You’ve probably noticed how when relationships are truly personal conducting business is much simpler and productive. There comes a time when you need to make that phone call or get the meeting, and it happens because of the goodwill you’ve built over time.
In recruitment this is invaluable. I meet everyone we support and represent. And I stay in touch with those I’ve met, especially when there is no immediate opportunity. This allows for the relationship to meaningfully evolve.
The short version of the story
A strong relationship with executives helps me appreciate their higher-order goals and ambition for the company they lead. I understand their business and want their success as much they do.
That’s how we connect great candidates with the right companies at the right time.
This is how it went in a mid-sized business that needed a push to overcome a challenge
A client needed to upgrade leadership in one of his company’s business units. This group had been neglected and it was impacting their client relationships. I was working closely with the CEO, and I knew he had a vision of the ‘type’ of person he wanted to hire…. the career progression, hard skills, industry experience, leadership capabilities, and compensation range. But this client puts a high premium on having an ‘entrepreneurial mindset.’ He gravitates towards people who have a knack for getting things done, with minimal direction, and by building consensus within senior management.
After speaking with a few dozen candidates who fit the ‘profile’ and meeting 7 of the most promising, I felt only one candidate would connect with the CEO and the rest of the senior team. There was a shared vision towards the value of people and a transparent leadership style they all embraced. And the candidate had the “it” factor. But he had much more experience than the job description called for: he’d held executive leadership positions within teams, managed significantly larger budgets and his compensation was well above the intended target range.
It’s what you’re listening for that helps you find a better solution
After several meetings with this candidate, I knew he was the only solution to my client’s challenges. Would my client see it that way? Could the CEO and his team accept a candidate that was more experienced? Or would they hold tight to the job description and ask me to help them hire a less experienced, less expensive candidate?
I’m pleased to say they agreed to go with the candidate and it’s paid off big time. Their new employee has exceeded expectations. He over delivered on rebalancing the department, bolstering client confidence, and becoming a valued member of the senior management team.
Trust from overdelivering on expectations
The CEO relied on our relationship as a guide to listen to the opinion of a person he values. Because I’d provided value to his company before, he was open to thinking differently and accepting another opinion. This is one of the hallmarks of a growth mindset.
If the CEO had simply viewed the hire as a series of skill sets and experiences, without seeing the potential of the candidate and valuing my relationship, it would have been a missed opportunity to make a significant leap forward.
Being in it for the long haul
The interview process for this position was incredibly long. But strong relationship built over time allowed us to manage it successfully. Deep connection with all parties involved was critical through successful hiring and onboarding processes.
Relationships made it all possible.