Its been a busy three month period. Despite having holidays due to festivities it has been a fruitful three-month. I’ve learnt a great deal of experiences of late, despite having being in industry for a long time. Either that, or I forgot what is like to go through the pit-falls and excitement of the headhunting world after a long break before this.
To be successful in this industry despite having technical domain knowledge, there is a whole lot of other essentials that a person has to have. Let me think:
You have to be a people person, posses a positive mental attitude and a strong one, to be very receptive to people’s thoughts, ability to have good listening skills, a definite persuasiveness, not a giver upper, to view perspective from both clients and candidate and lastly to be very assertive.
Let me take 3 points form the above: Assertiveness, listening and being a people person.
Well assertive. You are neither passive nor aggressive, you are assertive. You never are at your 100% everyday, you go through a phone call and to find that the other person is not responsive or the 2 hour interview was not a total fit. At times you may experience that, for all the hard work you have put into a position, and if that position has been filled by another headhunter or you were just plain late. Well too bad, it’s a risk, it’s a gamble hence your planning towards a position or a vacancy went down the drain. After all that hard work has gone to waste, because we headhunters also have targets to meet, it may seem like it’s the end. But wait a minute, you have done your work, why not use it for another company? Well sleep it off, don’t be passive and complain and don’t be too aggressive and get drunk and pick a bar fight. At the end of the day, you know what needs to get done, when a position like that arises and be on top of things. You are assertive, you pick yourself up, you remain confident and you move on to a next assignment.
Listening. Apparently I do not have the best listening skill, however I am improving that. Although it has been years. I believe your listening skills take years to develop. It is critical; to listen to specific words, to understand our candidates, to make do on how they have chiseled their careers, how did they go about planning a project, with what methodology the used, describing their weakness and strengths and so on. I have notice at times, in interviews; my candidates might not have the best listening skill. When we talk, we get cut off or they jump to a conclusion. 74% of our listening make up for 100% of total communication, the rest is speaking and non-verbal communication. At times I realized when I am doing a profile report, I suddenly loose specific information hence in an interview it is 100% focus; which involve listening, reading both person and their non-verbal communication. Listening is crucial, crucial in all areas especially in meetings!
People Person! You have to love people, you have to like people and you have to be passionate about people. We are agents who make a difference in peoples lives. Giving them new opportunities and greener pasture. We add-value in peoples lives. A lot of recruiters do not get this fact right! It is about the numbers game and doing just a job! It is not a JOB it is a career. Well, being a people person, you need to discover what is good about them, identifying mistakes and pitfall and strengths and experience. The total package. You have to understand people from various demographics, culture, backgrounds, race, religion and ethnicity. No one person thinks the same. A lot of times, people are influenced by these important factors and it is important to know, why people think differently than others. It is all variable facts that a headhunter has to identify and relating it to personal strengths. You can sell a BMW or a Ferrari because the facts speak for themselves, at times with people, you have to dig deeper than what's surfaced on his or her CV :).
I recently told a candidate this: Leverage on what you have done outside the job and speak of your accomplishments. It says a lot about an individual. Not everyday you find a 2nd Lieutenant in the Reserve Army Unit.