Someone’s Mother, Someone’s Daughter, Your Candidate

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I have lost count of how many resumes I review on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. It is A LOT. Normally I don’t think too much about it – I review each one against a certain ideal, set of skills, key words. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for and the ones that “make the cut” get a contacted – you know the drill. Well, this weekend I was hit with a very poignant reminder. I am close to two women at very different ends of the job search spectrum.

My mother was laid off over two years ago – she’d been in accounting, working as a finance assistant for a small manufacturing company. She’s now working part time trying to stay afloat while pursuing work in her field. On the other hand, my daughter – college sophomore, part time Barista, looking at internships and figuring out how to start building some professional experience. Both of these beautiful, brilliant women are doing everything right, as far as I can see. They have targeted resumes, carefully drafted cover letters and emails, and practice answering interview questions. They scour job boards and company websites for relevant positions, and never EVER apply to jobs they couldn’t reasonably fit.

Here’s where my epiphany hit. While both my mom and kid are being good sports about their situations, they understand the flip side of their applications. They are just another accounting assistant, or college kid, with a set of skills and experience that may or may not get a recruiter’s attention. Nothing more. Nothing less. But to me? They are so much more. My mother. My daughter. The woman who raised me. The woman who, in spite of all my mistakes, has grown into an amazing young lady. I know them – not just as candidates (and Lord knows how much time I’ve spent with them wearing my recruiter hat) but as people.

Who wouldn’t want to hire one of these amazing chicks??!?

I know I might be a little biased… but the truth is they are both hard workers (I know – I both inherited and passed on my work ethic). In talking about their recent experiences dealing with my professional brethren, I realized something – every candidate I talk to is someone’s child. They could be someone’s parent, or spouse, or sibling. Human Resources pros talk a lot about the “candidate experience” and recognize that in many cases our applicants are also our customers. We want them to like us, whether we hire them or not. I get it. But let’s not forget these consumers are people first. We should be treating candidates the way we’d want our own mother to be treated.

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