The Secret of Managing Expectations.
Nowadays, we all have very high expectations from everything and everyone.
We expect better jobs, better salaries, better managers, better employees, better colleagues, better perks, better working hours, better social life, better food, better services, better partners, better absolutely everything and anything.
It’s great to have high standards, and I am personally one of those people who tends to be a perfectionist, who sometimes expects everyone else to be the same. Well, of course, many times I end up disappointed. And something is telling me that you probably do, too…
Working in recruitment gives me the incredible opportunity to analyse how people deal with their own expectations, every single day.
On a daily basis I manage my candidates’ expectations as well as my clients expectations, my manager’s expectations, and of course my own ones too…
You must be wondering what type of expectations? Well here are some examples: financial expectations, commute time, career progression, responsibilities, cultural match with the company, length of recruitment process, interview type, benefits and perks… And many more…!
The world seems to be divided between the ones who think that “If you expect something from someone, you should make sure the other person is aware of your expectations” – sounds easy, right? – And the ones who believe that expectations are premeditated disappointment.
However, most of the time, we don’t even realize we are expecting something until we start feeling disappointed or unhappy.
At a dinner recently, a few of my friends have been asking me how to proceed in a job search, and how to deal with recruiters. Everyone started sharing their bad and not so bad experiences, some of them complaining about the very little value recruiters add in to the recruitment process, how bad candidates are treated… and so on. Listening to my friends disappointment, I decided to ask:
“What do you expect from a recruiter when looking for a job?” – Silence.
And then suddenly, a mix of answers came up; from “doing my CV” to “finding me an amazing job in a week” or even “getting me a pay rise and a new job”.
Long story short, everyone had different expectations, and most importantly, everyone agreed with everyone else’s expectations! This confirms my previous statement. We are unaware of our own expectations, but we all have some.
If you are planning to start looking for a job, and you are considering the help of a recruiter, then maybe you should clarify how you expect that person to help you and try to be realistic. The recruiter is not necessarily going to get you a 30% pay rise and a managerial position in one of the top 10 companies to work for in the world… The recruiter is limited to what the market has to offer, and can only give you an idea of what companies are recruiting for and at what price, in that specific market.
Using the same model, if you are recruiting and using recruitment agencies to help you find the right candidate, probably because you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or the resources, make sure you know exactly what you want, and explain to the agency how you expect them to help you.
My advice to any job hunter is to remember that recruiters can’t fight for you if you don’t let them know what you expect. Transparency is key. When a recruiter asks about your salary expectations, how much travelling you are willing to do, how long you are willing to commute to get to work or how important working from home once a week is to you, make sure you put some thought into it as you may not know yet, but maybe the commute is what will become your next most important deal breaker…
My advice to all employers, remember that, in many cases, recruiters will be the first impression a candidate get from your company. Choose them well. But also treat them well. The recruiter’s speech when briefing candidates about your company will determine and set their expectations. This is very powerful. If you are struggling to fill your jobs, it can either be because you are in a candidate short market and your competitors are looking more attractive, or because you have unrealistic expectations from your recruitment agency….