It’s my business’ first birthday, which is a perfect time to reflect and prepare for the upcoming year. Over the past year I’ve seen client relationships flourish, candidates blossom in new roles, and I’ve met my business goals. For the most part, business seemed to resonate, but on occasion it hit a disharmonic chord. The reason for the bumpy moments: I was stepping out of the boundary of what makes my business authentic. Next year I’m committed to resonating so that my placements and network grow stronger.
I defined what resonates for me using a few steps:
Step 1: Reviewing the patterns through the past year and noticing what was in place when things were feeling good.
Step 2: Examining past unsavory experiences and identifying the antonyms of those words. I tried not to dwell here.
Step 3: Envisioning the future and imaging what I would want to be said about my business after 20 yrs. What was it known for? What were the big successes?
After reviewing all of this I boiled it into patterns and words that resonated for me. This is what I came up with:
Community - Initially I thought that I valued ‘partnership’ but I realized that it’s greater than that. I partner with the client. I also partner with the candidate. Ultimately I am in the middle of a community, which is winning together. I’ve worked with clients who overlook the candidate experience and I’ve also worked with candidates who are unbearable to be around despite a strong skill set. Both of these scenarios have been major fails for me. I've realized that I need both sides to respectfully and mutually enter into a partnership. Additionally I care for the community at large by giving back through a percentage of profits or volunteering hours.
Sustainability - So, you have a candidate who looks amazing but has jumped around every year? Well, who isn’t doing that these days! Actually, I do best when I work with candidates who don’t jump around and with clients who have employees who like to stick around. My background in running HR departments for tech and gaming companies has given me insight into the importance of what happens after the employment agreement is signed. I want to ensure that I am choosing parties on both ends that will result in a prosperous future. I like to work with candidates and clients who have an appreciation for sustainability on a macro scale in which the businesses carefully asses the impact of their decisions on the environment and world around them.
Accuracy - Here’s a little secret about me, I don’t like to spend a lot of time recruiting. I have another life in which I teach yoga and meditation and I also have a handful of creative hobbies. In order to indulge in all of this, I can’t waste my time and I don’t waste other people’s time. I do best when my clients and candidates allow me to ask a lot of questions from the start, give me a lot of info up front, and stay communicative regarding shifting priorities and needs. Ideally I like to get a slam dunk on the first submission, which saves everyone time and money... now go take a vacation!
Nurturance - Folks, I’m not going anywhere. I don’t place and disappear. I like to check-in with my candidates and clients. I’m often advising people well after they’re placed. I’ve had some clients and candidates go dark on me in the process and I see that as a warning sign. I do best when the nurturance is mutual.
At times I’m tempted to compromise on these values because a) there’s a lot of potential money in throwing your integrity in the toilet by spamming resumes and hoping that one lands and b) it can be hard to find the perfect fit. But, ultimately I know that all of my little decisions add up and that compromising can lead to a muddled, sub-par network. I remind myself of this to get back on my game, refocus my energy, and remember that I want the best network in the business even if that means short-term losses. I mean really, what am I afraid of? That I will be destitute on the street if I don’t fill that one role for that one company that pumps toxic waste into the ocean (ok, that’s an over-exaggeration but you get my point). My work is in weaving all of those pieces together so that I can proudly watch my web shimmer.