Squeals of Joy !!

This past week I got to do something that I haven’t done often over the past few years.  I was interviewing potential candidates to become Team Members for one of our pizzerias.

Typically, our great Managers interview, but I got to help this week because we had a bigger hiring need.  It was energizing to sit across the table to learn about people who are interested in joining us.  One thing I forgot about interviewing was the nerves, anxiety and anticipation of the candidate. Each person I spoke to was eager to give answers and share their experience.  A few of them were worried they’d give the “wrong” answer, and a few were very confident with every response.

At the end of the interview we decide whether to make an offer or not.  That’s when it happened. When I offered a job to some of the candidates, they actually squealed !!  They were so excited that they were going to get a job that they couldn’t help but express their joy.

I guess I’ve been in HR too long because I lost the experience and thrill of what it meant to offer someone a job. I think that’s true for most of us especially when I hear people speak more about metrics and not people.  The majority of how our focus in recruiting and hiring has come down to statistics like “time to hire” or “cost per hire.”  Where is the statistic – changed my life ??

Think about it.  When you make a hiring decision, you trust that the person you just interviewed is someone who will add value to your company.  You have been given the responsibility to identify and meet someone who is going to bring their lives, experience and talent to your organization !!  Isn’t that more important than a report or making sure that your next job requisition comes off the board?

JoyWhen we hire someone, we change their lives.  They are so excited to have this new opportunity.  We miss this squeal of joy because we’re so eager to move onto the next task, interview or project.

It’s time for us to step back and take in the fact that we are adding talent to our company.  If we are doing anything else, then we aren’t doing our job effectively because if the people we hire are just to alleviate pressure or ease some uneasiness in low staffing levels, then we’re missing the mark.

What if you approached hiring and job seekers with the same joy they hope to experience by landing a job?  What if you met each person with excitement, anxiety, nerves and anticipation about who you’re about to meet?  How do you think you’d view the “task” of recruiting and hiring with this type of attitude?

One of the people I hired asked if she could call her dad to tell him she had just landed her first job.  I said, “Of course,” and I listened as she shared the news.  It was a great wake up call for me.  What we do in HR is full of joy everyday in our lives, and potentially in the lives of others.  Let’s see if we can make that happen !!

16 thoughts on “Squeals of Joy !!”

  1. I’m glad to hear someone else enjoys this part of HR. Making offers has always been one of my favorite parts of HR!

  2. Too many companies get caught up in crunching the numbers and forget the “human” part of Human Resources. That’s where the magic is. Thanks for reminding us !

  3. Steve,

    I have always admired your positive outlook on life. Thanks so much for shining a light on the ways that HR DOES matter. I used to work in HR in a retail setting and this is an exhausting time of year. So your post is well-timed!

  4. Very envigorating story. We forget that when we are recruiting, it is something we do routinely and it becomes mundane. For that young person getting his/her first job or the person who has been “out of work” for a period of time, it truly is “joyful” to get the nod.

    Keep the good stories coming my friend.


  5. I love recruiting and hiring for the very reason in your story – you do change lives and you get to feel the excitement of the candidate when they accept the position! Priceless!!!

  6. Amen! Thank you Steve for another brilliant post! As one who is coaching job seekers regularly about the nerves, etc., it is great to see your reminder to HR professionals that it is, after all, about people.

  7. It is an honor and a blessing to be able to interview people. I truly believe with every interview there is a lesson to be learned. Aren’t we all lucky to have that privilege? Thank you Steve for a great post!

  8. Great post! This is my joy too. It is also wonderful to see them develop and grow in their careers.

  9. It’s a great time to remind all of us in HR that people are why we got into this profession. Thanks!

  10. Great job of reminding us of this Steve. It can be such a great experience to offer people a job, but we all have likely gotten a little numb to it. Thank you for sharing this perspective.

  11. Excellent post Steve, and a great reminder that it is all about relationships. You’re a pro at seeing the fundamental need to build a relationship (even in a short amount of time of interviewing) is the beginning of hiring a trustworthy employee!

  12. Great post Steve, and if we cannot connect with how the people we are dealing with in HR feel, then we have to stop and ask ourselves what we are doing. Elsewhere, I wrote about this from an L&D perspective and talked about the need for us as L&D professionals to embrace the joy of learning, and to show our commitment to development. If we aren’t connecting with what our profession does, then there is something very wrong, isn’t there?

  13. Well stated Steve. It’s so easy (and unfortunately necessary, if that is what you are being evaluated on) to fall into the metrics black hole concern. The best part about a recruiter taking your suggested approach is that it will do as much for the hiring professional as it does the person being offered the job! You have a refreshed outlook on the recruiting process, and in the long run, you probably become better at doing your job and your metrics go up.

  14. Steve,

    Another amazing post!

    I really enjoyed this, in part, due to my specialization recently shifted from general HR to recruiting. I love the idea of being overjoyed by the experience of being able to hire someone – just as much as the person might be for being hired!


  15. Squeals of Joy, that what makes this job fun. I have over the years come to realise that we can change a person’s live just by saying yes, as a job is so important to the self-image and quality of life. Yet when we see, many of the upper job market forget the squeal and concentrate on negotiating the benefits and not the thrill of having work. Million are walking the streets of cities and towns just knocking on door and hoping their life might be changed by the squeal of JOY as you say YES.

    We in HR should never forget the effect we might have on a person life and to the upper job market never forget that benefits of a job, can never be compared to an constant income. The next joy is when you see the person a few months later and how they have changed in dress and spirit.

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