“Ashley Madison” candidates – you know who you are…jumping from employer to employer and recruiter to recruiter.
I’m sure by now you’ve read about the Ashley Madison fiasco…and by fiasco, I actually mean ‘bless those Robin Hood hackers for putting their skills to good use.’
It’s been all over the media, and most recently some of the headlines state the situation keeps getting worse “Worse for the website owners…worse for the real victims, for the millions of people named in the hacked data dump, and their families.” Please…let’s actually be real here about applying “worse” to everyone involved in this situation. It’s really only a nightmare for the spouses of people who were paying members of the site in the first place.
If you were a member – well, you’ve been “found out”, now you’ll have to deal with the repercussions of your decisions.
If you were a victim – consider it a blessing that you know the truth now about your spouse. You probably deserve better.
If you’re AshleyMadison.com, what an unbelievable waste of talent on this so called “company”. You are a pond-scum blob of non-integrity and lies, disguised as a website to generate cash…founded and based off of ZERO moral principles. Greed and profit at its finest! What blew my mind most, was that there were people who were actually going to get behind this thing, and try and take it to an IPO? That’s sad. Please people…wake up.
So let’s put that big spotlight back on you, my “Ashley Madison” candidates. Don’t worry, this is just a little tough love to make sure you get back on track with your career. My intentions are pure, and my passion about integrity runs deep, especially when it comes to marriage and careers (two of the most important things in a household).
WHO ARE YOU AGAIN?
What AshleyMadison.com members are to their marriage, you are to your career search: unfaithful, not loyal, and not committed. I don’t mean to come off harsh or trite, just stating my perspective on the situation, based on my experience as a headhunter. You hop from job posting to job posting, recruiter to recruiter.
WHAT YOU DO #1: SPEAK TO EVERY RECRUITER, AND SEND YOUR RESUME TO ANYONE WHO ASKS FOR IT.
I use LinkedIn just as much to my advantage as everyone else, but what I’m stating here is that you do your research and have a conversation with a recruiter first, to see if it makes sense to move forward (before you send off your resume and get involved in an interview process that may not make the most sense for you professionally).
- You end up wasting tons of time, doing countless interviews and telling the same story over and over again. You become a great storyteller and interviewer, but chances are, you may not be the “A” player candidate the employer needs to get the job done.
- You increase your chances of landing at the wrong company, resulting in more job hopping and career unhappiness.
WHAT YOU DO #2: PUBLICIZE YOURSELF TOO EASILY ON LINKEDIN.
Ever heard “Less is More”? The same applies here. Listing on your LI profile headlines like “Ready for a New Challenge” or “Looking for New Opportunities” won’t help you move forward towards the right opportunity, and it positions you as an Active candidate. Every recruiter on the planet can find you, and the right recruiters (who know the difference in value between Active vs. Passive candidates) will see you as low-hanging fruit, and won’t even touch you.
- Because their clients don’t want low-hanging fruit, and you are seen as a “B” or “C” player. Even if you’re not, this is the perception.
- Immediately the recruiter and employer see your headline and think “This guy looks like he’s probably talking to everyone, so I can’t imagine he really knows what he wants, or how he could add value to my organization.”
- Employers actually trust the intentions more on Passive candidates, because this individual isn’t running from anything, they would be running to something (a new opportunity). This behavior displays a higher level of commitment to the big picture, because Passive candidates are only going to move if the opportunity significantly advances their life personally and professionally.
WHY, WHY, WHY DO YOU BEHAVE THIS WAY?
You’re programmed to treat all recruiters the same (usually like a commodity, or pretty much like a bookie).
The conversation usually goes like this. Instead of you asking your bookie “What’s the line on this game?”, you ask the recruiter “Whatcha got??” when they call.
Unfortunately, recruiters give other recruiters a bad name. As I mentioned in a previous article, we may have all gone to the same school, but we didn’t all graduate with honors. Not all recruiters are created equally, but I can understand your behavior, based on bad experiences you’ve had.
The culprits are those recruiters who try and hook you by spatting out their clients’ names, just to try and throw you in an interview process (a weak sales practice in my opinion). They’ll say anything to get you to take action, providing you and your career with a square peg/round hole approach. Once again, doing our industry, your career, and their client’s brand a disservice. Think about it, do you share your product or service with anyone who wants to know, or do you have a process that weeds out the people who aren’t worth your time? Same goes for headhunters, that’s their job – to protect the brand/value of their clients’ companies!
