I am currently on a train from Manchester to London (delayed by 40 minutes, the seat I booked was taken and my complimentary cup of tea is cold…but I will try and not make this a rant about Virgin Trains). Whilst waiting for my train I saw Mani …and that would mean very little to most of you unless you know who The Stone Roses are (an iconic Manchester indie band). As a huge Roses fan my heart skipped a beat when I saw the great man…and desperate as I was to go over and talk to him I didn’t. I was awestruck in the presence of one of my heroes.
It reminded me of a client meeting I attended some years ago as a young recruiter…well it didn’t really but I am trying to make a rather tenuous segue into an ever so slightly relevant topic about recruitment…..bare with me…….The client was a senior executive in a large blue chip and had a big profile in the business community. He was also six foot something and built like the proverbial brick shit house. A big man in every way! In comparison I was very little…both in size and stature. I was less the brick shit house and more shitting myself. And Mr Big knew it. He could smell my fear and, (similar to seeing Mani all be it for different reasons), I was awestruck.
Things are different nowadays. I am older, more experienced, have a track record behind me, and the grey hair helps a little too. I am not scared to talk to anyone, regardless of how big they are… and some might even say I even know what I am talking about. In short, I have credibility. Which brings me (nearly) to my point… and ends the longest segue in history…(oh please God make it end soon… you clearly have nothing else to do on your train ride)…
As a recruiter, if you don’t have credibility you don’t have much. And if clients and candidates – or the people you want to work for you – don’t see that then you may as well pack up and go home.
Believe it or not, I was going to wear my Stone Roses t-shirt this morning. If I had, I may have got a nod of recognition from Mani and that would have been enough for me to ask for a photo and have a chat. It would have given me some credibility. Credibility is everything…
Imagine these scenarios for example:
- You make a headhunting approach to someone via a LinkedIn message. Before they respond they check you out and see a half-baked profile telling them very little about you.
- A candidate actively looking for a new job has been told about your company. Before they give the go ahead for the recruiter to send their CV they check out your company and find nothing more than the bland old corporate blurb.
- Whilst you are waiting to be put through to the hiring manager at a potential new client, they Google your company and find not very much.
In all these cases you have missed the opportunity to build credibility.
To a certain point you cannot by-pass the route to credibility and it’s largely often a matter of serving your time in the trenches. But whatever credibility you have, for God sake show it off!!! Why wouldn’t you? Showcase yourself, your expertise, your experience and make sure the company you are working for do the same. A well chosen t-shirt may not help you gain credibility in business….but there are many ways in which you can achieve this before you have even picked up the phone.