It’s an “evolution”

My husband and I are firm believers in “evolution”. I’m not talking about the process by which living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified over the course of history, but rather the process by which we live and set goals. Let me explain.

 

Every year, every birthday, every job, every home, every time in our lives we should strive to make it better than the last. Like most things in life, evolution is never linear. But to trend upwards, to be able to say that I’m healthier, happier, more engaged, more “complete” today than I was yesterday makes me incredibly happy.

 

I’ve been lucky that, throughout my career, I’ve been able to make this same kind of upward trajectory. There have certainly been times where I questioned what I was doing, why I was doing it, and for whom I was doing it for. Over the course of the last 13 years, I lived by something an old mentor told me, “Strive to make yourself uncomfortable. That’s where you’ll grow the most.”

 

I have made a lot of mistakes, leapt (and tripped face first) over hurdles, turned my back on opportunities, and have jumped because someone told me to. Every single decision I have made, good or bad, has led me to where I am today, and, for that, I am thankful.

 

We may not all start off in a career/job that we dream of, but the ultimate goal is to get that place where everything feels “right”. I encourage you to make yourself uncomfortable.

 

Try something that you didn’t think you’d do… professionally, or personally. Be like Nike and “just do it”.

 

 

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Person vs Candidate

As I was preparing a candidate for their final interview, he closed the call with this statement:

 

“I feel like I’ve been treated like a person, not a candidate… thank you for that. It’s so rare and it really makes you guys stand out.”

 

This was music to my ears!

 

Riding high on my giddiness, I publicly posted a snippet of the above quote on Twitter and LinkedIn. Not more than 24 hours later, I had a slew of direct/private messages asking something along the lines of “how can I make this happen for me, as a candidate?”

 

I had to take pause on this because I failed to realize that few candidates realize that it’s not them, it’s us!!! This has nothing to do with what you (candidate) are (or aren’t) doing. The responsibility lies 100% on us, the Recruiter/Recruiting Team/Hiring Leader that you are working with. It’s our responsibility to reach out with updates when we have them – or don’t have them. It’s our responsibility to connect with you on a human level. It’s our responsibility to give you the respect that you deserve as a candidate.

 

Candidate experience can be two-fold.

 

On one hand, very much like a company’s culture, how a Recruiter approaches candidate experience can come from the top. How is the organization differentiating themselves in this fight for talent? How will candidates remember the company after the interview process is over? What will candidates tell their friends about the company, regardless of whether they receive an offer?

 

On the other hand, candidate experience can be very recruiter-driven. How well do I (recruiter) want to be remembered by you (candidate)?

 

I don’t know who to address this blog to, so I will address the two parties.

 

To candidates — You are not doing anything “wrong” when your experience is subpar. No excuses from us as recruiters. It’s not ok (in my book).

 

To recruiters / hiring leaders — Let’s follow the golden rule of recruiting… Treat candidates the way you want to be treated.

 

PS – Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

2018 SKO Reflection

Allow me a moment of reflection.

 

This week, Pluralsight held its Sales Kickoff in Orlando, Florida. Over 300 individuals in the sales organization, together under one roof, celebrating the huge year we had in 2017 and planning for 2018 success. To hear the tremendous feats that we accomplished this year left me walking away from each session with a smile.

 

What made me smile more was meeting many of the 200+ sales hires my colleagues and I have made over the last 12 months. Those individuals who made an impact in 2017. Those individuals who will make a huge impact in 2018.

 

But, what made me smile even more was the fact that every single person we met was here for the same reason… and that energy overflowed! They all believe in what we are trying to accomplish as a company. They feel the passion that exudes from our leadership. And they all want to work together to lead towards success. The intensity is contagious!

 

As we move into the week after Kickoff, I leave you with this message…

 

Find a company whose mission and values you can truly stand behind. It is then you will do the best work of your life.

 

Love what you do.

 

 

The “Athlete”

What makes someone an “athlete”?

This question randomly came up in a recent conversation with a friend. When she responded, her answers were purely physical, “Someone strong, someone [muscularly] built”. Her definition of an “athlete” centered around physical capabilities.

Google the word “athlete” and you get a slew of dictionary-term definitions — a person who is trained or skilled in exercise, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility or stamina. By this definition, I grew up — and am — an “athlete”. I played competitive water polo, ranked nationally as a swimmer, and continue to push my physical limits.

However, when my friend flipped the question back to me, I found I have completely different take on being an “athlete”. To me, being an athlete is about one’s mindset, not physical capabilities.

