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Recruitment troubles – bad karma or destiny

14. June 2018 /
Screen-Shot-2018-06-14-at-22-21-55-(2).pngIt is always nice to invite some candidates to our office for interview. I like this a lot. It is always a unique opportunity to learn something new, to share something about us and our mission and I try to understand what is the motivation of the candidate to join our team. I am energized when I see promising CV, I am curious and always hope to see fit with our expectations in real. I am imagining to how we are nurturing qualities of the candidate to become a rock star and how our business grows and shapes in consequence. Seeing my colleagues grow is amazing.

Recently, my joy for hiring turned bitter. Let me share with you why, on examples of two recent candidates. For both their CV was just great, and I couldn’t wait to greet them.
First candidate – currently in managerial position
“I am marketing director in [some] institution”, says politely a younger lady when we met. I am member of the board. And I am looking for a new job because [realistic reason].
“It is fantastic! We are looking somebody for the marketing. What do you do in a single day?” I asked her.
“I am in charge of this daily administration, for example if somebody needs business cards or we need branded pens, so I will arrange this”. 
“Common, you can’t do just this”, I commented in disbelieve.
“No, not really. We are from time to time opening a new branch. And I am in charge to make sure they all use the same layout”. 
“Great, how you do that?”
“I ask the agency to design it according to our design manual”.
“And how do you know you need to open a new branch?” 
“My boss will tell me”. 
“So you do not have any strategy or market analysis that you could use to propose new branch in the area based on something?”
“No, I don’t do that”. 
“Did you ever do something like market segmentation or design of marketing plan?”
“No, it is my boss doing it, probably. Never seen that”.
“Do you have some formation in marketing?”
“What do you mean?” 
“Something like CIMA certificate or similar, just any type”. 
“No, never heard of”. 
“How long are you doing this?” 
“Well, 3 years or so”.
“Do you like learning? Studying something new?” 
“Of course, I like to go to trainings”. 
“What was the last one?” 
“I don’t know, I have not been for long time. No budget”. 
“I haven’t asked about current company only, but have you paid yourself for some training?”
“Do you read books?” 
“What would you like to do, if we hire you? What is your ideal type of work or area or responsibility?” 
“I don’t know, you tell me”.
Salary expectation: 50-60k Kč.
Another candidate – currently an employee
“I am marketing manager in a company - reseller of [leisure time] vehicles. I do marketing”. “Great, how you do it?”
“Well, our product sells itself, so our customers already knows us, we don’t do much here. But we try to keep them active, so we do small events for them. We plan for the ride, on particular date and send them a newsletter”. 
“What tool are you using to send it?” 
“I guess Mailchimp”. 
“You guess, so you don’t do it yourself, right?” 
“No, our technician does, I prepare content. I mean pictures”.
“And texts?”
“No, somebody will write it”. 
“You have never written one?” 
“Who does graphical design?” 
“I guess technician with somebody from agency. And then they mail it”. 
“How many people reads it?”
“I don’t know”. 
“There are statistics, have you see them?” 
“No, maybe technician knows about it”. 
“You do not care about impact?”
“You do not analyze feedback and traffic data?” 
“What are traffic data? Our equipment sells for itself, our customers already knows it”. 
“How long are you doing this? 
“2 years”. 
“Do you have any formation in marketing?” No. 
“Have you been already at some trainings somewhere? For example, Mailchimp or some specialized CRM that assists with marketing activities”. 
“No, but I like to go”. 
“Why don’t you go on your own? Some courses are not very expensive. 
“On my own, why?” 
“How do you learn a new stuff?” 
“Do you read books?”, “No”.
Salary expectation: 40k Kč
I do not know what to think after such meetings – frustration, disappointment. I recruit for 2 years already. My great day has converted itself into a bitter one. I do not write this as critique. Just to share my observation. And I ask myself why is this? Is this a result of destruction in families? Or an illness of society? Or is it a business card of their current employer? Do I miss something? 
I run a small company, and I indeed I have to count every penny twice before I decide – invest our hardly earned funds and start cultivate these people, who might bring some fruits in 2 years from now? And will they stay so long? Will they be able to progress independently or will I have to inspect daily the progress and basically push them forward? How much should I pay them? Minimal salary seems to me too high.
PS: Both are indeed areal cases. I did my best to reproduce it as it happened. I have slightly modified the organizations.

About author: Michal Vallo helps managers to understand agile techniques, benefit from its adoption to their organizations and consequently radically improve organizational overall performance. He is principal, agile trainer, coach and manager at Aguarra, founding member of Agilia community and organizer of Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress in Olomouc and Agilia Budapest conference.
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