Scoring a last minute winner

Scoring a last minute winner (in Recruitment)


Unless you are currently living in a cave you may have noticed that there is a lot of football on TV right now. That’s right, it’s the world cup. Every four years we get our hopes up that maybe this time we will find a way to get our hands on the most famous trophy in the world, only to end up disappointed, driving around with £1.99 flags on our cars that quickly get discarded and reduced to 10p in Tesco (presumably they then put them in storage for four years).

It is 52 years since we last won a major international competition. The law of averages says that eventually we will win it. As a Leeds United fan, I go through this every season. Maybe this year we will get promoted. Probably not.

So, on Monday night I sat down to watch England vs Tunisia. Everyone’s expectations were high. On paper this should be a relatively easy win. We started brightly, full of vigour and enthusiasm. We took an early lead and then something happened. We conceded a goal. Suddenly it became hard work, we had to battle more, Tunisia gained confidence and despite what VAR might have missed, they didn’t always play fair. We looked a bit lost for a time, unsure of what to do to break the deadlock. I’m sure you don’t want a full commentry on the entire match but here’s how it ended (spoiler alert). In the dying moments of the match we pulled out a winning goal. Great result but we made it harder than it needed to be and England were seconds away from missing an oppotunity of three points.

So how is this like recruitment?

  • Recruiters pick up a new brief to work on and start out full of vigour and enthusiasm. The client has high expectations of meeting their ideal candidate. You are confident you can deliver exactly what they need quickly and efficiently. It may be a competitive brief but you are going to win.
  • You find a great candidate and think you’ve nailed it. You relax a bit. You’re 1-0 up.
  • Your candidate gets another offer and pulls out or doesn’t perform as well as you had hoped at interview. It’s the equaliser. It’s 1-1 at half time.
  • Suddenly it’s hard work. You need to get on and find new candidates but you are struggling.
  • Your competition may not play fair (in your opinion). They submit a candidate that you’ve been trying to contact for three days. The competition are on the verge of scoring.
  • It’s time to defend. How? Find a better candidate. Update your client on what you are doing and the progress you are making. Solid defending, your client won’t make an offer to the other candidate until they have met your candidate.

I know this might sound a little contrived but in reality we all need to do what England did earlier this week.

When you reach that point in an assignment that things are not going your way then you have to dig in and grind out the result. Chances are you are part of a team so see if any of your colleagues have any ideas that you haven’t tried. Sometimes a change of tactics is all that’s needed. It might not be pretty, it might mean late nights and early mornings finding that winning CV but if you keep going it will come. You need to work harder than your competition.

As an aside I predict that we are unlikely to lift the trophy this time around but that Leeds United will be promoted this season. #MOT