I’d like to see an end to the use of the terms ‘clients and candidates’; the words belong to an outdated style of recruitment. In this exciting era of global business transformation, aren’t we all looking for a more meaningful connection with our business counterparts? Doesn’t it make more sense to be a trusted adviser? 

It’s no surprise that recruiters are aware of this shift. What is surprising is how many of them are out of step with it. Plenty of lip-service is being paid to values and connection but by all accounts there’s still a transactional approach to driving revenue and focusing on the end placement – There’s the client, there’s the candidate, there’s the job; now hustle! 

It’s just lip-service because you can’t fake a genuine connection, it has to be part of your own value system. 

V is for Values

I met an HRD at a BBQ not long ago. She was new to the role and said she was implementing this really interesting change and transformation program. She was talking about the challenges involved in defining the brand and getting that out into the market, as it’s not well known. It was fascinating. I shared our story around the similar challenges we faced as we didn’t even have a brand; we’d only just created one! We got so passionate talking about brand and values that she insisted, ‘I need to hear more about what you’re doing’. The feeling was mutual. 

I wasn’t ‘selling’ to her; if anything we were assisting each other.  Yet happily our encounter has led to a trusted business relationship.

Maybe it’s because I believe so deeply in the values and purpose of my own company that I’m keen to have these conversations. But I do know I’m not alone in my belief that people come to you because of why you do what you do and what your organisation is trying to achieve.

Before you think I’m sinking too deeply into the warm-fuzzies I should point out this isn’t a feel-good exercises in niceties. Connecting with business sector leaders and top candidates at a core level makes sense for all involved. I think the free transfer of knowledge and information can evolve entire sectors and the key people in those sectors. It’s just good business.

Any resulting business deal is almost a bi-product of the relationship you have developed through trust and value-adding.

T is for Trusted

I met this amazing guy last September who’s the CIO and Head of Innovation and Customer Technology at a large property group. He was deeply interested in my leadership training and wanted to know how he could improve his performance. I suggested he might do well to take on a reverse mentor. Someone opposite to him, younger, with a fresher perspective, a switch on digital native and possibly a woman. I arranged a meeting between him and a like-minded individual who I thought would fit that bill.

He called last week to say that I’d become one of his most trusted advisers because I’d taken the time to get to know and help him.

I have learned that when professionals like the CIO or the HRD do need help they will approach me first. They have come to know and trust me, and seeing as I understand their business needs and their culture better, I’m in a position to really help them.

So let’s be done with the client/candidate terminologies and all it implies. There is no intrinsic difference between them, or at least there shouldn’t be. They are individuals who want genuine contact with allies who understand their needs. Who can help them define and achieve their goals, grow and succeed. Heck, I’d like that too. 

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