Awkward Moments in Recruiting

Episode Summary

In a recent coaching conversation with a Recruiting Leader, a real-life incident unfolded that holds valuable lessons for all leaders and recruiters. The story is filled with tension, learning, and growth, and it’s one that resonates with many who have faced unexpected challenges in the recruiting process.

The Recruiting Leader was in the midst of hiring a top salesperson, and everything was going perfectly. The process was followed meticulously, and the team was on the brink of making an offer. But then, something unexpected happened: the offer was accidentally sent to the potential hire’s corporate email inbox. The tension in that moment was palpable.

Here’s where the real lesson begins.

In the past, some might have sidestepped this issue, avoided it, or even ignored it. But what was learned from this conversation is the importance of embracing the tension.

Understand Your Internal Workings: Knowing the organization’s processes and asking hard questions can prevent such mishaps.

Embrace the Tension: When awkward situations arise, face them head-on. Be real, humanize the situation, and take responsibility.

This incident not only applies to the recruiting process but resonates through all aspects of leadership. It’s a reminder that the recruiting process reveals the character of a leader. Embrace the tension, learn from it, and grow. It’s in these challenging moments that true leaders shine, attracting others with authenticity and strength.

Full Transcript

So the big question is this, how do recruiting leaders like us who have 12 to 15 other job responsibilities win at this game of recruiting? How do we build a system that allows us to recruit effectively in a minimal amount of time while motivating recruits towards meaningful change? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers.

My name is Richard Milligan and welcome. To recruiting conversations. Welcome back. It’s another recruiting conversations with your host, Richard Milligan. Thank you for continuing to support this podcast. I’m excited. I got a alert from my podcast ranking system last week that this podcast is once again in the in iTunes top 200 for the marketing category.

So that means that you, the listener, are sharing this with people that you know. And so if this podcast brings you value, I would be honored if there were two things that you could do for me. One of the things is this. Our greater vision is that we want to impact 10,000 recruiting leaders now that’s in a single year.

We wanna impact 10,000 recruiting leaders. This year we’ll impact somewhere around four to 5,000 recruiting leaders. And our 10 year objective when we started this organization foresee recruiting in 2017 was by the year 2027, that we would impact 10,000 recruiting leaders by helping those leaders live an ideal life and lifestyle.

There’s seven ways that we impact leaders. I use that word in that vision statement, and for those of you that have followed this podcast, you know that I am drinking my own Kool-Aid. Vision is everything when you’re trying to build a team. So that vision was something that was established at the beginning of, you know, this organization starting Impact Seven things that we do.

Ideal Life and lifestyle means there are five things that we believe we’re helping leaders accomplish, and those five things are doing what they love with who they love while making a greater difference with fair compensation, with time to spend that with people that matter most. If it rolls off my tongue, it’s because that vision, I live eat, I breathe it just as if you were a client, a coaching client of mine, we would work to make sure that you had your own tenure vision and that you were living it out to the fullest yourself.

And so if you’re finding value in this and you know someone else that’s a recruiting leader, just at the top of this podcast, I would be honored if you pause and you did two things. One, leave a review. That’s one of the most powerful things that you can do because when someone looks at and has the option of investing their time somewhere, reviews make a an incredible difference.

Whether someone will dive into a podcast or not, social proof is so important in the world today. I would be honored if you would take a couple of minutes and do that for me. The second thing is this. Who do you know that needs this? We’re gonna dive into a difficult topic today. Some of you have lived this out where awkward things happens in a recruiting process that are outside your control.

How do we handle those things? There’s a recruiting leader somewhere that’s really challenged with this. Got a text this morning, do you have five minutes? I said, yes. Call me now. Coaching client call comes in, they say this, this is the recruiting conversation we’re going to have today. They say this Perfect recruiting process, an incredible recruit, a top sales person in their industry.

They followed the process that I teach, that I coach to. It’s been perfect, absolutely perfect. Up to this point. They, they, they walk through this process of gaining agreement around making an offer. And we’ll, we’re gonna cut a couple of podcasts around that idea here in the, in the coming month. So stay, stay tuned.