Being an athlete is:

  • Striving for constant improvement. Kaizen.
  • Knowing that there will be days/weeks/months that suck but pushing through it anyway
  • Knowing that setbacks are just that
  • Taking one step backwards to take two forward
  • Showing consistency and perseverance.

If you have ever done any hiring or recruiting, I’d be willing to bet you have been told to “hire the best athlete”. But, what does this mean?

“Hiring the best athlete” does not mean that you should go look for D1 football players, Boston Marathon runners, or the next Serena Williams. The underlying common trait that these world-class athletes possess, after the super-human genetics that bless them, is that they all have that mindset that sets their drive… their driving motivators.

When you’re told to “hire the best athlete”, hire the ones with the intangibles listed above.

… Then tell them to flex so hard that their sleeves fall off. 😉

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Partnering with recruiting

There is a “lightbulb” moment for every recruiter when their hiring leaders truly partner with them. It doesn’t happen often enough (unfortunately), but it does happen. And, when it does, we want those leaders to know that we are grateful for your collaboration with our efforts. Together, we can accomplish so much!

 

I am proud to be a part of a company where every one of my hiring leaders puts hiring as a priority, and sees recruiting as an extension of their own business units. Recruiting is more than just filling seats. It’s finding the best person, with the best skill set, and the best attitude for that seat. It’s finding what works, not only, for the candidate but for the hiring leader. It’s finding that beautiful match.

 

That being said, to all you hiring leaders who partner with your recruiting team…

 

THANK YOU!

My Recruiting Toolbox

Every recruiter has one… their go-to box of the latest-and-greatest gadgets that help reach and engage with candidates to fill their pipeline.

Over the last decade, recruiting has changed. A lot. When I initially got into recruiting, I was filling my pipeline primarily through inbound applications, a lot of cold calling (hello whitepages.com), and employee referrals. Today, my arsenal includes, but is not limited to: text messages, Twitter mentions, hashtags, and timed-email blasts.

Keeping on top of trends is important to keeping any career robust. Though I must say, there are many who are extremely successful sticking to their “old school ways”. Major kudos for keeping up in an ever-changing industry!

I’ve played around with a lot of different tools over the past few years, and have landed on the ones I use religiously. Below, I list my Top 5 tools in my toolkit.

  1. LinkedIn — Every new-age recruiter says “I don’t rely on LinkedIn”. They lie. While some candidates in some geographies don’t live and breathe on LinkedIn, there are 450 million profiles on there that we can search. That’s a LOT of people, guys! While I don’t necessarily agree that LinkedIn Recruiter is an absolute “must”, being active on LinkedIn is.
  2. Email Hunter — A cool little Chrome extension that sits on top of LinkedIn. When you go to someone’s profile, a red “Email Hunter” button appears. Click on it, and it searches for an email that is likely to get you connected. 99% of the time, it is a work email. But, hey. I guarantee you they open their work email every day!
  3. Mixmax — I’ve always said that recruiters are professional stalkers. Mixmax allows me to take this to a new level. I can track when my emails get opened and when links get clicked on. I can actively see when you open my email, and I will ping you RIGHT when you do because I know you’re looking at my message. Sneaky, I know. On top of this, Mixmax offers a slew of other things I love. You can insert calendar availability to schedule candidate screenings (we use Googlemail and it integrates seamlessly, but I’m unsure of other servers), schedule emails to go out at a certain time/date (useful for overseas recruiting efforts), snooze emails to reappear in your inbox at a later time or date (great for those emails that aren’t super urgent).
  4. Prophet — A free Chrome extension that allows you to see information about people – email addresses, phone numbers, and any social sites they are active on – as a pretty little pop-up on the right hand side of your screen. The only downside is that this extension will not work on top of LinkedIn (as most don’t, ugh). I’ve found this to be a great tool for really understanding who a candidate is. What are they passionate about? Are they bad mouthing their employer on Twitter? Ooooh… puppy!
  5. Rapportive — This is a Chrome and/or Firefox extension that allows you to see a person’s LinkedIn profile right in your Gmail inbox. Once you open an email, you can see their picture (if they have one posted on LinkedIn), their location, what they do, the company they work for, and any shared connections. I’ve found this particularly useful in building instant rapport when getting responses back from candidates. Pretty nifty.

Do any of you use these tools? Do you use any others that aren’t on this list? If so, let me know! I’d love to explore them!

Recruiter