Posts Tagged ‘deadlines’

Wal-Mart man crushed by shoppers on Black Friday: Related to recruiting?

December 1, 2008

Last week some of you may have read the sad news of the man crushed by overzealous shoppers at a Wal-Mart on Black Friday (see the article here).

As sad as this news is, and not to downplay this by any means, I began to wonder how many times I myself may have “crushed” a good candidate in a similar way. In order to do this self-evaluation, I had to look at some of the key reasons why such a tragic event occurred in the first place.

First and foremost, the shoppers had been waiting a long time. Some had waited all night to be there at 5am for the opening of the store to get one of only 10 bargains available. In recruiting, there are always deadlines. Sometimes those deadlines are to fill a particular in a particular time-frame. Sometimes those deadlines refer to an added bonus for the year, quarter or month. In other instances, we are just so desperate to a fill a role due to our lack of effort, or lack of effectiveness for a period of time, we are thirsty to make it happen, irregardless of who we step on to get there. All too often, the one we end up stepping on is the candidate themselves. Much like the Wal-mart worker who merely attempted to open the door for the eager shoppers, we crush the candidate who was looking to us for help and was doing everything in their power to provide the right skills, resources, etc to clear a way for us to obtain the desired result.

How often do we allow such “gains” on our part effect our decisions in a bad way so as to crush the very work we are trying to accomplish or the innocent bystanders seeking us for help in finding that career path they have been longing for? Some of the shoppers in this incident had complained that they had been waiting all night, even after being told someone died and that the store was closing for the moment to take care of the issues. How cruel is this?? And yet i wonder if there have been times my very complaints were along these same lines: cruel and selfish in so many ways.

While coworkers rushed to the man’s rescue, other shoppers continued to pummel, crushing them as well, and there was even a pregnant lady who was injured in the process. So the effects on one person started effecting others around them as others tried to help. In recruiting, I have noticed that there are moments when others try to step in and help because we are blinded by our end goal, that others are also “injured”. Think about the employer’s trust you lost? The manager whose relationship will not be mended now? The other coworkers in a department that was depending on you to fill the vacant role? Our own selfishness has a trickle effect among many more than just the very candidate that we are working with. Oftentimes, these are the ones that go unnoticed.

I hope that as we go into the holiday season, we think about this in our career fields. The economy is effecting many of us. There are many selfish reasons why we could make these types of mistakes the shoppers made that day. But there are a million more reasons why we can let the holiday season allow us to be a little more thoughtful as we work with managers, employers, and candidates this upcoming year. Turbulent times have come for many of us, so let’s remember the reason why we are in the wonderful field we call recruiting in the first place. I know I have learned a valuable lesson this past week and I hope that sharing this with you will help you contemplate your own personal application of this incident to your career.

Happy Holidays everybody and Happy Hunting!