Warning – this post might make you hungry!
Picture this: You’re at an Italian restaurant and you’ve been craving risotto all day. I’m your maître d’ and I tell you that our kitchen has run out of some ingredients for the risotto, but we have a fabulous gnocchi dish that will stimulate your tastebuds even though it’s not what you originally wanted. At first, you might be a bit upset and annoyed that you couldn’t get the dish you’d pictured in your head, but if you give me a chance and go off my recommendation for something that ticks most of the boxes then you may end up just as, if not more satisfied, than what you had originally planned.
Now. the reason I’m talking about food and probably making your stomach grumble is because in the ‘recruitment restaurant’ a client will often come to me with their ‘desired dish’ or ‘list of ingredients’ that make what they believe is the perfect candidate. As a professional consultant, it’s my job to look at the whole picture (and for this analogy, what is in the kitchen). What exactly is the primary objective of the role? I need to find out exactly what key skills are required to fill that role and what on that list is an essential ingredient or just a desirable garnish.
As a consultant placing people in temporary and contract roles, I always want to ensure my candidates are as close as possible to the job brief I’ve been given so that my client won’t need to spend much time training the candidate. Much like a maître d’, I need to consult with my client and get them interested in other dishes by tantalising their tastebuds and describing how using some different ingredients - the fresh parsley, the slow-cooked lamb shank where the meat falls off the bone and a beautiful homemade red wine jus - will create the perfect dish, or in our case the perfect candidate.
It’s important for employers to always remain open to suggestion. A good consultant will work alongside the client to help them understand why they shouldn’t focus on just ticking boxes but rather, it’s more beneficial to open up their options. Don’t get into a routine of ordering the same dish you’ve always had. A new dish, or in this case, a new candidate, with different experiences, may help the organisation grow by bringing new flavour to the menu. A good company will always be open to good ideas from the people who are working there which help improve the business.