Monday, March 11, 2013

Of arrows & bullseyes

Just signed my offer letter todayyy!!!! Whheeeeee!!!

At the tail-end of my artsy sabbatical, I began my jobhunt in Jan 2013. With numerous recruitment firms mushrooming in this region, I had no choice but had many encounters with these middlemen. I've only met one or two really professional ones who thoroughly do their homework on the client, the industry as well as on the candidates... I'm strictly sticking to those few only from now on.

Unfortunately, majority are just looking for a quick buck approaching candidates just to obtain as many arrows as possible to shoot randomly at the targets which is their client... hoping that one, will hit the the bullseye. I've even had one who submitted my name to the client after I had declined to do so, even without my CV. Collect, collect, collect.... shoot, shoot, shoot.

The client
They'd approach the candidates... entice them with money, fancy titles and  name-drop a few big companies in the relevant industry to get them on the hook. Then plonk the candidates' credentials in their own standard templates. Then line them all up and present to their client. If the client is in AAA industry, looking for a BBB position to fill... they'd make sure their line up are all from AAA industry, currently a BBB for their current employer. So, every single candidate will look like the right fit. Arrows are launched... if each candidate has a 10% chance of hitting and they have 10 candidates, statistically it's 100% chance in securing that commission, right?

How they perceive and present the candidates
Wrong! In reality, every candidate is different... they have different interests, strengths & weaknesses, ambitions and motivations. Not every candidate are just looking for a way out of their current frustrations and would settle for anything and everything just for a couple of hundred bucks raise. Especially not the good ones. The good ones, want to continue to challenge themselves, learn new things, venture out of their comfort zones or seek a job in their area of passion. I have a friend who's an excellent marketeer in pharmaceuticals who tried to venture into FMCG or consumer industry, and a friend who's an excellent sales/marketing person in medical devices eager to venture into commercial training. They are both great candidates, but they were stuck in the old rut for ages because these headhunters do not want the hassle to fight for or promote the candidates that are different from that standard template they have.

What candidates are actually like
As for me, I am an even more abnormal candidate; idealistic, passionate but has super specific interests, struggling (but surviving) artist... who's looking for a corporate job. I'm a species they have never represented and do not know how to sell to their clients. I have but only gotten a direct interview with the client via a headhunter once, in my entire lifetime. Once! The odds are against me. :(

I've only gotten interviews through people I have previously worked with, they are such a blessing! ♥ Unlike headhunters who are armed with a gazillion arrows, I only have one arrow. Abnormal as I may be, I can only shoot this one arrow. I have but one chance with each target so I must choose and aim very very carefully. With my super specific interest in marketing of chronic diseases, it makes my target even more nanoscopic and harder to hit. Statistically, I am a disaster, right?

Miraculously, after several attempts and much tenacity, I have hit the bullseye: marketing, chronic-disease, emotionally compelling, for a good cause, and a boss who accepts my passion in theatre!! To throw in a bonus, the office is less 10km from my house, church & cellgroup! Praise God!!! Whheeeeeeeee!!!! :)

The only teeny weeny thing I am totally unhappy about is that the headhunter who submitted my CV for a completely different position some months ago, who never followed up with me or the client on anything... for months. But will be getting a commission for my joining the company. My friend who referred me, who actually did all the follow up for me, will get zilch. Just because my CV from the headhunter reached them first. Sad :-( I shall treat him a big makan when I see him instead.

I am thankful to those who have faith in me, and is willing to take a risk on this abnormal arrow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I look forward to my return to corporate, all refueled, recharged and reinspired!!! Looking forward to next month. :D :D

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