As I slowly prepared dinner on a Sunday evening; I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between enjoying the delicious ambrosia and the satisfaction of placing a candidate. However, when we think about either of these concepts, we tend to focus on the ending – that magical first bite you take or the moment someone signs a contract. What we often overlook, on the other hand, is the meticulous and tireless activities of the talent acquisition team that take place behind the scenes in order to make this possible. In the heart of the recruiting kitchen, I will walk you through the glorious valley of rib eye steaks and interviews with rock star candidates as part of the recruiter's cookbook on making hires.
No one can discuss the importance of the chef in the meal preparation process, of course. However, what we often overlook is the importance of the quality of the ingredients that are going to be used. With the right ingredients, a chef can prepare a dish that is truly magical and worth remembering. In a similar fashion to recipes, each company is unique. Therefore, each hiring process will require our recruiter to “handpick” the candidates with great care and attention to detail. It also goes without saying that a chef would never prepare a dish without knowing every single ingredient that goes in. On top of that, this chef knows how these ingredients taste beforehand. As recruiters we achieve this tasting through the initial introductory calls that we make in order to ensure the candidate is worthy of being part of this mosaic.
Once we are certain of the quality of our ingredients, and we feel ready to begin, we start to put the candidates through the interview process. As they climb higher in the interview ladder and get closer to being hired, things really start to heat up in our kitchen. Yet, if we leave the food on its own, it will surely burn – regardless of the quality of the ingredients. Once a candidate is submitted, and the stove is fired up, the role of a recruiter changes into a consultant. With the grace and agility of a chef (though not the temperament), we make sure the meal is prepared to the specifications of the recipe; whether in the form of emotional support or playing an intermediary role between the hiring party and the candidate. This is also the stage where the most colorful conversations take place between the recruiter and the candidate. As the two parties get closer, the kitchen fills with delicious scents.
When your candidate reaches the finals, the steaks are the highest; this is it! The cooking equivalent of this situation could only be when you need to add one critical ingredient when the food nears completion. But it must be done in a very narrow time window and in the right way, or the entire dish will be trashed. This is the moment when flames roar over your frying pan and you feel its heat on your face. As the chef, this is the moment when you need to pay the most attention. As the recruiter, you need to make sure your candidate is emotionally and mentally ready to take on this last challenge. The candidate has started his or her journey within that company with you and it would only be fitting if it would end with you right on his/her side. Within this framework, your candidate will either get rejected and be a sub note in the history of the company, or get hired and not only actively affect it but also be a part of your legacy within that company.
ofWhat good is cooking if you don’t have nice people around you to share it with? They say it is even tastier when shared with someone. You slowly place your dish, let it rest a little, make small artistic touches and present it to your hiring manager with a glass of wine. Now all that remains is to sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of your candidate being hired. Enjoy!
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