A Mentor’s Influence: Finding a Meaningful Connection

By Lance Gilbert

Recently, I reached out to a small, local manufacturer of specialized lumber milling equipment and was able to connect with them. Together we defined a need for a Software Engineer to join their development team responsible for working on the custom controls software for their machinery.  In light of budget factors and the market niche, the recruitment period for the position took quite some time and patience as we provided both junior and senior level candidates for the client to review.

While the junior level candidates were satisfactory and appealing from a budget perspective, the senior level candidates held more appeal from a performance and immediate impact perspective.  Ultimately, after a thorough interview process, the client decided upon a senior level candidate and extended an offer accordingly.  However, since the candidate was very skilled, she was also in the midst of pursuing other opportunities for such notable companies as Amazon and Disney!  Patience was key in getting to this stage in the process.

As a staffing manager, it is in my best interest to place people in a timely and consistent manner; yet I’ve learned that forcing a decision can lead to undesirable results. So we actively supported the candidate in taking the time she needed to evaluate her opportunities, and we coordinated with the client in defining their response and hiring timeline so that both parties would be in sync.  Ultimately, the candidate chose to accept the offer from Amtec’s client. Interestingly, a critical factor was her education and employment history. Specifically, her original mentor in software engineering had a background in the lumber industry.  It was this personal connection that swayed the candidate to accept the offer!

In this case, I believe it was the patience and respect of both candidate and client that led to a decision that focused upon fit and a meaningful connection to the job.  The truth is, at times, business intelligence and resume analysis can overlook the true core of company success–the strength and happiness of the people that comprise the organization. In making your next hire, perhaps a focus on personal history and anecdotal relevance can lead to making that critical connection between your company and the candidate, resulting in a well-placed employee!

Why are you hanging onto that problem employee? Here’s what it’s costing you!

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