During a recent webinar, recruiter and trainer Ami Givertz reminded his attendees that in your comfort zone there's no learning, and in learning there's no comfort zone.
I couldn't agree more. The painful truth is that when faced with adversity—such as a recession or a dip in the job market—our natural tendency is to retreat to a defensive position, rather than mount an all-out attack.
Building a wall might provide a sense of comfort, but the higher the wall, the more difficult it is to see over it and figure out how to fight back.
Tie the Hand that Feeds You
In my training sessions, I've seen several different kinds of walls that recruiters build to protect themselves. Ironically, it’s those same walls that have the effect of limiting productivity and stifling the creative spirit. Here are three examples:
"Gee," the hiring manager tells you. "I'd really LIKE to do business with you, but you'll need to speak to Martha in Human Resources to get approved."
Most recruiters in this scenario just go with the flow. They call Martha and end up getting the runaround. But there's a different approach.
When the manager says, “I really need your help filling this critical position, but you’ll need to clear it with Martha," you say:
"Okay, here's what we'll do. I'll put you on hold for a second and we’ll get a conference call going with Martha. Then YOU can tell Martha why it's important for me to work on this assignment and get the job filled. What's her extension?"
Nobody’s HAPPY about a soft job market. It’s like Tolstoy said in the opening sentence in Anna Karenin: That happy families are all the same, but unhappy families come in a thousand variations. I get calls and emails every day from unhappy recruiters who hope I can give them a snappy turn of phrase or a magic pill that will turn their business around. But as the comic strip character Pogo famously said, “We have seen the enemy and it is US.”
I’m confident you’ll survive during times of adversity. It just takes a little more work to tear down the walls.
- Bill Radin
Bill Radin is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books, tapes and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. Bill’s extensive experience makes him an ideal source of techniques, methods and ideas for rookies who want to master the fundamentals—or veterans ready to jump to a higher level of success, more immune to future recessions.