I had a bit of a “sliding doors” moment last week. Michael Lai, one of Mantech’s up-and-coming recruiters, placed a software engineer into a great tech company last week. The candidate in question turned out to be someone I placed in what was one of my first placements at Mantech almost 18 years ago. It caused me to do a little navel-gazing, ponder things like “where have all the years (and hairline) gone etc. More importantly, I thought about my capabilities back then compared with what a newbie modern recruiter knows now.
Back then, we had a rudimentary CRM/database, a skill-coded candidate entry without any attached candidate CV and a phone number (landline most likely). I figure I made a shit tonne of calls, found someone who both actually listened to my garbled pitch and was at the right moment in his career and fitted neatly into a company I was recruiting for. No finesse, no influencing skills (shout out to Greg Savage on this point) and for sure, an unmemorable candidate experience.
Nine months into his recruitment career, Michael is a far superior recruiter than I was. He has to be- the market would spit out someone who operated like I used to.
He had an in-depth face-to-face customer visit to obtain the brief. In consultation with his client, mapped out target companies to headhunt from and got to work. He actually went out of the office, had coffees with potential candidates (if you consider a weak soy latte a coffee) and ultimately brokered a great outcome for both candidate and client. The candidate came to our offices and gave Michael a nice bottle of single malt to thank him.
Clearly a much more memorable experience this time around.
Written by Richard Center, Mantech’s Director