As a Theatre Arts major at Bloomsburg University, I was required to take a course in theatrical direction taught by the late great Michael Collins. The first, and probably most important, lesson Professor Collins taught the class is that the success of a production rests solely on the shoulders of the director. If the production is a smash hit, the director gets the credit. If the production is a flop, the director takes all of the blame. As a matter of fact, any one issue that arises during the course of a performance is ultimately the fault of the director:
- If one of the actors gives an absolutely egregious performance, it’s the director’s fault – either he should’ve cast a different actor in the role or spent more time focusing on that particular actor during rehearsals.
- If an actor misses an entrance, it’s the director’s fault – it’s the director’s responsibility to make sure that all of the actors know their cues inside and out.
- If the audience isn’t laughing at the “funny” parts, it’s the director’s fault – the director is responsible for orchestrating comic timing and letting the audience know when to laugh.
- If a light breaks during the performance and part of the stage goes dark…yep, you guessed it, it’s the director’s fault – the director (via the stage crew) makes sure that all of the equipment is tested thoroughly prior to the beginning of a show.
To put it simply, the buck stops with the director.
As recruiters, the same rule applies to us – we are where everything in the hiring process starts and stops, and we are responsible for every element of that process:
- If a client is disappointed with the volume of candidates they’ve seen, it’s the recruiters fault – either we should’ve done more research, made more calls and found more candidates – or done a better job of managing the client’s expectations on the front end given their parameters, market conditions, etc. Can’t blame the candidates for not showing interest. Can’t blame the client for not having a better understanding of the job market. Can’t blame the economy for making candidates less likely to consider new opportunities. It’s on us.
- If a candidate has a terrible interview, it’s the recruiter’s fault – either we should not have had that candidate in the mix, or we should have more thoroughly prepared him for the interview.
- If a candidate shows up late to an interview, it’s the recruiter’s fault – each candidate in the process is our responsibility, and we need to make sure that they know how far they have to drive to the interview site, what route they’ll be taking, what possible traffic problems they could encounter, what the weather is going to be like that day, etc.
- If a candidate accepts a counter offer, it is of course the recruiter’s fault – it’s our job to advise the client on making an appropriate offer to begin with, as well as to advise the candidate on the litany of reasons why accepting a counter offer is a terrible idea.
Our job is not simply to show clients good paper and hope for a successful outcome – it’s to ensure that they hire the best candidate on the market for their open position as flawlessly as possible. We are not just recruiters – we are directors. And the buck stops here.