Earlier this week, I recorded a podcast with someone I met through this letter. Hi! You know who you are!
After talking about all things empathy, human connection, and recruiting, she asked me a final question. A question I’ve never been asked before on a podcast.
The question? If you could put a message in a bottle for a Recruiter to open in the year 2050, what would it say?
I love questions like that – the ones with no correct answers. These questions that allow your imagination to wander. They’re like a playground for your brain. Admittedly, I will wake up in the middle of the night with new answers, but that’s another letter topic altogether.
Considering I wasn’t given the questions in advance, I was a little caught off guard. My brain was like, “shit.”
Then I thought about this movie I watched on Sunday called “Blackbird.” Susan Sarandon plays a Mom who has asked her daughters to come home for one final family reunion before she ends her battle with a terminal illness. There’s a scene where she’s talking to her grandson, and he asks what life advice she has for him. “Aren’t you supposed to be wise or something,” he says? I won’t share her answer or ruin the movie moment, but it was simple and true. Timeless.
After taking a minute to pause and think, I came up with two answers – one for business and one for life. I asked which one she wanted to hear. Knowing the host reads this letter, some part of me already knew which one she would pick.
“I want the life advice, please.”
I glanced down at a note I keep on my desk. It’s a card that says, “you have helped me feel more optimistic about my future.” Simple. Timeless.
With that inspiration, I said, “I would tell them that you help people feel more optimistic about their future.”
The fact is, things have to develop now to adapt to a new world of work. Everything could change about recruiting – the tech, the processes, the trends, etc. Hell, we might even have robots to do hiring manager intake and job post writing for all I know.
But if recruiting still has the same influence as this middle person between a stranger and a dream? I hope we never forget this opportunity. We are holders of optimism and sneak peeks at a whole new life. That’s what we need to know to be the best – no tips, no tricks, no specific how-to advice.
You need to know how to talk about a whole new life and give optimism.
Luckily for you, I don’t think you need to wait 29 years to be the best. If you read a letter like this, I hope you know that what makes you great isn’t all in the technique, but the connection. You know how majestic and messy work can be. Be there for people.
Optimism comes in many forms – sometimes even in a job posting. I mean, if it’s any good. That’s why we have to delete bias. We delete bias to delete the doubt that a qualified candidate can do the job. To give them optimism that historically hasn’t been provided.
The blog this week will tell you how by offering a template and some techniques for mastering hiring manager intake.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.