Summer time, summer time. Happy Memorial Day.
Eons ago, I vacationed in Malaga, Spain with my dad and my sister. We had a blast. My dad’s beach book was a phenomenal compendium of Frederick Forsyth’s short stories called No Comebacks — which was jam packed with one liners that I have trotted out hundreds of times in my career as an ecommerce recruiter. My favorite was this gem:
‘Women love to be loved and adore to be adored. They desire to be desired, but more than all these together a woman needs to be needed.’
Ladies, take issue with this if you must, but I think there’s some truth to this. Please: Give me hell in the comments section if you disagree. I think everyone needs to be needed. I think we’re all needy, sometimes. Clearly.
But here’s something I’ve discovered as a contingency recruiter: Neediness isn’t limited to individuals. Nope. My CLIENTS (aka hiring committees) can be needy and insecure. Not all of them, all of the time. And not usually with me. But some of them, some of the time, with candidates — especially the ones they need the most.
I think this is because, by now, most business people know that technical chops and industry knowledge can only get a new hire so far. To be a Game Changer in any given job, candidates must have the will to change the game. Like, duh.
It all boils down to desire — the “hardest” soft skill of all, the one that can manifest itself in an infectious enthusiasm that can inspire an entire team to take its game to the next level. I wish I had a dime for every time a client has said to me “Boy, I wish I could take the technical chops and industry knowledge of Candidate X and combine it with the energy, drive, and enthusiasm of Candidate Y.” Often, they say this right before offering the job to Candidate Y, the slightly less qualified candidate who wants the job more. And they’ll chalk-up their decision to “chemistry.”
Which brings me to the point of this post.
Candidates, if you have a sincere desire to work for one of my clients, let it show! Don’t stifle your feelings, thinking my clients will think you are “desperate” for wanting the job. They’re not mind readers! Trust me, if you have the technical chops and industry knowledge to do the job, my client and I will want you to want the job. In fact, for you to be successful in your new job, we’ll need you to need it — not for the money, but because it’s the perfect next step for you in your career.
So: At the end of your interview, please tell my clients you want the job. Then, in your thank-you notes to EACH person you met with, briefly recap your qualifications and cordially state that you want the job.
Trust me: If you don’t say it, they might not know it otherwise.