Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Everything You Do Today Matters Three Years From Now

My good buddy and colleague, Paul Myers (VP, Business Dev - WorldLink, Inc) convinced me that I needed to attend an HR Breakfast Briefing this morning sponsored by HR Search Firm (Levy Curry) and Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, Inc.

Breakfast - speaker - and networking ... all excellent. But it's the networking part that's had me scratching my head all day.

I was speaking with somebody I had just met. Another person walked in to the conversation (an obvious friend of the person with whom I was speaking). She overheard me talking about one of my former employers and began to relate a story:

"About three years ago I was interviewing with that company (where I'd previously worked), for a VP of HR role. I remember interviewing with a recruiter and he took careful (honest) consideration to explain to me the details behind the companies culture and the pros/cons of working in the environment. His approach to the interview gave me the specific information I needed to make an informed decision, and I decided to pass on the opportunity as I didn't think it would be a good culture fit for me. It was a very positive experience!"
I quickly shot back,

"That was me! I'm the one that interviewed you for the VP of HR role!"
We both laughed - smiled - and got a good kick out of the memory. Within minutes, she handed me her business card and asked me to call her next week where we'll be discussing how I can assist her company in their job search efforts.

On the drive back to the office I couldn't help but think of the awkward conversation that could have taken place had she been less than satisfied with the interview process I'd conducted over three years prior. Certainly, we wouldn't have laughed nearly as loud, and, I'm positive I wouldn't be engaged in the possibility of supporting her company in job search.

I was then reminded of my favorite Walt Disney quote (that I actually heard delivered by Tim Sanders, one of my favorite conference speakers):

"Long after people forget what you did for them, they will remember how you made them feel."
And that is why everything we do today (every candidate-conversation - every placement - every customer-interaction - every...single...interview) will matter three years from now.

Because, in fact, each one has tremendous significance today.

Yes, processes are important.

People are more important.

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