November 19, 2015

The Journey: Listen. Care. Candidates Are People Too.

Last November the team and I kicked off our first retained search call with the task of building a team of Biostatisticians. I had never worked on this type of role, but I could tell I’d be talking to some smart, very smart, people over the next 6-12 months. This was our first impression of the search. The pressure was on. After going through my typical search progressions for a few weeks, it was time now to execute and begin the most enjoyable part of my job: having meaningful conversations and learning from my personal experience to find the catalyst candidate who would be the first piece to building this team.

In early December, I had a candidate apply to one of our job postings on the regional BIO association’s website. Great! Someone raised their hand, let’s submit the resume and get the individual in process immediately right? Negative. I wanted to win, but I knew I had to slow down and treat her like a passive candidate. The criticality of this position made this even more important and I needed to make sure this candidate was the right fit, for the job and culture. People aren’t one-dimensional and even if they apply to the job and their resume seems like a home run, that’s not their full story. Our job is to get the full story.

After the initial phone screen, I interviewed her for over an hour. This conversation is when I learned about her personality, confidence, and desire to lead. She appreciated that I listened, and more importantly, that I cared. It became clear to her that I did not view her as a potential placement, but as a person just like me. This is why I love my job. The personal experience one endures throughout months of conversations is what brings me back to work each day.

I am proud to say today that she was hired in late February. Only weeks later, she and I had grown so close that she referred me two qualified friends to join the team. Both interviewed and one was hired on in April and the other started last week. What made this all possible? The answer is having a strong understanding of what matters to that person every day throughout the process. Day 1 is most certainly going to look different than Day 60 and beyond during a search. The management of this journey is imperative to being successful and when you take the time to listen to people, when you care about them as people, amazing things can happen.

Tags: resumes, executive & professional search, #powerofpersonal, employer brand

Author
Tony Julian

As a member of the Executive & Professional Search team, Tony identifies high level talent by reaching out to candidates from healthcare and life science organizations across the U.S. Tony’s main concentration has been in pharmaceutical marketing and within the last year has taken the lead on key searches for TSP in this space. Before joining TSP in 2013, Tony worked for Mission Essential Personnel, recruiting linguists overseas to support the reconstruction and peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan and various other countries throughout the world. Search Consultant by day, long distance runner and sports fanatic by night, Tony enjoys watching his Cleveland Cavaliers and Ohio State Buckeyes as he rarely ever misses a moment of action.

More from this author