’cause that’s an awkward space for a lot of leaders. You’re ready to, you, you find this awesome, amazing person. You find that you’re aligned. They would bring a lot of value to your team. Okay. Someone you would really enjoy working with. You get to this spot where you’re like, I’m not sure if it’s, I’m ready to make the offer or not.

We’re gonna talk about that. How do you handle that conversation? This individual handled that conversation incredibly well. Got gained agreement around making the offer. I mean, we were getting close to the finish line here in these moments. You go through your process, what’s your process? Well, a lot of you have probably an online document or a portal that you go to.

You input all the information, what the offer’s supposed to be. HR has their own process, right? Maybe they send it back to you and you approve it. Maybe you go to a portal and approve it. Maybe you’ve got permission to fill in all the blanks yourself. It depends on what. Company you’re with and what their internal processes are depend, would depend upon what role you play in this.

Well, in this particular organization, the information gets passed through a document goes directly to the HR department, and the HR department sends the offer directly to the potential hires corporate email inbox. Okay, so insert massive amounts, attention. Like, if you’re that leader, just pause here for a moment.

If you’ve ever had this happen, which I have in, in my journey of, you know, almost 30 years being a recruiting leader, where, where you get to this place where you’re making an offer, the last thing you would ever want to do is send that offer to someone who’s currently employed at another company to that company’s inbox.

So if you’re in a highly competitive industry, it’s possible that could trigger something. Internally. And so, you know, whether it’s true or not true, I would tell you that I would say a lot of people think that their organization at some level is skimming or, or, or has some trigger set up internally you know, to alert when certain things show up in the inbox.

And if you’re in a highly competitive industry, it is possible that that could actually be true. I can tell you there were a number of times where just even sending information to a personal email account seemed to trigger something. And I’ve had someone who was getting on a plane to come do what we would call a corporate site visit while they were still employed at their company where they took a day off and were coming to check out who we were as an organization that got a call from their vice president.

And they said, if you get on that plane and you go check out that company, you will come back unemployed. And I got that phone call. Hey, who did you tell? I hadn’t told anybody. So something happened. In the middle of all this process where it red flagged their employer that this person who’s a highly sought after individual and someone we want to retain here is looking at making a move.

Okay? Now we’re not here to talk about that part. What I’m here to talk about is this moment in time where something creates tension. Incredible amounts of tension in these moments where you’re nearing the finish line. If you recruit enough people, if you go through a recruiting process of identifying people and making contact with them, at some point you’re going to have this happen to you.

You do this enough now, in this moment, what do you do? Okay, here’s what I’ve learned. You’re recruiting who you are through your recruiting process reveals who you are as a leader. Lemme say that again. Your recruiting process. Reveals who you are as a leader. Remember this, if you listen to this podcast, it’s most likely you’re a recruiting leader.

You’re someone who’s leading a team and is also responsible for recruiting to that team. Your recruiting process reveals who you are. How as a leader, do you handle awkward moments, moments of great tension or friction within the team? Like pause for a moment and think about that. How do you handle that?

As a younger leader, what I would tell you is that I avoided the tension, I avoided it, and in my recruiting process as a young leader, if this were to happen where the offer got sent to the email inbox for their corporate organization in some way, shape, or form, I would try to sidestep it. I would try to avoid it.

I would not address it head on. Now as a more mature leader, what I understand is this, is that tension avoided Is tension multiplied? Lemme say that again. Tension avoided is tension multiplied. Now there we can split some hairs here and say, well, there’s a difference between tension and friction. Tension is healthy and friction is negative.

Right? And I would agree with that. In the recruiting process, we could, we could just shift that word a little bit and say that friction avoided is friction multiplied. So, but I don’t wanna get caught in splitting that hair in this moment. This is a very awkward situation. Something that this leader didn’t want to have happened, happened.

It’s a larger company. Those things are going to happen inside the internal workings of the machine. What are you gonna do in this moment? I want to encourage you to think about that now. Don’t wait for that moment to happen. Think about that now. Define that now. Who are you as a leader? Your recruiting process reveals who you are as a leader today.

