Gobby Northern Bird....
It’s the year 1999, Y2K is looming, and I’ve been living in London for about 2 years, working for an IT company doing HR Recruitment stuff. The weekend starts on a Thursday and it’s even the norm to go out for drinks on a Wednesday as it’s the “weekend eve”. I walk past Borough Market every day from the tube station, I stagger past it a couple of nights a week as I get on the Northern Line to head back to the area of Tooting that was described as “up and coming” when I moved there in 1998.
And then one day, the IT Manager asked me for my personal email address as he was responsible for sending out most of the jokes via email but in keeping with being responsible and encouraging the right types of behaviour, he didn’t want to clog up everybody’s work email with jokes. He was setting up a mailing list of everybody personal email addresses and when he asked what my email address was I replied “I don’t need a personal email address, it’ll never take off.” Possibly the 2nd sweeping statement I’d made that was complete tosh, the first was me describing the girl band who shrieked about what they really really wanted, a one hit wonder. Next day, the IT Manager appears and tells me he’s set up an email address for me….Gobbynorthernbird@hotmail.com. Oh yes, a girl from Yorkshire living and working with London surrounded by people who sat on the Grarrrrrssss not the grass to have a picnic, my nickname was born.
I fully embraced this email address, until I was offered redundancy as the company had to cut overheads and I’d spoken very publicly about how my liver would fail if I continued to live in London and was desperate to return to glorious Yorkshire. So, I ditched the GobbyNorthernBird email address for something much more sensible and the start of my career in the amazing world of Food & Drink commenced.
And my reason for this story? I’ve just got off the phone from a candidate who had a north east twang and we joked about being northern and it just felt that upon discovering our mutual love of the north, the conversation relaxed a bit further. We joked about accents and I told him the email story and we had a good old chuckle. Because I am northern, but I’m not gobby. And I don’t think I ever was, I was maybe chatty and remember getting a lot of funny looks on the Tube as I tried to chat to people who didn’t want to make eye contact. But instant rapport is something I get a lot with candidates, and then there are the times when it just doesn’t flow. The conversations are tough going for me and they must be equally as tough going for the candidates at the other end of the phone.
So, what makes people click straight away? And what makes others just not fit together at all? Is it finding something in common that there is an instant connection with? Or is personality? Or is it just the way the wind blows in that given moment? If 2 people are feeling chatty, in a good mood, maybe that’s enough? My motto is to simply chat to candidates, let them tell me about them, how their career has developed, what they’re looking for and then we discuss if it matches what my client is looking for. Not everybody likes that style which I appreciate but I find 2 people chatting, not only helps us both work out if the role is right for them, but if the culture is as well. I encourage people to just chat, be themselves, be open & honest about what they want & don’t want for their next career move. Take the time before you get into the recruitment process to understand if it’s right for you. Do not rush or be rushed (unless there’s a really tight time scale!). And did I mention, be yourself. Oh, and make sure the email address on your CV is reflective of who you are. Because I’ve seen some in my time that simply shouldn’t be there, my own included.
And as the weekend fast approaches, I still have a good few hours to speak to some new, and old candidates. (not old old, don’t get the Equal Opportunities Police involved, I just mean I’ve spoken to them a number of times before!). And my prediction is there will still be a mixed bag of candidates out there, just like there is a mixed bag of recruiters out there. You just need to keep searching until you find that person that gets you. And let’s hope my predictions in this century are more accurate than the last century!
Tel: 0115 972 6513