Something happened to me in January 2005. I had been in sales for eight years and decided to make a change. I started my career in recruiting in 1995 with an agency and left in 1998 to pursue other opportunities in sales. I had decided I had enough. I never wanted to be a sales person with a quota again.
I enrolled at St. Edward’s University in early December of 2004 and was accepted the day before Christmas Eve. I was excited and scared at the same time. I hadn’t gone to school since May of 1995 and the thought of re-entering a classroom was a bit daunting. How was I going to manage my work life and school? Was I going to be able to make this change? I wasn’t married at the time and didn’t have kids, so I knew this was the best and only time for me to do this.
I looked down at a piece of paper that told me the class, teacher and room I would be in that night. Human Resources Development; DR. Allan Pevoto. Oh Boy. Thoughts were racing through my head. Can I do this? What have I got myself into this time? That was until he spoke. I had no idea, nor do I think he has ever known, what a profound impact he made on my life that night.
“Hello. My name is Allan. Not Dr. or Mr. Pevoto or anything like that, just Allan. I put my pants on just like you do; one leg at a time, so please don’t call me anything else.” Allan was real. He didn’t have an “S” on his shirt; he was just out to help others pursue their dreams.
I realized at that moment that we are all just people. Some people have high profile jobs and are extremely successful, some of us have PhD’s, some of us work on the manufacturing line, some of us are electricians, and some of us can’t find employment. Any way you look at it, we are all just human beings on this earth. We all have an expiration date and we cannot change that.
I didn’t make the jump back into recruiting until February 2008. That was 10 years after I first entered the field. When my recruiting career resumed, I knew I had something to give. Since I had this attitude that everybody is created equal, it didn’t matter if I was recruiting a call center candidate or a Chief Marketing Officer or a Top Secret Security Cleared Sales Engineer, they all deserved the same level of respect.
We are all given some special gift or trade that makes us unique or different. It is our job as recruiters to make sure we place people in the right job that correlates to what they do best. We listen to what their passion is, what they have exceeded at doing, and help them get to the role that fits best for their career aspirations.
As recruiters when we talk to candidates, we need to be like Allan. We need to be real, not judgmental. It is okay to get to know them. At the end of the day, after work, we all have interests and commonalities. This could be we all come home to our family and children, it could be that we are interested in playing with our new I phone 5, or it could mean we are gearing up to watch the World Series. Relationships are the name of the game. Helping others because it is the right thing to do and because you will need their help down the line is the reason we are in the recruiting business. Expect nothing in return and you will receive more than you ever wanted.