These lockdown blogs man, they don’t get easier. Luckily there’s a bit of light at the end of the tunnel with Level 3 lasting for (hopefully) 2 weeks. Personally, I don’t know why we couldn’t just be in Level 4 for the remainder of the week? We’re still struggling to convince 20% of people to get a jab because they’re dubious about the health benefits, all while every kiwi and his dog queue hours for a deep-fried morsel of meat that contains 11 secret ingredients. I’m starting to think the Colonel runs this country! From the rugby to the beach, he’s everywhere! Maybe it’s because I’ve not been emersed in the NZ way my whole life but I don’t get the big hullabaloo? I’ve not really missed a Zinger tower. The one thing I’ve missed is being down the pub, it’s not just the beer; New World actually has a pretty decent selection. It’s having a yarn with pals that isn’t dictated by the strength of someone’s broadband.

Thankfully, my first week back I’ve got some placed candidates to meet for a congratulatory pie & pint. These are candidates I’ve not physically met which is always a bit of a weird one. In our industry we put a lot of stock in meeting someone in the flesh but why? I mean, for what is a predominantly a phone-based role it seems to suss to have such a keen interest in a candidate’s appearance. On the recruiter’s bingo up there with ‘champagne and razorblades’ and ‘hen’s teeth is the phrase we say whenever we justify having to meet someone IRL; “I just want to make sure you haven’t got two heads” (laughter ensues) Saying that we’re on the cusp of 2022 so problematic chat like might get you canceled if the Siamese-twin recruitment scene gets wind of this. It’s a phrase I’ve said heaps but if we break it down it’s basically saying that I want to make sure you don’t look weird, which suggests that there could be a hint of prejudice around meeting someone face to face.

Are we hiring people on what they look like or how they perform in the role? If so, that’s not right. There’s a lot of assumption based on what likely will be bias. Just because someone is tall doesn’t mean that they’ll command more respect. A weak handshake doesn’t denote a cushy upbringing or detract from ‘manliness’ and if someone is dressed up I’d learn on that old proverb “a monkey in silk is a monkey no less” Thankfully, I don’t think hiring practices are as cosmetic. My client base wants the best person for the job and hopefully so does their client base. So, what is it? Why aren’t we fully engaged when we communicating with god’s cousin Rod from Teen Angel or the geezer that gives the Power Rangers their orders. (Honestly, click on the Teen Angel link just for the 90’s kids TV adverts)

I think a lot of it is down to trust or rather, distrust. There seems to be the fear that when someone is on the phone, they are giving their best Brent impression regarding the forklift driver’s job or worse, that one scene in Wolf of Wall Street. That someone has more license to mislead when there is a device separating parties. You will have worked with clients who brazenly announce “I can tell within the first few minutes” they feel that they have all the info there in front of them and can pick up on cues. Certainly, there is something to be said for getting a vibe from someone. Ask Jedd Miller who recounts sitting next to Rodney Acala, better known as The Dating Game Killer. Acala, who had already killed and served time went on to win the show. Luckily, the contestant withdrew from the planned date after she felt uncomfortable being alone with him. There’s also the idea that someone has to ‘look you in the eyes’ and someone certainly wouldn’t lie to your face. It’s a cute notion that someone but anyone with more than 90 days’ worth of recruitment under their belt would know better.

Maybe the emphasis on face-to-face is an outdated concept? My fellow rec to recs operate out of Hamilton and ChCh respectively, relying almost entirely on video chats. Previously I’ve regarded it as a shortcut but now I see its merits. For me though, nothing beats getting to know someone personally in the non-digital world. I’d like to think it’s not completely from a trust or prejudicial perspective but more that it speaks to our innate need to come together, socialize and be around like-minded people. For the record, I think a conjoined twin recruiter would be awesome! They’d pure smash KPI’s.

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