Wrong approach, predictable outcome

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It has been a while since something has bothered and perplexed me that much. Recently I have been involved in a lengthy recruiting process for an important and challenging role as a senior executive.

The role as such is a challenging and very interesting endeavor, it implies business restructuring, reorganization and a lot of work. So in one word the role is interesting but challenging and involves a lot of personal sacrifice.

The recruiting process

It started somewhere 8 months ago with an urgent request to meet because the project is kind of urgent and they want to have the person on-board asap. Been there had a nice pleasant discussion and left with the “we’ll get back to you asap”.

After ~ 6 months of still no feedback until suddenly, the project is urgent again. I went there again to have an interesting, nice meeting with one of the shareholders that seemed down-to-earth and straight to the point type of guy.

During this entire time the discussion was, we want to know you and to see how you can bring value to our business. Up to this point the discussion has been rather normal, they want to see if you fit their organization. Keep in mind we are talking about a TOP MANAGEMENT recruiting process. Their statement was we want the best possible executives for our business.

The do’s and the don’ts

When we’re talking about professional TOP MANAGEMENT recruiting you have to present and deliver the best possible business behavior, no lack of communication, no rescheduling, no being late during scheduled discussions, no nothing that can put you in a bad light.

The most important aspect is to communicate adequately with your potential candidates, the candidate does not have to ask you if the project is still alive and he is still a valid candidate in the selection process.

One more very important thing, please do not forget that the economy is not in it’s booming phase where recruiting is not an issue. The 21st century economy is transforming itself slightly into an gig-economy. Considering this please keep in mind the following:

  • good people are hard to find
  • good people are not cheap to get nor to employ
  • the salary is not the only discussion point, the total benefits package is
  • work-life balance is very important for top executives, especially for GenX executives (more details here )
source : https://www.thebalancecareers.com/common-characteristics-of-generation-x-professionals-2164682

The outcome

The recruiting process was heading towards its end with me agreeing to almost all conditions and requirements. Until this moment I was under the impression of a one-way discussion, with me not being really able to tell my demands and requirements.

I could reduce everything to one request , that could transform this process into and win-win and not into an win-loose. I requested some flexibility towards the entire process, that was strongly denied

My position was and still is that I don’t risk everything that I have today for something that might be and that I have no control whatsoever.

So after being shot down due to no flexibility from their side, my question is how urgent and how important is the recruiting process for this top executive role ?

It appears that even though we are in the 21st century physical workplace presence is more important than getting things done.

To wrap it up, the company has started a new lengthy recruiting process for the same TOP MANAGEMENT role, again very much time and resources wasted, formal is more important than getting things done.

To wrap this post up , this kind of an approach I have witnessed many times during my consulting missions.

Dear shareholders, equity funds, stakeholders

don’t just talk the talk, please do also walk the walk.