? Where is that equilibrium and work-life balance that people speak ok? To be honest, my mind never turns off, irrespective of the job I’m working in. Back in my repping days, most night I would dream about sitting in waiting rooms and detailing doctors, just to wake up and do it for real.

I argue the point that when you let these things consume you, it becomes natural to you, it’s part of you. For people who can ‘switch off’ at 5:30pm, walk out the door and leave work at work, I envy you but at the same time if I were your colleague, I’d be wondering how invested you really were about your career…

I try not to be judgemental and you are not me (obviously) so just because I can’t switch off, doesn’t mean because you can, you are any less dedicated than me.

So I digress – being selfish with your time. We’ve all had it and we’ve all kicked ourselves later for letting someone take advantage of your energy and kindness (or whatever it is that you’re giving). Surely, from a business perspective, drop the dead weight and go search for someone who will make your business thrive. It’s scary to tell a client “look, I don’t think this arrangement is optimal for our respective companies” but what’s worse? You end up cringing and avoiding phone calls or worse yet, they won’t return your calls and you’re left wondering what the hell happened and why you spent the last 3 weeks bringing up eager candidates for them to do an internal transfer anyway? The icing on the cake is having to call those said candidates and break the news to them.

That’s the worst, hearing someone who is dead keen on getting a job, has every box ticked and for some reason, they don’t get it. Through no fault of their own.
And you have to call them, they say it’s ok, they’re polite and ask for you to think of them if a future position comes up and you say you will. My heart sinks.

But hey, this is the game and I’ve been told, the highs are soaring and the lows are head-bashingly bad. I was warned.

So what can I do? Take the emotion out for a minute – look at it from a pure business perspective. Use metaphors for clients and candidates, make them objects, make it someone else – if it weren’t me, would I still advise them to take the same course of action? Hone your skills and you will be burnt far less.


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