Pay attention to the questions the recruiter asks you. You can usually identify if the recruiter is a “player” or not, based on the questions they ask. Again, if the recruiter starts throwing company names to you, without taking interest in finding out who you are or what you want, they may not have your best interest at heart. Most likely they’re just trying to get your resume quickly to pass along to a client.
ALERT! If a recruiter sends you an Email/InMail etc., with a job description and a company name, without developing a relationship with you first – DELETE! You’re not dealing with a professional, they’re making it about them and not you.
HOW WELL HAS THIS BEHAVIOR AND APPROACH REALLY SERVED YOU?
Did it land you your dream job, or did it just get you a J.O.B? Chances are it’s the latter. This behavior, in turn, causes companies to be skeptical of hiring you, and delays their process because they’re scared of having a mis-hire.
In the end, your ultimate goal is to land at a company you enjoy, which in turn leads to you being successful in that role and hitting the expectations of your employer.
Voila! Candidate and Employer are achieving their desired results.
Here are some tips for both parties to land at this happy place.
STAY FOCUSED on the current task at hand, generating success in your current role (so that you can continue developing a killer track record). Interviewing in today’s market takes time and effort, and engaging with tons of recruiters takes you away from that. Stop jumping at every red shiny apple/recruiter/LinkedIn job posting/InMail that you receive. They are all distractions that won’t help you land your dream job!
PARTNER STRATEGICALLY with one recruiter, who specializes in your desired industry, and who has your best career interest in mind. “A” players know they need an agent. If more were better, why don’t actors/athletes all have more than one agent? Because working with one agent allows the “talent” and the “talent agent” to develop a relationship and strategic partnership – identifying and pursuing opportunities that are best in line with the talent’s interests and next level career goals.
A great recruiter will know what companies fall in line with your goals, and they can help guide you to the right roles, with the right leadership team to help take you there.
KEEP IT CLEAN on LinkedIn. List only relevant information, and remember, less is more. LinkedIn should not be a dumping ground for your entire resume. Don’t worry, the universe has a great thing about timing, and when you’re ready, the right recruiters will find you.
CHANGE YOUR APPROACH, and don’t treat every recruiter the same. If you’ve had a bad experience in the past, don’t limit your upside with a real recruiter. The top recruiters in your industry have many connections, and the ability to show you opportunities you wouldn’t be able to access yourself. We’ve all had bad experiences in the past, but that shouldn’t halt us from moving forward – just be savvier in weeding out the unqualified recruiters from the rest.
DO YOUR RESEARCH when you’re ready to explore a new opportunity. Find out everything you can about your dream role or company, and what it takes to win in that position. Interview a few recruiters, and find someone who is niched in the industry you desire. For example, one of the top recruiters in the world, Scott Love, places only partner-level attorneys with top law firms throughout D.C. Scott has become a specialist in his space, and every partner-level attorney knows that Scott is the guy with the insider information.
HAVE FAITH and allow your recruiter to do what he/she does best – sourcing the market and bringing you only opportunities that are next level for you. When Tom Cruise is lining up his next project, do you think he’s wasting his time reading 50-60 scripts? No, he trusts that his agent has brought him only the top roles that make sense.
PARTNER with someone who is niched in your space and knows how to qualify the right candidates, in order to bring you the “A” players, because:
- Your livelihood and the success of your company depend on it.
- This will allow you to be in a better position to win going forward. Every successful CEO knows that talent partners are their biggest asset.
The top headhunters are not resume slingers who just jump on LinkedIn, expecting it to be raining “A” players…
BE AWARE of who your internal and external recruiters are bringing to the table:
- Active candidates usually result in a mis-hire, and they are your “B” and “C” players. You’ll end up having to make the best decision, from the worst talent pool in the market. This will waste more of your time (your most precious asset) and delay your ability to make the right decision.
- Your talent partners should know to only share your brand, opportunity and value proposition with qualified executives, not just anyone who happens to respond to an Email or a call.
- Strategic talent partners shouldn’t take your job order and re-post it on their own LinkedIn profiles and website – it only will attract more Active candidates.
DECREASE your chance of a mis-hire by knowing and understanding the difference between a Passive (“A” player) versus an Active (“B” or “C” player) candidate. This will help you build a team of world class talent.
Any successful career, just like any successful marriage, requires faith, commitment and loyalty. I believe we can get a much better result with these qualities in our character, in both areas of life.