Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

I just responded to a blog on http://www.recruiting.com/ called, "Why Smart People Choke Under Interview Pressure." Being in the interviewing business, my pet peeve is candidates showing up for interviews unprepared. I waxed on about the importance of "preparation," even quoting one of my old favorites (Merlin Olsen) who said, "There is no substitute for preparation."

And then I got to thinking about our responsibility as recruiters. We're accustomed to holding the candidate to a high standard, but if held to the same, would we receive a passing grade? Teddy Roosevelt said, "I have a perfect horror of words that are not backed up by deeds."

We talk a good game - integrity, character, respect. Do our deeds reflect our words? What does the mirror say when it's really pushed to tell the truth?
"Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the
fairest recruiter of all?"

Does it answer -

"O worthy Recruiter, though fair ye be, there is none fairer far to see, than...Mr. Steven Levy!"

A reference, of course, to the out-of-the-box-thinker and recruiting guru extraordinaire, Steve Levy .

It is surely a two-way street. We have great expectations for the candidate for whom we gave a measly 24 hour interview notice. Are we equally as prepared? Do we know our customer's key business objectives? Do we have a solid understanding of the requirements for the position and know what this person needs to accomplish over the next three to six months in order to be considered successful? Do we know the two or three things a successful person would need to do to make sure they achieved the major objectives? Do we know the major challenges in the job? We certainly understand the technical skills required - do we know how the person would actually use these skills?

These are tough questions. Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror, eh? But don't get me wrong - I'm not asking us to lower our candidate expectations - not a chance. I'm just wondering if we're living up to our own expectations; or if we, like Teddy, too often have the privilege of looking at the horror of words that are not backed up by deeds.

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