I can tell you this. I run at tension. I run towards the tension and, and, and it becomes a bit of a bend. You do this enough times, it’s like you just, it’s a play in the leader playbook. You run towards the tension. Now you’ve gotta make sure that you’re, you’re, you’re ready to deal with it, right? Sometimes you gotta make a phone call and you gotta understand what’s going on and what happened.

That’s just being wise. But I’m going to run towards this, okay? Because that is going to reveal who I’m as a leader. So the key thing here, and this is how the conversation went, was what should I do? And I said, I want you to find out what happened very quickly. And if you can’t, It’s okay. Pick up the phone and call them, because the heart of that leader was, they were mortified.

They were like, this is this, this. They’re a very thoughtful, considerate leader with great intentions. And, and, and by not running at this situation, it allows that individual to create their own narrative. Well, when you start to think about this, what narrative could that possibly be? Well, the narrative could be you did it on purpose.

Because you want me to get fired so that I have to join your team. That could be a potential narrative, right? So we wanna run at this and then just be real, be you. Like when, when he said this to me, okay. I said, I literally said, you’ve never heard me curse on, on, on this podcast. I said, oh, blank. I can’t believe that happened.

Was being real. That was being me. Now my, if my kids heard me say that, they would be, oh my gosh, I can’t believe Dad just cursed. ’cause I, it’s just not something that I do. But in that moment, being real, being me, humanizing myself, I was like, I can’t believe that we did this. Okay. And, you know, that would be you.

So I would pick up the phone and just say, man, I owe you an apology. I must, I’ve missed something in this process that triggered that being sent to that. That’s on me. I. I owe you a massive apology, and here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to figure out what triggered us sending that email, and I’m going to make sure, I’m going to ensure that we have no further communication with that inbox.

I want you to feel confident of that. I’m going to run towards that tension. Okay? So I’m having this conversation with you today in this podcast because this is this, this, this is a ripple effect that goes all through. Your recruiting process, it goes all through your leadership. And this is something that as a maturing leader I’ve had to grow into, I’ve, I’ve had to really embrace this idea that when I avoid tension, when I avoid friction, that that friction doesn’t go away because I’ve avoided it.

It literally gets multiplied. So regardless, like there’s a chance, let’s just say this, in this situation, there’s a chance that this recruit. Could have been so upset that they said that reveals who they are as an organization, and I’m not going to join the team. And as a leader, I’ve gotta step into that.

And, and, and if that’s what’s going to come from this, then I have to literally just embrace that, learn from this, and move on. A second takeaway from you in this is this. Make sure you understand the internal workings of your organization. Make sure, make sure you understand that. Some of you are new to building teams.

Some of you, you, you’ve got this, but some of you are also new to companies. You’re an, you’re a mature leader that’s been a recruiting leader for a long time, but you’re maybe at a new company you’ve got before you submit to HR through your process to get the offer out. Okay. One of the things you’ve gotta do is make sure you drill down and ask great questions.

Talk to other leaders who have built teams. Talk to your key people in the HR department. Ask some hard questions. Make sure they’re aware that you don’t want this offer going to an email address that you might have actually put into the system. So when be proactive here, knowing that this could happen.

And that second part is when it does. You run towards the tension in this. And what will happen is this, when you humanize yourself, when you’re real, when you’re all you, you’re attractive. We talk about the attractive leader framework a lot, right? Where everybody wants to work. For an attractive leader, I want, there’s strength in the leader that runs that friction.

There’s strength in that leader, and I wanna align with that leader so, Thanks for tuning in the day. Stay tuned because we’re going to do a two podcast back-to-back podcast series here coming up. We’re actually gonna address how do you get into that conversation and ask that question, can I make you an offer?

In the recruiting sequence, it can be an awkward place. A lot of times we’re not sure, are they cold? Are they warm, are they hot? How do we get to a place? Where we insert a thermometer, a temperature gauge to see what, whether they’re 32 degrees cold, 72 degrees warm, 102 degrees hot. Where do we insert that question?

Can I make you an offer? And how do we have that conversation to make sure that we actually have a, a sequence, a next step created in this that moves us towards the finish line? Because recruiting’s pretty simple. It’s simply a series of next steps. So stay tuned for that. They’ll be coming the next coming weeks.

And until I talk to you again, have a great week everybody.

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