Working within the Recruitment Industry has honestly been the most challenging obstacle
I’ve ever faced, but by far the most rewarding. No matter how much your General Manager explains to you just how much Resilience is required in this field of work, you can never be fully prepared. The best way to describe it is like an emotional rollercoaster – one minute you’re exhilarated, euphoric and on top of the world, before immediately crashing down to the ground with no idea how to get back up. That ability to pick yourself up for the 10th time after falling down 9 is the ticket to another ride and let me tell you not one ride is the same.
I’ve now been at Optimum Consulting for four months and feel like I’ve experienced every emotion possible, but thanks to the team I’ve learnt the importance of Emotional Intelligence and its connection to Resilience. You can try and control a situation as best as possible, reiterate to a candidate or a client every last detail and confirm their position or interest in a matter, before an unforeseeable factor or detail emerges and all that hard work you’ve put in feels like a waste. You’re back at square one. But that fire and determination to get back on the ride to reach a desirable outcome defines resilience. An exceptional consultant will accept the situation, assess it, and to the best of their ability move
on to create or navigate towards alternative opportunities. Because at the end of the day, week or month, the struggle was worth it and you more importantly remember the unforgettable feats you’ve overcome and experienced along the way.
Although Resilience and Emotional Intelligence are the greatest lessons I’ve learnt thus far, there are a few others I’d like to share for anyone considering an entrance into the industry. Here goes!
1. We are people dealing with people
This seems like common sense right? As individuals we all have different needs and elements of importance, which all align to our own specific circumstances. Our job isn’t to match a job brief with the perfect resume, that’s too transactional. Instead, it is to make the perfect match between an employer and employee, which ultimately ties into the next point.
A specific example would be a recent candidate who is completely overqualified for a certain position they showed interest in. But because of her desire to focus on her young family and have work-life balance instead of previously wanting to climb the corporate ladder she was successfully shortlisted and subsequently placed into the role. So her skill set was not perfect on paper, but had the right attitude and aptitude for the company. It comes down to the old saying – do not judge a book by its cover.
2. Attitude and Aptitude
Yes, I understand key technical skills are important, however they aren’t the be all and end all. A prime example is when a particular client wanted a candidate to have had experience in a specific software package; understandably so that person could come into the position and hit the ground running and as you would assume complete set tasks to a higher and more efficient standard then someone without that prior knowledge. However, we presented one person without that software package experience, and guess what – they got the job! Due to their attitude and aptitude along with cultural fit, in the long-term, this is more important for not only this business, but in my eyes – all.
3. Body Language
This is one of the very first lessons I learnt at Optimum because something so simple like poor posture can destroy ones credibility or control in any environment. I won’t share with you my embarrassing, but now laughable experience. I’m sure many of you would have heard the assertion that 90% of communication is nonverbal, right? Well according to one study at UCLA, the impact of employee performance is determined 7% by the words we use, 38% by the quality in our voice and 55% by our nonverbal communication.
This reminds me of a time when my General Manager warned me – email is evil! I don’t think I have ever sent him an email since! Don’t get me wrong email is great, but when you’re sitting five metres away from someone why don’t we just walk over and communicate face-to-face? If you really want to get your point across, get up, walk, talk and be aware of nonverbal communication!
4. Two ears, one mouth
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. In our field of work, this is extremely important. Getting an accurate job brief from a client or understanding what’s important to each candidate during every interview or conversation requires much more listening than talking. In my eyes, a consultant should do the least amount of talking in these scenarios.
5. Internal relationships
This is one of the toughest lessons of all. As Optimum was my first professional job out of university, which aligned with my HR degree, of course I needed and wanted to make an impression. Looking back, this is when two ears, one mouth became important. I needed to sit back and assess how to act, what was appropriate and more importantly what was inappropriate. In doing so, I believe I was able to understand the culture a little better and work towards communicating in an acceptable manner. However, I totally underestimated just how important internal relationships are. In our industry we need to trust each other’s judgement because most of the time there is a lot at stake and a lot to lose.
So there they are – my top 5 lessons or tips! Don’t get me wrong I’m definitely no expert and am very much learning every day, but I do believe the points just listed were crucial to my development. I wonder what the next four months will hold…
Emily Kasprowicz – Consultant