My father is a dentist. No one likes going to the dentist. It usually costs a lot of money, and without a doubt, there are varying degrees of pain. A toothache is awful and the thought of someone working on that tooth is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

One thing is certain though, people come back to see my father. He is  70 years old and his patients are loyal. Some of his staff has been around for 40 years and people genuinely like him. No one dreads seeing my father. He is the man Bill Cosby describes in his stand-up act “The Dentist” and always asks questions when you have a mouth full of gauze and a needle in your mouth. People still come back. Why?

It is the simple things. My father has always called his patients after he eats dinner. This is not required. No one is telling him he has to do this, but it means so much to the people who trust him and his expertise. Their mouth is usually sore and they usually don’t feel great. My father erases the fear, and makes them smile (even if it is crooked from the shots).

What have I learned from my father?  What has he instilled in me that makes me the man I am today?  What have I learned from him that have made me a better father, husband, Christian?  What lessons have I taken from him that have made me a better recruiter?

I aspire to be like him every day.  Here are 10 things my Dad has taught me.  So simple.  So basic.  You will be a better person for doing these things.  As a recruiter, I have applied these simple rules.  This is how it has helped me in my profession.  Recruiter or not, you should do these things too.  Here is how it has helped me.

  1. Treat Everyone as You Would Like to Be Treated. Every candidate should be given the same level of respect as the other. Go the extra mile when working with them.
  2. Have an Excellent Response Time. No one likes to hear from a recruiter 2 days later. Try to get back in touch with them within 30 minutes. This is for working with managers and recruits.
  3. Don’t Have a “What’s In It For Me” attitude. What you do for others will come back ten- fold. Do something out of the kindness of your heart, not because you expect something in return.
  4. Listen. Don’t try to fit a round peg in a square hole. Don’t talk over them. Find out what their ultimate job is and help them realize that goal.
  5. Maintain Relationships. If you are a recruiter, you will run into them again somewhere. Make sure their onboarding experience is the level that you would want it.
  6. Think Before You Speak Easier said than done.  Right?  Listen to what others have to say before you jump to conclusions and take time to articulate what you really mean to say.
  7. Be Thorough. Explain the job, the benefits, the people they would be working for and what to expect.
  8. Get to Know The Candidates on a Personal Level. Make the recruitment process easy for them.  We are all humans.  We can not help everyone, but what comes around goes around.  This is a small world and you never know where you may cross paths again.
  9. Be Honest and Tell Them Why They Aren’t Selected. You would want the same thing if you were the candidate.
  10. Smile. It is contagious. Make people laugh. People can tell if you are smiling on the phone. Give it a try.

What basic principles would you add to this list?  What rules do you live by?

** The above picture is a picture of me and my father circa 1977.