Listening – A Social Experiment


Recently, People People placed ads for numerous C-Level positions.  These included the roles of COO, CFO, CMO, VP of Sales and VP of HR.  We were way upfront with what we were doing, and left some very simple instructions for candidates to follow, namely:

  • We were clear that we were relationship builders, and that in response to several upcoming C Level placements, we were looking to build relationships with candidates, just as we do with clients, to ensure that when there was a need, we’d have just the right candidate.  You know, the kind of match that you can only dream about in your professional career.  We described our process, fully.
  • We added the following statement: “When you’re ready, send us your resume or CV, your objectives, your professional (or personal) accomplishments, and tell us why you think our approach might work for you.”

Here’s our disappointment.  In the past couple of weeks we’ve had tons (and I mean tons) of “candidates” – all of them currently holding C Level positions in reputable companies, and we’ve only forwarded 10 to the next level in the process (you’ll be hearing from us soon).

It’s a pretty sad commentary on leadership today to note that those currently holding C Level roles aren’t listening, reading or digesting – rather, in this technology based age, they’re just attaching their resume, giving us a one paragraph cover letter saying why they’re right for the position (which isn’t even a position), and hitting the apply button.

If that’s the state of corporate (or HR for that matter) – no wonder finding candidates is difficult.  Technology is great, don’t get us wrong, but if you’re planning a huge step like moving ahead in your career, wouldn’t it be worth your time to invest a little in the process?  Listening, reading and digesting are just one thing.  The candidates we want to work with are the ones that research too and give us their best, otherwise we can guarantee you won’t hear from us.

This is your career.  If you show us that you can’t invest yourself in even the basic preliminary process, then how could we ever present you to a client?